Digital transformation is not just a fashionable topic of recent times. This is the reality of many companies that want to remain competitive and heed the voice of the consumer. Discover some examples of digital transformation and meet the companies which managed it well, helping them enter a new level of growth.
What is digital transformation?
Simply put, digital transformation (DX) is the integration of digital technology in all areas of a company’s operations. This leads to huge changes in its functioning and can also significantly affect customer satisfaction and product quality. Thanks to DX, new, innovative products and services are cropping up.
The effects of digital transformation can be seen at many levels of an organization’s functioning: the way employees work, how business processes work, and how to collect, analyze, and use data.
To understand what digital transformation is, you must know that it’s not simply the digitization of information. Digitization of information is of course an indispensable element of any digital transformation, but it is rather a means to an end. Full DX uses digital data, but the transformation process only begins with its use.
To undergo digital transformation, an organization is often forced to take radical steps and be ready for experiments and sometimes failures. Initially, it may seem that giving up known business processes is real madness, but it is madness induced by the times, where digital technologies are essential.
You have to remember that your customers already know what digital transformation is. They are already in that era. They use new technologies on a daily basis, which for them are actually not “new” anymore. They are a well-known part of everyday life. That is why what a company that stopped developing in the era of analog offers them rightly seems outdated. So it’s time to take a step forward inspired by successful digital transformation examples.
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Why are businesses experiencing a digital transformation?
Currently, new technological solutions are appearing on the market at a rapid pace. This may be referred to as the “second wave of digital transformation”. Robotics, machine learning, Big Data and artificial intelligence are becoming more and more common. According to Gartner, thirty-seven percent of companies have implemented AI in some form, translating to a 270% increase over the last four years.
And the artificial intelligence market is still growing. Customers are accustomed to bots and AI mechanisms that provide, among others, recommendations on services such as Netflix or Spotify. Not surprisingly, 31% of companies plan to increase the share of artificial intelligence in their business.
The same applies to robotics. Over the next decade, this market is forecast to grow by 175%. According to forecasts, in 2020, 20,000 bots will come into use, and the entire value of the robotics market will rise to one billion dollars.
To understand why businesses are experiencing a digital transformation, it’s important to note that, thanks to DX, companies have the opportunity to optimize operating costs as well as increase process efficiency. This leads not only to lower operating costs but also better customer service, production planning and supply chain management.
Additionally, Big Data gives companies access to huge amounts of information from various sources, which increases their ability to predict the market situation. This allows them to better meet customers needs.
As many digital transformations examples show, DX is not so much the future as the present. For a company to remain competitive, it must go through this process. Otherwise it will lag behind the competition, which is continuously improving.
Successful digital transformation examples
The Swedish furniture company is one of the digital transformation examples showing how DX can change a traditional organization. Thanks to new technologies, IKEA is changing the shopping experience of its customers for the better and optimizing its costs in the process.
In 2017, the company acquired TaskRabbit. This is a website that lets you search for people to help with the assembly or delivering furniture purchased at IKEA to your apartment. Thanks to this, customers who can’t manage these tasks on their own are more likely to use the services of the company.
In addition, IKEA has decided to implement a smart home project. For the furniture industry tycoon this includes intelligent kitchen equipment and lighting. The company also uses Augmented Reality in the IKEA Place application to make it easier for customers to choose furniture and virtually “furnish” the apartment before making purchases in the store.
Another example of the digital transformation of IKEA is the Space10 project, which is a research center and exhibition center. It was there that the company presented the concept of autonomous cars as a residential and entertainment space. However, IKEA does not plan to produce cars alone, it only creates concepts for their interior.
The first of the digital transformation examples at LEGO was the 1997 entry into the video game market. Since then, games have become an important element of brand promotion affecting the sale of their blocks. The games are largely free, which further increases the promotional effect of the products.
LEGO is also exploring 3D printing options. While most companies are afraid of this technology because it allows customers to create products themselves, LEGO has filed a patent application for this type of printing. All this to enable your clients to use innovative solutions.
The company has also created a website collecting customer ideas for block sets. If the idea gains a lot of support, the company will consider launching the kit. Certainly this will stimulate the creativity of brand fans and instill customer loyalty at the same time.
The LEGO toys themselves are also becoming more modern. Blocks are sometimes equipped with advanced solutions such as sensors. The company is also trying to combine the world of games and physical blocks by launching a project based on the sets created in virtual play. All you need to do is just take a picture of them to start the game.
NIKE, a giant in the sports footwear industry, has started focusing on mobile devices. It uses advanced technologies based on recommendation algorithms and machine learning.
The company has created, among others, a mobile application that helps choose the best type of shoe based on a leg scan. By scanning the feet, the application creates a map of them based on 13 data points. What’s more, thanks to the application, the company attains vital information for creating better footwear projects in the future.
An important project of the company is the NIKE + program, which rewards the most active loyalty program members. In Japan, where the solution was implemented, it led to a significant increase in sales. The NIKE SNKRS application was also successful, where the distinguished shoes recorded a 100% increase in sales.
NIKE’s digital transformation shows that innovation can also lead to modernizing internal company operations. By digitizing 6,000 footwear materials, company design teams can work faster and more efficiently. This directly affects the speed of response to market needs.
It would seem that Disney World parks are the most “analogue” entertainment. Unexpectedly, however, the brand has become one of the excellent digital transformation examples and greatly improved visitor experience.
The MagicBand has been implemented in the parks, which lets parkgoers make payments, manage reservations and access their hotel rooms. In turn, each guest is identified with MyMagic+ straps, which provides them with individual experiences. The system works by displaying personalized interactive screens in the park.
Another example of digital transformation at Disney is the Disney+ streaming platform, which has also proved to be a great success as of late. Previously, the brand licensed its content, including Netflix, but finally decided to sell its content itself.
Thanks to this, platform users ( 10 million on the day of the launch!) have access to the latest productions of Pixar, Marvel and the Star Wars saga. The library also contains many other productions, making it tough competition for Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO GO. It’s the most successful Disney digital product.
Microsoft is another prime among digital transformation examples described in this article. This software sales leader has so far based its power on the Windows operating system sold in BOX and OEM versions, as well as Microsoft Office traditionally installed. However, the company decided to respond to changes in customer needs without basing its strategy only on Windows.
First of all, Microsoft opened up to mobile devices, providing, for example, Office for iPad. In addition, the company has invested in cloud computing by establishing cooperation with e.g. Dropbox and developing its OneDrive service. Microsoft has also partnered with Red Hat, an open source software company, and Amazon.
The introduction of more open APIs is also important, so that programmers can more easily access Microsoft software. The company also bought products such as Minecraft, LinkedIn and GitHub. All this opens new doors to market needs of the digital era.
It seems that it is difficult to find a more “analog” industry than the automotive industry. And yet AUDI has decided to enter the digital world with its new services, and became one of the most successful digital transformations examples.
In 2012, the company introduced an innovative showroom concept under the name Audi City. It gets users acquainted with the entire catalog of the brand’s car models in micro-showrooms in city centers, where traditional showrooms with many exhibited cars could not exist.
These spaces allow you to discover and buy cars while wandering around the city center stores, making the experience enjoyable and accessible. In addition, Audi City is a place where discussion forums and exhibitions take place in the evenings, which further improves the positioning the brand.
In stores, advanced car configuration is possible using interactive screens on which the car is visible in full size. You can use your own tablets and also look inside the car or even observe its movement and hear the real sound of the engine.
Thanks to these solutions in Audi City, where there are only 4 cars permanently exhibited (savings for the company!), sales increased by 60% compared to traditional showrooms.
Ready for your own digital transformation?
Considering the above digital transformation examples, it’s clear that a successful transformation is not only possible, but also profitable. Of course it requires, first and foremost, a good sense of market needs, creativity and a systematic approach when implementing new solutions.
However, if we meet these conditions, we can count on greater customer satisfaction, improved brand positioning and, last but not least, an increase in sales. That means it’s absolutely essential for companies to take the leap into the realm of digital transformation. It’s time for digital!
We hope you found these digital transformation examples interesting. If the examples of apps that helped transform these companies inspired you to consider taking similar steps, contact us, and we will prepare a solution for you!
This article is a part of Handbook:Leading a Software Development Team: Guidebook for CTOs and Team Leaders
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