“Digital transformation” is more than the incorporation of digital technology throughout a business. Digital transformation is more than just a buzzword; it is rather a decisive strategy to optimize the business for the digital future.During the time of the pandemic, businesses all over the world shifted to digital with unprecedented speed. While this transition was hastened out of necessity, the convenience and flexibility that came with it have created a new set of customer expectations.
As we are into 2023, successful businesses now know that the only way to meet these expectations is by adopting a customer-centric mindset. The best way to place customers at the centre of everything is through digital transformation.
What is Digital Transformation?
Let’s start by looking at the definition of digital transformation.
It is a basic transformation of all your business strategies and models onto a digital platform. It means fully incorporating digital concepts into all levels of your business rather than just embedding some tools or a platform to reach out to customers. One of the brief and to the point definitions of digital transformation is from Greg Verdino. His definition is as follow
“Digital transformation closes the gap between what digital customers already expect and what analogue businesses actually deliver.”
What is the future of digital transformation and its future trends?
Digital Transformation means a procedure to integrate digital tools and technologies in all business sectors to alter the traditional methods in which organizations operate and to provide the end customers with a better experience.It is a type of cultural change that companies go through on a regular basis that challenges traditional operational norms while comfortably adopting the changes. The coronavirus pandemic has forced the world to adopt digital transformation, plans, tools, and technologies to keep businesses moving. Though this integration of digital plans in the traditional operations of the business seems successful, it still requires changes and improvements. One of the most important trends in digital transformation is the performance of industrial and business operations from the remotest areas or locations of their employees.
Remote operations were already available with the organizations before the pandemic, but the strict health guidelines for employees turned this concept into a reality. The future of digital transformation includes aspects such as improving remote operations, making employee well-being a priority for organizations, and so on.The pandemic proved to be a nightmare for several business houses, and on the other hand, the crisis also accelerated the widespread adoption of technology among organizations.This integration of technology into traditional business structures gives rise to certain trends that drive the future of digital transformation.
Future Trends in Digital Transformation
5G becoming the reality
Prioritization of Cyber security
Transformation to Digital Banking
Growth of the Multi-cloud system
Impacts of Digital Transformation after COVID-19
Many studies have mentioned that India has half a billion internet subscribers. According to McKinsey & Co., India is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing markets for digital consumers. Throughout the length and breadth of India, digital transformation can be seen everywhere and every day across all socio-economic and geographical classifications.
Again, according to McKinsey 2018, key statistics include 12.3 billion app downloads, 354 million smartphone users, and 300 million social media users. This expansion has been fueled in recent years, both during and after COVID-we get a sense of digital transformation.
It is not that India jumped into the field of digital mode after COVID; it all started under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first and crucial step towards “Making India Digital.” The main aim was to connect rural areas with the internet to make them literate so they could understand the developments that were happening in the sectors of their interest. Being a developing nation and with roughly 70% of its population residing in rural areas, it is slightly difficult to make them understand the concept of digital transformation and its impacts. India is developing in different aspects, like using the internet, but making them use it in the right direction to help them increase their productivity and add value to the economic front and make them financially independent and strong are the main challenges ahead.
COVID-19: A Blessing in Disguise
COVID-19 has devastated the world economy by bringing all activities, economic or social, to a standstill. For the first time, there was a multi-sectoral impact on the economic activities of countries bogged down by a virus.
All manufacturing and related service sectors-hospitality, tours and travel, healthcare, retail, banks, hotels, and so on-have severely harmed the overall economy. This economic stress has grown rapidly because of the lockdown and social distancing that have caused productivity loss; both factors have also caused a sharp decline in demand for goods and services by consumers within the market, thereby resulting in a collapse in economic activity.
The bitter burden of economy by this pandemic was a push towards a rapid digital transformation across business models. This paradigm shift was the need of the hour to make closer ties with customer during this changing world of business.
How we transformed from a street economy to a screen economy?
The important pillars of the economy-banking and payments-are among the core areas that have seen a serious uptick in digital offerings and adoption. The banking industry was not a stranger to digital transformation, but the pandemic has significantly hastened the adoption of digital technologies. While the banking industry is not a stranger to digital transformation, the pandemic has significantly accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, with far-reaching implications for the banking sector and the larger financial ecosystem in the longer term.
Indian FinTechs and digital payment service providers have played a significant role in offering a good range of user-friendly solutions that support advanced technologies and deploy innovative business models. Growing internet, mobile, low-cost data plans and therefore the shift from offline to online shopping channels also are giving a fillip to the adoption of digital technologies.
Further, the time of the pandemic has spurred the adoption of contactless digital payments, and there has been a flood in digital payment volumes across almost all online stores, be they grocery stores, small shops, online pharmacies, vegetable and fruit vendors, recharges, bill payments, or among OTT (telecom and media) and EdTech players.
In these hard times when everyone is in stress this digital infrastructure that took times to grow proved to be one of the promising tool, makes payment easier, safe and secure while allowing the consumers to take care of physical distancing.
Now we are entering a new sphere of powerful Fourth Industrial Revolution where technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) are being inserted into the space around us at a proliferating rate. This race of adopting digital transformation from traditional platform byorganisations and countries boost growth and competitiveness, we are at a critical juncture in putting these technologies to work responsibly for people and the planet.
The way in which these technological advancements adopted during recent years, 90 percent of the world’s data has been created; Artificial Intelligence can now detect more than 50 eye diseases better than a doctor; the first fully electric aircraft completed a successful Virgin voyage; and 5G is no longer a potential future, but a reality in many countries.
Indian consumers have adopted digital transformation whole heartedly and now its Indian business houses turn to follow suit.
With over 500 million internet users, our country is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for digital consumers, but business adoption is uneven. As digital capabilities improve and connectivity becomes more ubiquitous, technology is poised to rapidly and dramatically alter nearly every sector of India’s economy.
This is likely to have a significant economic impact as well as change the nature of work for millions of Indians.
When the world imposed sanctions on Russia’s various digital platforms, we realised the significance of India’s Self Reliant India initiative. The in-house developed Rupay card and UPI system is gaining traction, but it needs to be globalised.
It is estimated that videos, social networking, and gaming account for roughly 80% of all Internet traffic. Global data traffic is expected to increase from 230 exabytes in 2020 to 780 exabytes by 2026. The digital advertising and marketing market is expected to reach $780 billion by 2026.
NitiAayog CEO Amitabh Kant asserted that leveraging Digital India for digital transformation to drive the manufacturing sector on the back of AI, cloud computing, IoT, blockchains, and robotics can generate $1 trillion in economic value from the digital economy by 2025, up from
$200 billion currently. The digital global economy, which was worth 11.5 trillion dollars in 2016, could now be worth 15 trillion dollars.
Now it is a right time to capitalize on this global market opportunity, especially since the world has a more favorable attitude toward India than China. No doubt that the government is putting in extra effort, evidence to this is rise in mobile manufacturing and other electronic devices, the spread of internet network to rural areas, and strong software growth, looking at the local and global market in the coming years, the governments, as well as industries, should together put their energy to capture the local and global market. Start-ups, Unicorns, and companies focusing on R&D should be given top priority.
(The author is Assistant Professor GLDM Degree College Hiranagar)