What is Digital Transformation?

Everyone is talking about "Digital Transformation" but it isn't always easy to know what they are talking about. At Sapere, we focus on harnessing the value of data instead of simply making things digital.

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  1. #Tech
  2. #Insights
What is Digital Transformation?

Why digital transformation is such a innovative concept

Understanding the principles of digital transformation is vital for business.

Digital transformation is no longer optional – it's a requirement.

Put simply, transformation is about turning seemingly trivial pieces of data into valuable information that drives strong decision-making, innovation, and overall success. Today's digitally-driven companies – behemoths like Facebook and Google – know who we are, who we know, when we met, and what we're emailing about. However, their popularity and marketplace dominance stem from their ability to deliver the most customized and relevant products and services using this "basic" information.

Take Google's smart thermostat, for example. Knowing the current weather outside, the projected forecast, and your preferred indoor conditions Google knows when we need to cool our houses. Furthermore, it does so in a convenient and cost-efficient way, earning its "smart" badge.

Digital transformation, as illustrated by Google, is valuable and powerful. As the barriers and costs to collect, store, and analyze data have dropped, businesses of all sizes have been able to partake in this advanced data analysis, gaining insights using data they already own.

What does digital transformation mean for your business? While a retail company may benefit from knowing customers' return behaviors, a manufacturing plant may like to understand which markers indicate premature equipment failure. The real value of digital transformation, however, lies in what you do with that intel. Do you shorten the length of the return window? Change filters more regularly? While organizations' operations and goals widely vary, we can all agree that digital transformation is powerful and represents the opportunity for growth and optimization.

Digital transformation is no longer optional – it's a requirement.

A clear-cut example of digital transformation

A well-manicured lawn with sprinklers watering it.Digital transformation can apply to everything from improving lawn maintenance to changing the way modern businesses operate. At Sapere, transformation is what we do best and we work alongside our clients to accomplish this. We recognize the need for effective communication and alignment across the business – for both management and team members to invest in the change. We also recognize that behavioral changes are often necessary in order to achieve greater operational efficiency.

Consider a simple, daily life example: watering your lawn. Many households continue to use the "manual process" of inspecting the lawn for physical signs, such as a color change or dry appearance.

However, there are more complex, yet efficient, methods to conquer this task, such as:

  1. Set a reminder on your phone to water the lawn at specific times.
  2. Implement an automatic sprinkler system that is set to your schedule.
  3. Connect your sprinkler system to the internet so it will know not to water during periods of rain.
  4. Implement a sprinkler system with sensors that monitor lawn health. The system, then, processes the collected data to determine an algorithm for the best watering schedule.
  5. Gather and share lawn health information with your neighbors so you can collectively benefit from sensor data, algorithms, and watering history.

While all the above represent ways to optimize lawn care, the last two require significant changes. Not only is monetary investment necessary, but also your own personal investment. You need to invest in data collection and analysis, but more importantly, trust in your data-driven decisions.

Our definition of digital transformation

While there is no single definition of digital transformation, at Sapere, we consider ourselves well-versed in meaningful digital transformation. The following is a breakdown of our approach:

Meaningful digital transformation is…

  • Recognizing the value in your own data.
  • Investing in data collection, storage, and analysis.
  • Making data-driven decisions.
  • Implementing new tools and business practices and welcoming these positive changes.

Meaningful digital transformation is not…

  • Doing the same thing you've always done, but on a screen.
  • Implementing a single tool.
  • Following the lead of others in your industry.
  • Giving your valuable data to a third-party service and implementing their suggestions, without question.
Water flowing over a dam.

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