You’ve probably seen or heard people screaming in excitement about digital transformation. It’s definitely the buzzword for the decade. Another contender for the top spot is custom software for automation. What is the difference between automation and manual labor?

Digital Transformation or Automation: Is there a Difference?
Although the terms “automation”, “digital transformation”, are often interchangeable, they can have different meanings. Automation is the application of technology to automate processes, increasing efficiency and transparency as well as reporting capabilities. Automation is a tool to achieve a goal, and digital transformation is the desired outcome. Gartner states that digital transformation is not just about making existing processes more efficient but also creating or unlocking new value to customers. Businesses are adopting digital transformation to keep up with customer expectations. This view of digital transform is somewhat narrow. It excludes benefits that aren’t directly beneficial to the customer. For example, it doesn’t consider how digital transformation can transform company culture and give employees more job satisfaction. They can focus on interesting projects instead of repetitive administrative tasks.

So what is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation refers to the use of technology to transform your business in order to address eg evolving new mobile app trends to create new revenue streams, business models, and avoid disruption. Digital transformation is more than just moving all data to the cloud or adopting various digital processes. George Westerman, the author of Leading Digital, Turning Technology Into Business Transformation says that digital transformation does not require a single IT project. Digital transformation is a combination of many projects that transform all aspects of an organization into digital-first. Let’s take a look at how this could work:

Upgrade your underlying technology (renovating and replacing legacy systems).
Change the way you service your customers (mobile or via multiple channels).
Automation can increase efficiency and productivity.
Integration with a custom software development company to provide better customer experiences.
Digital transformation means using all digital tools available to you – including data analytics and automation – in order to transform the way your business operates and makes decisions.

This means fostering an innovation culture and constantly improving your offerings and business model in order to provide the best product for your company and your industry. Digital transformation should be proactive, not reactive. It is about businesses taking control of their industry and not just responding to disruption. Companies like Uber and Netflix are often cited as the leaders in digital transformation. They used the technology and data they had to disrupt their industries and reimagined their products to address customer needs that customers didn’t know existed. You need to be able to do the same in your industry, even on a smaller scale. Data analytics can help you get a pulse on your customers and organization.

By Robert Smith

John Smith: John, a former software engineer, shares his insights on software development, programming languages, and coding best practices.