Digital presents new opportunities for organizations. Companies can quickly enter the marketplace and cause disruption that other organizations struggle to keep up with. Digital transformation has changed the way your business interacts and influences your customers, how you position your brand against your competitors and promote new products and services.
Businesses that fail to embrace digital transformation leave themselves open to falling to the competition. Investing in digital initiatives helps your business improve its operational efficiency and improve growth, but it’s not always clear what that looks like in practice.
According to research from IDC, digital transformation accounts for over 40% of all it spending and is expected to top $2 trillion by the end of 2022. These digital transformations cover all types of adoption from cybersecurity to artificial intelligence and automation. This leads to higher earnings for firms and better gross margins. All digital transformations aim to make businesses more efficient by expanding their digital capabilities and the goal of this activity is to increase revenue growth. Today’s IT leaders must remain on the cutting edge if they want any hope of remaining competitive and viable in their industry.
According to Harvard Business School, businesses who fail to adopt digital technologies post an average 3-year gross margin of 37%, while the leading digital adopters post an average 55% gain. This is true of digital companies, as well, and affects all business models.
To help you see why you should be making digital transformation of priority in your organization, take a look at these eight examples of brands that are driving growth and profit as a result of digital transformation.
Top 8 Digital Transformation Success Stories
Armstrong World Industries
In 2015, CIO Dawn Kerchner-King began Armstrong’s digital transformation. Her efforts made the company more transparent so shareholders were able to see how their money was being spent. She was able to streamline business operations and divert the savings to transformative technologies including cybersecurity and data analytics.
Kerchner-King says one of the main reasons Armstrong’s digital transformation has been so successful was it smooth to address its financial applications. By investing in ERP, completely overhauling their website, migrating management of travel and creating customer relationship management sweets to expand its reach, they have been able to make adjustments to move from an order-taking center into a business that meets customer’s needs.
One of the most important parts of the increased financial transparency was how the digital transformation was able to improve accounts payable operations and find money-saving opportunities.
As one of the world’s best-known fast-food chains, the Italy division of McDonald’s sought to optimize their procurement process and move to manage all of their supplier relationships across the entire supply chain online from selecting their vendors to contract negotiation.
They decided to use an online portal to facilitate collaboration and communication between themselves and suppliers and to digitize all of their documentation. They’ve got about 400 suppliers registered through the portal to handle all of their food and promotional products as well as construction and renovations of new restaurants. The success of the switch to e-procurement to handle everything related to all Italian McDonald’s restaurants could be something that the corporation replicate worldwide.
“PLANERGY makes it easy to streamline procurement and AP workflows to improve operational performance and drive growth.”
Domino’s has led the way for digital transformation in the pizza delivery market. With its anywhere platform, their customers can place orders in a variety of ways other than the main website. Thanks to their Innovation, customers can text emojis or send a tweet to place an order for their favorite pizza. It’s possible to place orders from nearly any computing device, even smartwatches. Domino’s eCommerce platform could easily be considered the best in the business and they have accomplished their digital transformation in less than 5 years.
Among the first companies to take advantage of the internet of things (IOT) in their business strategy, they are one of the most successful digital transformations we have seen. Competitors like Little Caesar’s have developed mobile apps and the pizza portal in an effort to compete despite the fact that the chain has never offered pizza delivery.
Hasbro is one of the world’s most iconic toymakers, with Monopoly, Nerf, My Little Pony, and Play-Doh among their of their leading brands. The company realized they had been focusing on children and its advertising rather than the people who actually buy the products.
By leveraging segments of their available customer data, Hasbro was able to tailor and transform its advertising efforts to meet their target consumer’s needs. They use social media to run targeted ads while focusing on multiple channels to expand their reach. With an ad tech platform, Hasbro is now driving sales by advertising products at the end of the customer journey on retailer sites. This strategy targets parents with relevant products when they are buying for their child, which is a strategy that is proving highly effective.
Increasing their ad spend 11x grew sales by up to $1 billion, hitting $5 billion in 2016 for the first time in its 93-year history.
Subway’s CIO Carman Wenkoff knows how important digital transformation is to the success of any business. Because he doesn’t have expertise in the area, his plan is to hire specialists to help put the company on the right path.
Though he plans to take his time and meeting his digital transformation goals, the company is currently recruiting for about 150 positions to help reach their strategic goals. The new employees will overhaul the mobile app and redesign store layouts for the future by adding self-service kiosks and additional capabilities in the process.
By speeding up the sandwich ordering process, he hopes to improve the customer experience and continue to compete with other fast-food brands that are offering new technologies like self-service kiosks and robust mobile-ordering options such as Taco Bell and McDonald’s.
Capital One is a wonderful example of a credit card and banking business that has used the latest technology to reinvent itself. The banking giant was the first one to welcome Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant into its voice-activated financial transaction system. Its mobile banking app was among the first of such apps to support Apple’s Touch ID biometric software. The company CIO Rob Alexander says technology is “ going to play a central role” and its future banking services.
Capital One is just as good at building great software as it is providing banking services. Another sign the Capital One is striving to provide the best customer experience is the opening of what it calls, “Capital One Cafes”, which are, “Inviting spaces where you can get help from ambassadors, sign up for workshops are free money coaching sessions, or kick back with a cup of coffee and free Wi-Fi”
Mark Schwartz became the CIO of the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in 2010. Pay immediately started working on the agency’s digital transformation. He divided the task into three strategies. First, he wanted to digitize all of the paper forms and paper-based processes the agency dealt with. Reports show that if the total amount of paper that the agency received each day was stacked on top of each other, its height would be almost double that of the Statue of Liberty. He also wanted to transform the department’s approach into any more customer-centric model and wanted to centralize digital applications.
And an interview Schwartz credited the transformation with a model called FADs or Flexible Agile Development Services. With this model, the top-performing departments were allowed to collaborate and expand with others to expedite the digitization process. Swartz decided to go with a cloud platform first, which was another reason for the success of USCIS’s digital transformation. He pioneers the exclusive use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the agency’s IT systems.
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