Digital transformation: How to innovate your company with new technology  

By Hans Lambert Pedersen

Digital innovation is an integral part of running a successful business. But what does it take to digitally transform without taking unnecessary risks?

As digitalisation continues to dominate the business environment, the pressure for brands and organisations to digitally upgrade products, services, and communications continues to rise.

But unfortunately for businesses, digital transformation is not available in the form of a magical metamorphosis button you can just press.

If your business requires a complete digital overhaul across operations, services, and products, then a careful strategy, industry-specific approach, and consumer-centric execution are paramount. 

Sounds like a lot, right?

Read on to understand the risks and why companies fail before you can establish an effective plan to achieve a successful, if not seamless digital transformation for your company.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation (DX) refers to digital technology invention, integration and innovation across businesses and wider society. 

In a push for modernisation, companies and organisations hope to digitise products, information, and services to bring more efficiency and cost-effectiveness to their operations while enhancing the overall user experience (UX).

And with high demand comes immense supply, as experts predict the global market value for digital transformation will reach a staggering $3.739 billion by 2030.

Further reports show digital transformations focusing on customer experience (CX) generate a 20-30% increase in customer satisfaction alongside economic gains of 20-50%.

With this in mind, it’s clear from a business sense why 70% of companies have a digital transformation strategy or are currently developing one.  

But as an overarching idea, digital transformation is extremely broad. We can’t begin to discuss all the technicities, levels, and examples across numerous industries in one blog. 

So, as digital product specialists, we have laid out a general scope of what it takes to achieve digital transformation. 

But before we begin, let’s discover when, how and why it all started. 

When did digital transformation start?

In what’s fast becoming a digitally dominated world, the origins of digital transformation go back to the 1960-70s. Yes, way before any smartphone or SaaS platform existed! 

These recordings on a “mainstream” scale were first applied in business with computer-aided design (CAD) within manufacturing.

Technology has developed exponentially ever since, and through this phenomenon, the need for brands to adapt and become more agile to ageing processes continues to advance. 

Why digital transformation is important

Digital transformation isn’t just a buzzword. It’s now considered an essential process for businesses and society. On-demand services and personalised UX solutions are no longer “the exception”, but the rule.

Consumers now expect sophisticated digital solutions and are much more willing to engage with brands that meet these expectations.

In principle, the more technology can improve our lives, the more our human instincts gravitate towards that gratification.

As our intrinsic human nature to progress continues to drive us forward, our incentive to “evolve” feels natural. And the same works for businesses. Because as time passes, processes become old and require innovation.

How to do digital transformation

Now for the big question, how do we implement digital transformation successfully?

Like any technological movement synonymous with a full-scale cultural phenomenon, there are bound to be intricate levels, requirements, and formalities to consider.

Firstly, your digital/technological situation and what transformation is to your business will likely differ from the next.

Whether you need to replace or modify existing processes or update your legacy software systems with further features and capabilities determines your approach. Essentially, having this greater sense of awareness is the first step in the process.

In other words, before your business evolves into the latest digital version of itself, it needs to be able to visualise that version with the utmost confidence.

To do this, you need to focus on the core three main stages of digital transformation development:

1. Initial ideas and the creation strategy

It doesn’t matter what stage you find yourself on the digital transformation journey, a strategy is a necessity. Your planning for a smooth digital transformation should begin with an overview of the following points:

  • Understand market expectations and consumer needs.
  • Conduct user research with data that supports your insights. 
  • Establish KPIs that determine a successful digital transformation.
  • Map out your digital architecture to serve your transformation goals.

This initial stage is essential to ascertain the correct purpose and gather the necessary tools and resources to achieve your digital transformation goals.

2. The transformation evaluation

It’s integral to accurately evaluate your transformation processes to stay on track. During your development, consider the following points:

  • Ensure you monitor your progress towards digital transformation based on your initial goals established in stage one.
  • Address potential new problems from additional features during the development.
  • Is the project still financially feasible and does it guarantee sustainability for your business?  

It’s at this point where issues can emerge if you grow complacent or steer away from your initial goals. Problems such as feature creep and “Shiny object syndrome” can bloat your progress and cloud your vision towards transformation success.

3. Implementing the transformation

After swerving software bloat scenarios while still adopting an agile mentality to adopt necessary features, it’s time to execute the project.

The three phases for a successful implementation stage include:

  • Making sure the digital architecture is aligned with the overall transformation structure and function.
  • Executing the transformation by using a UX object model, feature map and navigation structure. 
  • Building wireframes and an overall design system during the design phase of the transformation.

A crucial thing to recognise with digital transformation is that implementation is ongoing. See it more as constantly transforming rather than undergoing one final transformation after another. 

Therefore, it’s critical to develop versatile “legacy software” that is simple to upgrade and agile to adapt.

Speak to a digital transformation specialist

Digital transformation is no cakewalk. We’ve only just scratched the surface in this article. But hopefully, this piece has given you a flavour of what’s required to evolve your business and create a forward-thinking, meaningful outcome. 

At Stoked, we endeavour to improve the everyday lives of people. That’s it. We do this with digital product design and continuous analysis of the market.

In combining user research, front-end development, product design, and strategic management across a dedicated and passionate team of experts, we work collaboratively with multiple businesses to help them deliver smooth and simple digital transformations. 

For more information about how our skills and expertise can help transform your company, get in touch.