What is Digital Transformation?

Ever since the beginning of time, mankind has always looked for means to survive and evolve – from different hunting techniques to the quickest way of choosing which meat you’d like to purchase online. For millions of years, humans have had revolutionary ideas that evolved into something more.  

The Industrial Revolution is a great example: when everyone was used to threading at home, someone stepped in to evolve and start threads in a machine instead. In the Britain of the mid-18th century, the textile industry and the steam engine were the steppingstone for an agrarian method to be replaced with machinery.   

Once people were familiar with this part of production, it was time to evolve into something more again – the Second Industrial Revolution invested in steel, oil and electricity. Aside from transportation, human interaction was also surprisingly improved thanks to advancements with electricity. The Third Revolution came in the 1980s, when electronics and computers began to gain traction, and the Internet changed communication forever.  

It is believed that we are currently living through the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the period where technology allowed us to evolve even more with automation, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, 3D technology, and so on. It is a Revolution where machinery is not simply advancing even more – but where virtual reality emerges with the physical world, changing every single aspect of individuals’ lives. 

It is important to understand the potential of this Fourth Industrial Revolution technology – including automation and algorithms to create high quality jobs that add value for customers; and improve job quality and productivity of employees. As has been the case with previous revolutions, the augmentation of existing jobs with technology creates entirely new value-added new tasks, opening up an entirely new range of work. 

 

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation integrates technology more deeply into business workflow than ever before, adding value for all users to increase such value for end-customers. It forces companies to change their culture so they can keep up with rapid changes or market demands without fearing failure. 

A company may start its digital transformation journey for a number of reasons – either because customer experience must be improved, or because productivity must increase, or profits must elevate. Or it might be simply because society is changing, and such changes require people to act fast. 

Image by OMI

 

The COVID-19 Pandemic

Digital Transformation has been accelerated by COVID-19. 

Since the pandemic started, it was only a matter of time before people’s lives changed in every aspect – and it was no different for companies, regardless of their size. Such event sped up the digital transformation process – and, consequently, the fourth industrial revolution.  

The pandemic pushed into the agendas of enterprises a wider customer support through chat boxes, much more automation tools, remote schedules, and good work rather than perfect work – instead of focusing on producing perfect results, employees had to stop and content themselves with what is simply good and not waste time with little details. As a result, employee experience jumped to first in the queue, leaving customer experience in second – if employees were to adapt to a new routine thanks to lockdowns, they naturally can only provide customers with decent services once they get used to the new work environment first. If employees are happy, then customers are happy and, consequently, a company can thrive. 

One major change, however, was creating an even more inclusive range of services online. With so many available tools already digitalized, it did not seem clear that we were capable of automating services even more. However, thanks to the lockdowns the pandemic caused, the majority of businesses and customer interactions are digital in nature. Experimenting with digital technologies gave companies a chance to innovate in their fields and advance in the market, allowing them to speed up on top and become successful.   

These new implementations and technology adoptions were studied in the long-term, and businesses do not intend to go back to the old ways – now that changes were invested in, companies are doing much better, since moving to virtual models allowed bottlenecks to be solved. Remote work and cloud migration showed themselves to be more effective and efficient, and allowed companies to spend time and investment on artificial intelligence and data security, which improves business overall.  

Such changes in company culture and foundation also allowed for the creation of new roles that were required for the digital transformation of these companies.  

The Emerging Roles of Digital Transformation

Image by UX Guerrilla

With organizations rapidly putting into practice the technological changes accelerated by the pandemic amid the Industrial Revolution phase we are currently witnessing, Digital Transformation requires roles that accommodate how these companies will be portrayed in the digital world.  

For that, a digital transformation team needs to be assembled. Either with new experts or existing professionals, training and education need to be available to all – technology is always changing and evolving, and an enterprise and its people need to change with it. 

Among the many roles, some are:  

Customer Experience Experts 
Thinking about customers is one of the most important things for a business. Having experts in customer experience makes a company’s digital transformation successful for the fact that those people can analyze how the company and the customer interact with one another. With this data, they can work and test with front-end engineers, and the operations and data teams to break silos and ensure customers have a great experience overall.  


Brand Strategists 

Tagging along with the customer experience team, brand strategists are essential for the digital transformation of a company thanks to the critical role marketing plays in any business. With good branding, a business can not only transmit confidence and consistency for old customers but also attract new ones.  


System Integrators 

This team deals with the design and development of applications, linking different systems to make sure they are working well together. The best fields fit for this role is information technology, mass media, or computer networking.  


Automation Director 

Automation is one aspect of the Industrial Revolution that was sped up by the pandemic thanks to the working-from-home philosophy. The duty of a director of automation role – or a Head of Automation, or Director of Process Automation, or Director of Robotics – is to ensure projects get successfully completed, and then automated. Sometimes, the less is better. 

Data Scientists and Architects 
Storing data is not only important, but also essential for any company to run its business well. Data contains information on customers, employees, company documents, agreements, or projects. Data scientists will study all these elements for the sake of Digital Transformation; and data architects maintain all of it – all the data is designed, centralized and protected thanks to them. This role, in particular, has become crucial, as everything is turning digital.  

 DataOps Engineer 
The DataOps Engineer takes care of data analytics deployment for data scientists to do their development. The engineers test and monitor data, and increase productivity through automation, making full use of Agile and DevOps practices.  

Cloud Specialists 
Many companies, as a part of DevOps, have moved physical data into the cloud. Now, data in itself has the teams that deal with it. But where a data is stored exactly also has a team of its own – Cloud Specialists. Data is stored in the cloud and, therefore, the cloud needs to be protected, with its infrastructure working well. Migrating applications to the cloud is a very critical step for the digital transformation of a company. 

Once on its Digital Transformation journey, a company that acts boldly and with an Agile mindset will perform best. An organization can decide to be the best one to do business with, and go after the necessary changes to improve business – select the best staff, automate, make use of Agile and DevOps, and so on. 

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At iTechtions, we help companies achieve this goal: we partner with our clients to help them achieve their Digital Transformation journey by providing them with coaching and advisory on Agile practices and microservices architectures through a DevOps-related mentality.

Assisting enterprises throughout their Digital Transformation is what we are proud of – and what we do best.

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