How digital transformation helps businesses

In the emerging hyper-competitive age of commerce, The modern business owner is in an arms race – it truly is a case of “sink or swim”. When chosen carefully and implemented well, digital technologies represent the ultimate competitive advantage, allowing organisations to work faster and smarter than ever before.

Business directors with an eye on the future are now looking to digitally transform by finding, implementing and optimising technology across their organisation. Due to the rate of technological change we are experiencing, it’s more than likely that you’ve already started your digital transformation journey, whether you meant to or not.

In this guide, we reveal how digital transformation helps businesses and talk about the finer points of how to digitally transform your business with strategic and effective implementation.

What is digital transformation?

As the name suggests, digital transformation is the process of using digital technology to transform every aspect of your business. If this feels like a broad definition to you, you’d be right – digital transformation covers everything from setting up an online credit card payment gateway or physical EFTPOS machine to generating deep insights with business intelligence software.

The aims of digital transformation are many and varied and will depend on the goals and circumstances of your business. When implemented correctly, digital transformation can deliver greater operational efficiency and organisational agility, enhance your products, services and customer experience and unlock unprecedented growth.

For your digital efforts to be truly transformational, you need to bring the right mindset. Digital transformation is an opportunity to reimagine how your business operates from the ground up. From switching to cloud computing, to implementing AI, to redesigning your supply chain based on data-driven insights, nothing should be off the table.

Digital transformation can be divided into two main categories:

  • Digitisation: Translating analogue information into digital data.
  • Digitalisation: Implementing digital technologies into your business.

Both digitisation and digitalisation are critical to the success of any digital transformation effort. Digitisation generally represents the first step and once all analogue information has been converted to digital, digitalisation is used to capitalise on that data.

Six benefits of digital transformation

When managed well, undertaking a digital transformation can deliver a wealth of benefits to a business and its customers, workers, leaders and shareholders. 

Here’s how digital transformation helps businesses get ahead:

1. Efficiency

By automating many of the most laborious and time-consuming tasks and by minimising human error and enhancing productivity, digital transformation can lead to exponential increases in efficiency. Simply switching from on-premise to SaaS (cloud-based ‘software as a service’) solutions can minimise maintenance and downtime while allowing team members to collaborate from anywhere around the world.

2. Cost savings

The efficiency gains described above can lead to significant cost savings, driven by enhanced operational efficiency, resource utilisation, decision-making and supply chain optimisation. It can also greatly reduce overheads, such as using cloud computing and SaaS solutions rather than on-premise infrastructure, which must be purchased, powered and maintained.

3. Meeting customer expectations

Customer expectations have evolved a lot in recent years and this evolution shows no sign of slowing. Businesses must now provide a seamless experience across a number of digital channels: website chatbots, ecommerce functionality, an engaging social media presence and potentially even a proprietary app.

4. A competitive advantage

Between business intelligence, machine learning and other AI-associated technologies, businesses can make use of big data to generate deep insights – the type that can reveal risks and issues that you didn’t realise you had and opportunities that your competitors don’t yet know about.

5. Agility and adaptability

By capturing and analysing large amounts of information, digitally transformed businesses are able to make better decisions faster. This makes them far more agile and adaptable, able to react to changes and understand trends before slower competitors.

6. Enhanced security

An often overlooked benefit of digital transformation is that it can greatly enhance your cybersecurity, as it enables your business to implement security measures like encryption, network segmentation and multi-factor authentication. With cybercrime expected to skyrocket in the coming years, minimising your exposure to cyberattacks has never been more important.

The role of digital transformation in…

Driving customer experience

To understand how digital transformation is driving customer experience, consider remarketing – a term for the process in which people are shown ads for products that they have previously looked at online. It’s something that you probably take for granted, but this level of marketing personalisation would’ve been unthinkable just a few short decades ago.

There are a wealth of other ways for digital technologies to drive the customer experience: instant answers from chatbots or through social media; omni-channel experiences across websites, socials, app and in-store; product and service enhancements based on data-driven insights; and the convenience of self-serve and user-friendly interfaces.

Unlocking data insights

In the age of big data, your business has a functionally infinite amount of information at its disposal. Digital technologies such as AI or data analytics software and personnel can analyse all these zeroes and ones to find patterns and draw out insights that help you to make better decisions.

Growing at scale

Digital transformation grants businesses the ability to effectively and efficiently scale their operations. Cloud-based SaaS solutions, for example, can be upgraded by simply clicking a button – the business doesn’t need to purchase or maintain any hardware to gain access to more data storage or computing power.

Team collaboration

By using virtual collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams and Zoom, your team can work seamlessly together no matter where they might be situated. The reduced importance of physical location means your business can employ the very best people from across the world and can expand into new markets far more efficiently and effectively.


While going digital will naturally increase your exposure to cyberattacks, as mentioned above it also offers a wealth of ways to minimise and mitigate the risks, such as encryption, multifactor authentication, behavioural analytics and AI-driven threat detection.

How AI is transforming business

Artificial intelligence is fast becoming the most talked about aspect of any business’s digital transformation.

You’ve probably heard a lot about how AI is transforming the future of digital marketing through generative conversational tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard. But perhaps more important to digital transformation are the AI-powered business intelligence tools that are capable of analysing mountains of data and generating insights that help business leaders make better decisions.

AI-powered predictive analytics, for example, can forecast things like demand, market trends and customer behaviour – insights that are invaluable in guiding strategic decisions. And by crunching operational data, a business intelligence tool can outline endless ways in which systems and processes could be streamlined.

Chatbots that enhance the customer experience, proactive cybersecurity systems, supply chain, product and service improvements; AI now touches every aspect of your digital transformation efforts and the earlier you integrate AI into your organisation, the greater the gains will be.

How to digitally transform your business

Now that we’ve gained an understanding of the whats and the whys, it’s time to look at how to digitally transform your business.

First, a disclaimer: every digital transformation is different. Yours will reflect the realities of your business, your goals, your budget and your technological literacy. But in broad strokes, the most successful digital transformations generally adhere to the following formula:

  1. Define your goals: What do you hope to get out of your digital transformation? Your goals will be your guiding light and all efforts will focus on driving your business towards them. Consider your priorities, be they operational efficiency, enhancing the customer experience, expanding your reach or something else.
  2. Obtain buy-in: Digital transformation is a company-wide effort, so every member of your team, from leaders to lower-level workers, needs to be dedicated to the effort. Educate your team on the whats and whys and ensure the C-Suite is comfortable allocating the necessary resources.

  3. Evaluate your situation: Intentionally or not, your digital transformation is probably already underway. Assess your current use of tech to identify key areas for improvement and to understand the challenges you might face.

  4. Develop a strategy: With the help of an expert digital partner, create a holistic digital transformation strategy that will drive you toward your stated goals. The road map should include milestones, timelines and KPIs.
  5. Invest in tech: Start implementing your strategy by investing in the necessary tech – cloud computing, AI, IoT, data analytics, cybersecurity, digital collaboration tools – and in the training required to use it.

  6. Get agile: Implement your digital transformation technology and processes using the agile methodology – attack it in manageable chunks, continuously seeking feedback and making adjustments.

  7. Measure, analyse, iterate: Keep a constant eye on your KPIs to ensure you are making good progress. Use the feedback from those KPIs to iteratively refine your digital transformation strategies, processes and technologies.

  8. Celebrate your wins: Keep your team updated on the progress of your digital transformation and the benefits that your efforts are driving. By encouraging your employees to be actively engaged in the process, you get them more invested in the outcomes, which increases your likelihood of success.

Growth Partners: The digital growth and transformation experts

At Growth Partners we have built a reputation for helping businesses grow by solving real-world business problems with targeted data analysis, strategic marketing thinking and best-in-class digital implementation.

As proven experts in our field of digital growth, we’ve spent years helping growth-focused businesses answer the questions “What is digital transformation in marketing?” and “how can I digitally transform my business?”. We use a complete suite of strategies and technologies to transform your online presence and gear your business for growth, ensuring your business is able to capitalise on the opportunities at hand.

To achieve the results we’re known for, we’ve developed DigitalArchitect – a proprietary system that uses deep data to highlight online expansion opportunities and determine the strength of your business case for digital marketing investment, laying the foundation for continuous, sustainable growth.

Ready to look at how best to transform your business to drive future demand? Contact us today to kickstart your growth journey.


Jack Papworth

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