Small Business

What exactly is digital transformation?

You won’t travel far in the business world these days without encountering the term digital transformation. But what does it mean and why is it important?

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Put simply, digital transformation is using technology in a way that doesn’t just replicate a service in a digital form, but actually makes it into something better. Achieving this might involve a number of different technologies, the hot ones at the moment being artificial intelligence, cloud, Internet of Things and VoIP.

Big business

There’s no doubting the fact that digital transformation is a boom industry, with many executives believing that half their revenue is likely to come from digital by 2020. The objectives behind transformation projects include optimising operations and speeding up business change.

Digital transformation helps companies to become more agile and become less fixated on policy and procedure. Instead, they can use information to provide business insights. They can also adopt more flexible working practices such as home working or hot desking, facilitated by using technology from a wholesale VoIP termination provider such as to allow communication and other services to be available from anywhere.

Project elements

What does a digital transformation project include? It’s tempting to just tinker with existing processes and bolt on a bit of technology, but true digital transformation demands a more radical approach.


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True digital transformation needs to create something new. This might be improving customer service, or streamlining the business supply chain. It can also mean using data analysis to gain insights into the business and markets to spot the opportunity to launch new products or services.

In many instances transformation requires some creative thinking. This can be tough for business people to embrace and they may need some help turning radical new ideas into effective business processes.

Often legacy systems can be an obstacle to change too. As businesses shift their systems to the cloud digital transformation can become easier but this, in itself, shouldn’t be seen as an objective of transformation. Shifting to a different platform reflects business change, but is not necessarily transformational.

Another key factor is that digital transformation is an ongoing process. Companies rarely stand still, so processes need to be flexible enough to react to change. A digital transformation project doesn’t simply end after a couple of years, it’s a constant evolution.