Digital transformation vs. business transformation: Both are critical to brands’ success

Evolution is key to any brand’s success, especially in a fast-paced world where technology and opportunities are constantly changing. Standing apart from competitors requires continual evaluation, pivoting, and growth.

But what does it really mean to transform? Is a digital transformation the same as a business transformation? And if not, when it comes to digital transformation vs. business transformation, which is more important?

The short answer is that digital transformation is one component of a broader business transformation – but each have their own nuances that are important for brands to embrace.

Business transformation typically describes large-scale company goals: for example, becoming an agile enterprise, building muscle as a serial acquirer, growing into a global partner, or being truly customer-centric. Business transformation implies a large-scale shift in how a company operates; it involves changes in mindset, structures, incentives, habits, core capabilities, processes, and technology.

Digital transformation, on the other hand, can be part of a broader business transformation but can also be a stand-alone initiative within a company’s existing framework. Digital transformation focuses specifically on what companies can do to become more digitally enabled and typically includes activities like:

Still, it’s difficult to focus solely on one type of transformation these days. Digital transformation inherently involves technology, but it also entails critical elements of business transformation.

Alignment is important

When it comes to digital transformation vs. business transformation, the greatest digital technology in the world won’t help a company if it’s not integrated well into the broader business operations. After all, adding digital channels to an already-poor customer experience will just result in more bad experiences.

Businesses looking to transform in some way typically have two main motivations: there’s a strategic business challenge they want to overcome, like going direct to consumer or increasing market share; or they’re under pressure to reduce the cost to acquire or cost to serve, and their current technology options are too limiting.

Too often, companies make the mistake of not aligning the strategic and the tactical goals, or they lack alignment between the business and IT. Working with an experienced business and digital transformation partner like TTEC Digital can help.

Digital transformation often starts within a company’s IT group, since it’s most familiar with the technology needs. But TTEC guides clients through an important part of the process, ensuring any digital transformation is holistic, synchronised with the business and customer strategy, and will work within the company’s culture and organization.

At TTEC, our goal is to drive alignment and impact as fast as possible, but we’re also interested in the long-term efficacy of solutions. Businesses that are going to invest time and money into digital transformation should do all they can to ensure it will succeed and accomplish the broader interest of the business.

Rethink old habits

It can be tempting for companies embarking on digital transformation to rely on traditional metrics when evaluating its success – but they shouldn’t. It doesn’t make sense to evaluate new technology or processes by older standards.

Brands shouldn’t measure the efficacy of chatbots, for instance, the same way they would associates. Bots and associates may both be important parts of a CX strategy, but they represent very different channels and shouldn’t be judged the same way.

When assessing results – and beyond – digital transformation and business transformation both require new ways of thinking, which can be challenging at first. It’s not enough to have the right technology, or even the right people and processes; brands need to embrace a new way of thinking and have a solid framework for moving forward.

Working with an experienced partner can help brands break out of their traditional mindset and realize what innovation is possible. Once companies take a comprehensive look at how transformation will alter all aspects of their business – customer experience, employee experience, operations, process and bottom lines – they’re truly ready to embark on meaningful transformation.

If you are pursuing a digital-first customer experience transformation as part of a broader business initiative or business transformation and would like to talk with a transformation expert, connect with us here.