- 88% of companies report they are undergoing digital transformation (source: Altimeter Group)
- 85% of enterprise decision-makers say they have a time frame of two years to make significant inroads into digital transformation or they will suffer financially and fall behind their competitors (source: PWC)
- 25% of companies have a clear understanding of new and underperforming digital touchpoints (source: Altimeter Group)
In other words, many companies report they are undergoing digital transformation even though most don’t know how to go about it.
Digital transformation is profound change in business activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage customers at every touchpoint in the customer experience.
Successful digital transformation achieve these results:
- CUSTOMER: Harness customer networks and reinvent the path to purchase in line with their real behaviors
- COMPETITION: Rethink the competition and build platforms that deliver competitive advantage
- DATA: Turn data into assets that prove results in real time
- INNOVATION: Innovate by rapid experimentation
- VALUE: Judge change by how digital transformation helps create the next business
Since digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight, it also doesn’t hurt to show short-term wins along the way.
Need some examples? Here are 11 inspiring case studies of digital transformation.
- AMAZON BUSINESS: Served as an example of ‘digital customer’ expectations transitioning to the B2B world. Features include: free two-day shipping on orders of $49 or more, exclusive price discounts, hundreds of millions of products, purchasing system integration, tax-exempt purchasing for qualified customers, shared payment methods, order approval workflows, and enhanced order reporting among others. Amazon Business launched in April 2015, with over 250 million products and a more holistic marketplace for B2B companies.
- AUDI: Changed the way in which companies sell vehicles, with the introduction of an innovative showroom concept launched in 2012 named Audi City. Audi City provided a unique brand experience and allows visitors to explore the entire catalogue of Audi’s model range hands-on in stores located in city centers, where large showrooms are not a possibility. At Audi City London sales went up 60% from the traditional Audi showroom that previously occupied the site. Moreover, they only stock four cars, reducing the cost of having to hold a large volume of stock that often does not match a customer’s criteria.
- FORD: Was structured, in early 2006, as a loose confederacy of regional business centers and IT silos. From 2006 on, they moved forward with clear goals: simplifying the company’s product line, focusing in on quantitative data and quality vehicles, and unifying the company as a whole. On the IT front, Ford slashed the budget by a massive 30 percent. Their goal, however, was not to reduce expenses, but to take resources that were tied up in maintaining fragmented and complex legacy systems and free them for use in expansion and innovation. It was all of these measures together that gave Ford the agility and capital to invest in ground-breaking projects such as the much-lauded Ford SYNC and MyFord Touch.
- GENERAL ELECTRIC: GE’s Digital Wind Farm is an adaptable wind energy ecosystem that pairs turbines with the digital infrastructure for the wind energy industry. GE’s previous solution, Wind PowerUp technology, had already been installed in 4,000 units, and improved turbine efficiency by up to 5%, which translates to up to a 20% improvement in profitability for each turbine; the new Digital Wind Farm technology promised 20% efficiency improvements, which could help generate up to an estimated $50 billion of value for the energy industry.
- GLASSDOOR: Covered more than 450,000+ companies in over 190 countries and territories. More than 3,000 companies pay to use the company’s branding and recruiting tools (55,000+ free employer accounts). Glassdoor used its data for labor market research in the US; a portfolio of Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” companies outperformed the S&P 500 by 84.2%, while a similar portfolio of Glassdoor’s “Best Places to Work” outperformed the overall market by 115.6%.
- LEGO: After a period of expansion (1970-1991) LEGO suffered a steady decline (1992-2004) and by 2004 LEGO was close to bankruptcy. Reaching a tipping point, LEGO started restructuring and digital transformation focused on new revenue sources coming from movies, mobile games, and mobile applications. LEGO achieved an EBITDA margin of 37.1% in 2014, an increase of 15% since 2007. In 2014, the first LEGO movie achieved revenues of approximately $468 million with a production budget of only $60 million.
- MCCORMICK & COMPANY: Launched FlavorPrint, an online flavor recommendation tool that visually represents consumer’s tastes. Consumers start with a 20 question quiz about eating habits and food likes and dislikes. FlavorPrint takes this data and generates personalized suggestions about recipes using algorithms. It has been dubbed “the Netflix for food” for its ability to suggest recipes based on individual’s tastes. FlavorPrint has been such a success that McCormick spun off into its own technology company called Vivanda.
- MCDONALD’S: Recognized a massive shift in consumer behavior. For example, in 2015, McDonald’s began installing kiosks where customers can quickly customize their hamburgers. One of their more recent undertakings was for the 2015 Super Bowl football championship. McDonald’s used social media to give away products related to the commercials they aired throughout the game. It was important for McDonald’s to have the ability to respond immediately to consumers and actively monitor social media trends in real time. The effort was a success and drew over 1.2 million retweets including high-profile celebrities such as Taylor Swift.
- NETSPRESSO: Had the desire with its digital transformation to win new customers, gain a deeper understanding of its customers, and manage complex buying processes. But it was guided by the company’s clear goal: To provide customer’s with the perfect coffee experience. Netspresso’s initiatives are supported by a modern customer engagement solution based in the cloud, complete with network capability. Its cloud solution serves as an innovation platform with a full-fledged sales solution capable of handling the entire buying cycle: pricing, quotes, and orders. Nespresso’s digital initiatives have proven fruitful. Benefits include greater penetration into new markets, higher sales and user adoption, better sales productivity, and better visibility across the entire engagement cycle.
- STARBUCKS: COO Kevin Johnson perhaps sums it up best: “Where others are attempting to build a mobile app, Starbucks has built an end-to-end consumer platform anchored around loyalty.” The company’s main innovation is their Mobile Order and Pay app. This is fundamentally a customer-first strategy, as it addresses the basic wants of the consumer: convenience, line avoidance, and so forth. Coupled with their extensive loyalty program, the app gives Starbucks the perfect venue to up-sell and market to consumers. Furthermore, the app funnels back massive amounts of user data to the company, allowing them to better understand their customers’ habits and desires.
- UNDER ARMOUR: Wanted to become much more than an athletic apparel company when they introduced “connected fitness”—a platform to track, analyze, and share personal health data right to customers’ phones. This new application provides a stream of information to UA that enables them to immediately identify fitness and health trends. For example, Under Armour, which is based in Baltimore, was able to immediately recognize a walking trend that started in Australia. This allowed them to deploy localized marketing and distribution efforts way before their competitors knew what was happening.
Does this help explain digital transformation to you? Do these case studies relate to your business? Does your business need help with a digital transformation roadmap?