21 Examples of digital transformation

By Diego Salinas Gardón

9th January, 2023

The modern-day business landscape is changing faster than ever as organizations strive to stay competitive by building new software products and digital experiences. 

Digital transformation has become a must—it’s no longer enough for companies and brands to simply " keep up" with the industry. Instead, it requires actively embracing the latest and greatest growth opportunities through inventive digitalization strategies. 

Having a deep understanding of new trends and tools can have an immense impact on success overall. That's why we wanted to take this opportunity to share examples of how companies are using digital transformation as they position themselves ahead of their competition. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain what digital transformation is and show you some examples of digital transformation that you can take note of to disrupt your business niche.

    Table of contents

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What is digital transformation? 

Digital transformation has become a buzzword in technology, but what does it actually mean? 

Simply put, digital transformation refers to using digital technologies to change how businesses operate and deliver increased customer value. 

It involves the integration of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing to create or modify products, services, processes, and business models. 

This fundamentally changes how the business operates and delivers value to customers.

Its goal is to enable organizations to better serve customers by delivering high-quality experiences tailored to their needs. Organizations can improve their performance and remain competitive by embracing digital technology. 

Why does digital transformation matter? 

Understanding digital transformation is essential to survive the foggy digital landscape because you need to identify opportunities for your organization to leverage new technologies and processes to stay ahead of the competition. 

By implementing digital transformation, you can help your organization increase its agility and responsiveness to better meet customer needs and preferences. Additionally, transforming your core business processes enables organizations to leverage data more effectively to make better decisions faster. 

However, a simple approach to transformation is not enough for organizations charting the tumultuous, ever-evolving waters of today's digital landscape –one characterized by rapid shifts in market conditions and customer expectations. 

Remember that digital transformation isn't just about major overhauls; it requires constantly reassessing your organization’s competitive position so you can make strategic decisions with confidence – no matter what comes next. 

Instead, companies must take steps toward establishing an agile foundation that will enable them to adapt quickly and effectively as new opportunities or challenges arise. 

The five pillars of digital transformation

The five pillars discussed below—technology leverage, data analytics, agile methodology, people-first approach, and security & compliance—are essential components for any successful digital transformation strategy for CTOs looking to stay ahead in today’s digitally connected world. 

Investing time into each one equally will help ensure your organization is ready for whatever challenges come its way. That comes with providing value back to customers through improved services or products created using advanced technologies. 

Pillar 1: Technology leverage 

The first pillar of digital transformation is technology leverage. This entails leveraging existing technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to create new services or products that provide better customer experiences and access to data.

For companies, this means having a good understanding of these technologies and what they can do for their business. 

Pillar 2: Data analytics 

Data analytics is a key component of digital transformation. By leveraging data from multiple sources, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences that can be used to inform decision-making processes.

You should be familiar with various data analysis techniques, such as predictive analytics and A/B testing, to make informed decisions about your organization's direction.   

Pillar 3: Agile methodology 

Agile methodology is an important part of any successful digital transformation strategy. This involves breaking up projects into smaller components completed in short sprint cycles.

Organizations can stay competitive in today's rapidly changing marketplace by continuously testing, refining, and iterating on ideas quickly. Companies and brands must have an understanding of agile methodology so they can lead their team toward success.  

Pillar 4: People-first approach 

The fourth pillar of digital transformation is a people-first approach. This means putting employees at the center of every decision you make when implementing new technologies or strategies—not just thinking about how those decisions will impact customers or shareholders first.

A people-first approach also involves creating an environment where employees feel supported and valued, so they do their best work possible.  

Pillar 5: Security and compliance 

Finally, security and compliance are essential aspects of any digital transformation strategy for any business operating within certain industries (particularly those regulated by governments).

Companies and brands must remain vigilant to ensure that all systems are kept secure and compliant with applicable laws to protect customers’ data and minimize risk exposure for the organization itself.  

How can organizations implement digital transformation successfully? 

Digital transformation is changing businesses in many ways. It enables companies to automate processes, optimize resources, and make better decisions. It is also changing how companies engage with customers by providing new channels for communication and interaction, such as social media and mobile apps.

Implementing digital transformation successfully requires understanding the process's technology and business aspects.

Organizations must clearly understand how it will benefit them before beginning implementation. Additionally, organizations must set up cross-functional teams that include technical and non-technical staff to ensure that all aspects of the process are considered. 

Finally, organizations need to invest in training employees on new tools and technologies to take full advantage of cus initiatives.    

As digital trailblazers such as Amazon and Netflix disrupted their markets, they embraced the power of technology to do more than survive.

They used tech-powered models like eCommerce and electronic delivery to innovate their operations from supply chain management down to feature development — all to enhance the customer experience through features like in-context reviews or personalization.

This gave them a leg up over opponents who had no choice but to evolve quickly into advanced capabilities or face extinction. 

In today's world, customers expect nothing less than speedy business transactions that can be accomplished digitally without compromise, regardless of context –meeting these expectations has become paramount for any company wanting to succeed in its respective market. 

Key drivers behind the emergence of digital transformation

There are several key drivers behind the emergence of digital transformation. These include:

  • The proliferation of digital technologies: The rapid development and adoption of digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing have made it possible for businesses to fundamentally change the way they operate.

  • The rise of eCommerce: The growth of e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay has created new opportunities for businesses to reach customers online and has changed how we shop.

  • The increasing importance of customer experience: As consumers become savvier and have more options available, customer experience has become a key differentiator for businesses. Digital technologies have enabled companies to deliver personalized, seamless experiences to their customers and engage with them in real time.

  • The need for businesses to stay competitive: In today's fast-paced, global economy, businesses must quickly adapt to changing market conditions and customer needs. Digital transformation enables companies to be more agile and responsive and take advantage of new opportunities.

Top 21 examples of digital transformation 

Commerce

The rise of e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba, and eBay has completely revolutionized our shopping. These platforms have made it easier for consumers to find and purchase products online, and for businesses to reach a global market.

Some examples include:

1. Walmart

Walmart created a better shopping experience for their customers. They developed a digital supply network (DSN) to track items in real-time and analyze sales data quickly. Additionally, they created a global satellite system linking sales data to their supplier network. All in all, it allows customers and suppliers to be confident that their item(s) would not get lost. 

2. Amazon

Amazon has disrupted the market in many key ways over the years, but most notable is its focus on personalization. Customers can join their loyalty program, amazon prime, through a subscription-based model. This allows them to receive faster shipping, discounts, and access to prime member-only shows and movies. For Amazon, it allows them to increase their audience base and revenue. 

3. eBay

Consumers and sellers alike will find it easy to navigate eBay. The company puts AI into practice to personalize consumer search results, insights, and recommendations and provide sellers with cutting-edge AI tools. As a result, customers can find what they are looking for quickly and sellers can find customers, no matter their popularity. 

Online banking 

Digital technologies have also transformed the banking industry with the emergence of online banking platforms and mobile banking apps. These platforms have enabled customers to manage their finances and conduct transactions anywhere, anytime.

Some examples include:

4. Lending Club

LendingClub is one of the most popular online destinations for peer-to-peer (P2P) personal loans. By leveraging their technology, they can match borrowers to sellers efficiently. Plus, they have made key collaborations to continually transform. Their collaboration with Citigroup, a global investment banking company, gave their team vital IT knowledge and their company more customers. 

Ride-sharing 

The rise of ride-sharing platforms such as Uber and Lyft has disrupted the traditional taxi industry, making it easier for people to get around and providing a new source of income for drivers.

Some examples include:

5. Uber

After its conception in 2009, Uber rapidly grew in popularity for one major reason: connection. They leveraged IoT to connect drivers to consumers faster than any Taxi service. Anyone looking for a ride can contact a driver whenever and wherever, not only when a taxi is around. This provided jobs for drivers and ease for consumers.  

6. Ziphawk

Ziphawk has focused on enhancing the value of ride-sharing. They made it safer by making drivers undergo background checks and install dashcam monitoring systems. Riders can then feel assured during their trip. Further, Ziphawk offers a flat-rate service so both customers and drivers can be confident in what they’ll receive or pay no matter how busy the time.  

Social media 

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have transformed how we communicate and share information. These platforms have enabled businesses to reach and engage with customers in real-time, and have also created new opportunities for influencer marketing. 

Some examples include:

7. TikTok

Kantar has ranked TikTok consistently as the #1 global social media platform for ad equity. The main reason, arguably, is that TikTok makes ads stand out. They use an agile methodology, helping them stay ahead of trends and continually bring people together. Creators, as well, can partner with businesses to reach and maintain the attention of new customers. 

8. Meta

In many ways, Meta has transformed social media marketing. Their marketplace and their ads have consistently allowed businesses to grow their audience. In fact, , Meta reported that 2.08 billion people are reached through ads on facebook. Beyond that, Meta disrupts the market by continually growing through their people-first business model. They designed their HQ to be an open space where employees can catch-up, chat, and innovate for the next generation.

Online education

The growth of online education platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, and edX has made it possible for people to access high-quality education from anywhere in the world. These platforms have also enabled educators to reach a global audience and have helped to democratize education.

Some examples include:

9. edX

EdX has taken collaboration by its reins to stand out in the online education market. Tech Company 2U recently acquired them. With 2Us’s financial capital, expertise, and support, they can grow edX to reach more students than recently possible. Along with edX’s assets in Harvard and MIT made lessons, they can help thousands of students access education. 

Telemedicine 

Digital technologies have also transformed the healthcare industry. With the emergence of telemedicine platforms, patients can consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals remotely. This has made it easier for people to access medical care, particularly in rural or underserved areas.

Some examples include:

10. Zocdoc

Zocdoc is a popular telehealth app that has revolutionized how patients can interact with their providers. They offer a secure and confidential way of finding doctors in emergencies, scheduling visits, and keeping track of their checkups. During the pandemic, Zocdoc tracked the market to release online video visit functionalities to their services. This, alongside cable TV ads, has allowed them to grow rapidly in popularity. 

Virtual and augmented reality 

Virtual and augmented reality technologies can potentially transform a wide range of industries, from gaming and entertainment to education and training. These technologies have already been used to create immersive experiences that were previously unimaginable.

Some examples include:

11. Pokemon Go

Developed in partnership between Niantic and Nintendo, Pokémon Go took the mobile game world by storm in 2016. Creating an immersive AR experience where players can become Pokémon trainers in real life transformed both mobile games and Pokémon ones. It built a unique game that, unsurprisingly, became very popular very quickly. 

12. Applied VR

AppliedVR is taking VR technology to uncharted territory. They are utilizing it to create a digital therapeutic device, EaseVRx, to decrease the user’s back pain. VR experiences they’ve curated include programs teaching relaxation skills, healthy movement, and more. Recently, their technology has been approved by the FDA

13. Google Maps

Google Maps has consistently been a favored application for finding directions or just map-surfing. Currently, though, they have gone the extra step to introduce AR technology to their directions. Users can now see AR directions and place markers in indoor spaces. This makes it easier for users to navigate new or complex environments like airports, malls, and transit stations. 

Blockchain

The blockchain is a decentralized, distributed database that has the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct business and transfer value. It has already been used to create new types of digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, and has the potential to disrupt industries such as finance, supply chain management, and more.

Some examples include:

14. IBM

IBM’s blockchain platform innovated supply management. It has been the foundation for many global supply chain management concepts. They’ve continued this momentum by releasing Cloud Pak, which contains several pre-integrated tools and services. One of these, Cloud Pak for Applications, allows users to use blockchain tools to have consistency and visibility in cloud environments. 

15. Rakuten

Cash-back financial service and Japanese e-commerce site Rakuten is leveraging the blockchain on a brand new front. They are building their own cryptocurrency. This will allow Rakuten to streamline its customers' global transactions, making it more organized and easier for customers long-term.

16. Visa

Visa disrupted the B2B blockchain payments world by leveraging its security. They built a platform for bank-to-bank transactions on the blockchain, making processing payments faster than ever. On each layer of its architecture, Visa added their high-security standards to ensure their users’ peace of mind. 

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the connection of everyday objects to the internet, allowing them to send and receive data. This has the potential to transform industries such as manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare by enabling the automation of processes and the optimization of resources.

Some examples include:

17. ZEISS

ZEISS, a manufacturing equipment company, wanted to provide B2B customers with product performance updates. They did so by developing an IoT product called Kinetic that continuously collects equipment data and keeps their customers’ updated. Since then, they have significantly increased their customer loyalty. 

18. Ford

Ford wanted to prepare itself and their customers for the future. After acquiring the tech startup Automatic, they focused on making a cloud-based IoT platform to connect cars, traffic lights, and more. Ford is evolving how drivers can stay safe on the road. 

Artificial intelligence (AI)

AI technologies can potentially transform many industries, from customer service and marketing to healthcare and finance. AI has already been used to create chatbots, personal assistants, and other tools that can automate tasks and make better decisions than humans.

Some examples include:

19. Lemonade

Insurance company lemonade is transforming data analytics through AI. By deploying an AI system, they were able to reduce administrative costs and fraudulent claims along with collecting over 20 times more data than other insurance companies. For customers, this creates a streamlined, blazingly fast experience. 

20. Booking.com

Booking.com is one of the leading travel marketplaces globally and for a good reason. They use AI to make their users’ experience seamless. With it, booking.com can roughly predict a users’ vacation destinations. That allows them to recommend the best hotels and deals for that user. 

DevOps 

By bringing development and operations together collaboratively, organizations can set themselves up for continued success. This unified approach includes continuous delivery and integration, infrastructure as code, compliance automation, and automated testing –to name a few. Organizations can unlock their full potential and maximize results while achieving breakthroughs in product innovation through modern tooling and processes combined with strong collaboration between Development and Operations teams. 

Some examples include:

21. Target

In 2015, Target needed a change to stay ahead of its competitors. Their strategy: a DevOps mindset. By leveraging a person-first mindset, they created a DevOps team featuring business, operations, technology, and product experts to develop innovative ideas. This team transformed their fresh food merchandise, increasing sales and Target back in the game. 

Bottomline

digital transformation is a fundamental shift in how businesses operate and deliver value to customers, enabled by the proliferation of digital technologies.

It is changing the way companies engage with customers, automate processes, and stay competitive in today's fast-paced global economy. We’re excited to see how digital transformation will continue to shape the future of business.

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