Updated on by Kate Gordon
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of integrating digital technologies to transform a business or service, either by replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or by replacing older digital technology with newer digital solutions. As well as fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers, the process of digital transformation is also a cultural change, in that it requires businesses to challenge the status quo, explore the options open to them and to be comfortable with failure.
While digital transformation is a broad topic that means different things to different people, in essence it is about optimising IT systems to help achieve business goals. It should, of course, feed into the overarching business strategy too. In the context of this article we’ll look at how it drives business efficiency, and the role that low code tools have to play in digital transformation projects.
Why Digital Transformation is driving business efficiency
Businesses are under pressure to evolve with the rapid pace of digital change that is happening everywhere, so they must work to increase the efficiency of their business processes with technology wherever and however they can. That could be as simple as automating mundane and repeatable processes and transitioning to digital processes that result in greater operational efficiency.
As well as aiding efficiency through the automation of certain tasks and activities, digital solutions can also foster innovation and creativity, over and above that of simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.
Digital transformation drives business efficiency because there are a number of areas where it can bring about savings. Time management is one such area. Employees spend much of their working day answering emails and searching for information online, but digital transformation via tools that automatically sort and organise inboxes and internal information can potentially save huge amounts of time. Other digital features, such as collaboration tools like Slack, can also streamline the time it takes to collect data or answer work-related questions.
Customer experience and engagement is another area where digital transformation can bring about further efficiencies. It can create a more streamlined channel for customers to engage with a company, which will benefit sales, the customer experience and ultimately, improve customer loyalty. A good example of this is conversational commerce, which uses chatbots on websites.
We mentioned that digital transformation is also a cultural shift: not only can it help employees be more focused and engaged but it can also improve productivity: helping employees work smarter, be happier and improve their overall productivity.
How Low Code Tools are Powering Business Transformation
As we have explored in a previous post, low code and no code platforms provide a development environment which can create app software through graphical user interfaces and configuration. Removing the need for an experienced developer, low code enables the creation of applications using a visual ‘drag and drop’ user interface in combination with model-driven logic.
When looking to implement digital transformation projects, low code tools enable people in the business to define processes and action them, irrespective of their coding knowledge. Drag and drop programming makes them fast too – removing one of the biggest barriers to full digital transformation – because they use prebuilt libraries and functionality to accelerate development. They also tend to be more affordable than traditional development platforms, so they will be kinder to the overall digital transformation budget too.
Here are three ways in which low code programming can help digitally transform a business:
1. Improve the customer experience
Low code tools provide businesses with the ability to provide customers with faster and more personalised experiences. By using low-code data integration software, businesses can improve their data quality and the speed of data integration. This way, your company can base everything you do for your customers on data and analytics. It is the only way to ensure that you are giving clients exactly what they need and expect from your industry.
Low-code enables users to quickly scale and change applications to meet consumer demands.
2. Streamline business processes
Beyond customer experience, companies are aware of the need to transform their business and operating models to increase revenues. Low-code can help automate the most critical and complex processes, while built-in security features make it a reliable and secure solution for internal processes in industries that support critical infrastructures and maintain sensitive data assets.
Speed isn’t the only reason low-code brings new levels of productivity. It enables less-experienced users to collaborate on projects. This means that employees from every part of your business, whether IT, sales or management, can work together like never before.
3. Solve the mobile app problem
Many businesses struggle because the many apps and services within their network (which could easily be in the hundreds) have not been properly optimised for mobile and the requirements of mobile are always changing and it is difficult to keep up.
Low code is a great way to improve a company’s mobile capabilities because many are specifically geared towards mobile app development. And because most companies that offer low-code solutions are at the cutting edge of technology, they are often optimised for mobile.
Driving Business Efficiency Through Integration
As we have seen, digital transformation is a big undertaking but in today’s digital age, it’s a necessary next step. It is likely that your business is already using a vast array of technology on a day-to-day basis, some of which are required for critical daily tasks. Whether it’s mobile apps, CRM systems, ERP or security systems, IoT, enterprise SaaS applications or the cloud, different departments (R&D, HR, marketing and so on) will each be utilising different technologies to better understand customers, increase sales, improve loyalty, streamline business processes or engage employees. But at some point, all of these initiatives will require some level of IT integration with core IT systems.
Digital transformation is the key to being able to manage all these applications, as is understanding the data they generate in order to see real value and not fall behind competitors. Digital transformation breaks down the data silos and transforms an organisation and its operations through integration, creating a more efficient business in the process, while low code makes transformation a business-wide endeavour, one in which everyone can play a role if needs be.