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What is digital transformation?

Read Time
3 mins
Filed Under
Last updated
May 8th, 2019
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There are many places on the internet that will tell you what digital transformation is. However, there are surprisingly few places that can tell you what it means. In this blog, we’ll take a look at why that is.

First, let’s establish a base definition. From there, we can explore what digital transformation looks like for different businesses. Spoiler alert: it’s always a little bit different.

What is the definition of digital transformation?

Essentially, digital transformation is a process that includes the adoption of digital technology and the conversion of older, manual systems to newer, computerized ones. Digital transformation is about augmenting existing methods with new technologies and automated processes. It’s about replacing, redefining, or disrupting traditional approaches.

The end result is an organization that operates more quickly, more efficiently, and with fewer errors. Moreover, digital systems tend to be more convenient both for the organization and, when applicable, the clients or end users.

However, that’s a rather broad definition, and it doesn’t speak to what digital transformation means for a business.

What digital transformation means for businesses

Digital transformation means something different for every organization. For one, it might mean the process of converting old paper archives into digital ones. For another, it could mean developing a self-service portal for clients. For yet another, digital transformation might mean developing an in-house AI solution to improve service. Often, it will include many such initiatives in tandem.

The point is that each organization has different needs. Those needs are met through different digital transformation strategies.

Digital transformation means more than IT

There is a fundamental issue with common definitions of digital transformation. The issue is that people get caught up in thinking that the word “digital” implies that it’s a concern for IT departments only. That’s simply not the case.

Digital transformation of a business has as much to do with the departments outside of IT as it does in IT itself. The technology for digital transformation begins in IT, but the culture of it extends throughout—and beyond—the entire organization.

For example, converting paper archives to digital ones might be an important step. However, it requires the buy-in of everyone who uses or references those archives. End-to-end workflow automation could facilitate immense gains in productivity, but if the people controlling those workflows cling stubbornly to manual processes, the transformation won’t be effective. If a company develops an AI solution to improve their service, but no clients use or appreciate it, then can the company claim success in digital transformation?

Digital transformation can’t be the sole responsibility of IT departments. It calls for organization-wide support. It should consider short- and long-term strategy, goals, stakeholders, board members, employees—really any entity or concept that’s important to the function of the business.

Although there are different departments in any given business, they’re all part of the same team. As the role of technology grows, interplay and overlap between IT and other departments increases with it.

The traditional purview of IT may have looked like this:


However, the new model of IT looks increasingly like this:


While digital transformation might center on IT processes, those processes extend throughout and affect every part of a company.

Where OpCon fits into digital transformation

There’s one key part of digital transformation that we have yet to discuss: automation. Put simply, to achieve digital transformation, you must automate repetitive tasks and processes wherever possible. Without a robust automation strategy, it’s virtually impossible for an organization to operate with the efficiency required of a digital-age enterprise.

OpCon workload automation, powered by SMA Technologies, is built for digital transformation. Our workflow automation experts at SMA Technologies are knowledgeable and flexible, which allows us to tailor digital transformation strategies to fit each organization’s unique requirements.

Our automation platform, OpCon, is similarly adaptable. If agility, opportunity for growth, and positive change are high on your list of needs, then OpCon is more than capable of keeping up. And, because OpCon is built with flexibility in mind, it doesn’t only tackle the challenges of today—it also provides the framework for the challenges of tomorrow.

How to achieve digital transformation

Each organization’s path to digital transformation is different. That makes it difficult for one-size-fits-all solutions to adequately address a given business’s pain points and concerns. That’s why we’ve engineered OpCon for simplicity and flexibility. But moreover, we understand that achieving transformative automation still requires human expertise. We’ll work with you to understand your needs, and then we’ll provide an intuitive, efficient, custom workload automation experience for your entire organization.

In this article

The technology for digital transformation begins in IT, but the culture of it extends throughout—and beyond—the entire organization.

Customer success story: Reale ITES


Customer success story: RDW


Customer success story: Noridian Insurance


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