In my last post, I submitted my simple definition of digital transformation: “Digital transformation is the change to a digital-first approach that improves the experience of doing business for everyone.” I also promised to give some examples of digital transformation.
In doing so, I feel like it’s important for the examples to meet the criteria for my definition of true digital transformation:
- Transformation: Examples should showcase legacy, non-digital-native companies.
- Digital First: A pervasive mind shift within the organization.
- Everyone Wins: The results have to be good for everyone involved.
Let’s start with an organization in a sector you might least expect: municipal government.
Like almost every other government entity in the U.S., Cary, North Carolina was drowning in a sea of legacy applications with minimal integration and loads of technical debt.
CIO Nicole Raimundo’s answer was a digital-first, platform strategy. She chose Salesforce to replace dozens of legacy applications and workflows used for things like work orders, permits, and onboarding. “We’re looking at things more strategically, adding a focus on mobile, cloud systems and platforms,” Raimundo said.
With a platform approach, Raimundo was able to get some quick wins, and the town now has a more comprehensive look at residents and their needs.
“Instead of looking at a singular application for one department, it’s about creating a platform that goes across the town that everyone can interact with.” Because of Raimundo’s approach and digital-first thinking, the town now also has an open data portal and public wifi in town-owned facilities.
For her strategy and results, she was chosen the Public Sector CIO of the Year in 2016 by the North Carolina Technology Association.
The advantage for the town, not just its residents, is that with a proven, demonstrated digital-first approach, it becomes a stronger magnet for technology savvy organizations.
In terms of airlines thinking digital first, JetBlue is leading the way. You have them to thank for satellite-based in-air wifi, among other things.
CIO Eash Sundaram says that he sees technology as an enabler. He feels like if he can put the right technology into the hands of the right people, especially customers, then everyone can do more with less.
Eliminating friction points like passenger check-ins has become a priority for companies like Jet Blue and Delta, and Sundaram’s team is employing technologies like NFC (near field communications, the same radio technology that underpins mobile payment experiences like Apple Pay) to eliminate or streamline the check-in process.
Attendants will soon be armed with devices containing passenger info, like who in their travel party has diet restrictions, so that in-flight service can be more personalized.
JetBlue is so invested in digital innovation that Sundaram is also head of JetBlue’s venture arm, JetBlue Technology Ventures. He is one of a new breed of CIOs not simply responsible for digital, but also for innovation, and this is the very intersection at which digital transformation lives.
Dominion Due Diligence Group
And lastly, if you haven’t read our case study on D3G, it is a stellar example of digital transformation and what an organization in a traditionally non-digital business can do with a digital-first approach.
In short, D3G had been duct taping their entire project management process together with a legacy application, that was broken at best, and various offline workflows.
Through asking questions and listening, we uncovered several issues. First, the application didn’t provide a holistic view of their project delivery pipeline. It required a multitude of external systems – like email, spreadsheets, and more – to manage projects on a day-to-day basis. There were issues when multiple users tried to edit the same projects in the application. And it was also extremely slow for remote employees and didn’t allow mobile access.
Once we knew the pain points, it was clear that the company needed an answer that:
- Could scale easily
- Could be accessed remotely and on a mobile device, no matter the data size required
- Would be familiar and comfortable use
- Would combine its many systems into a single tool, and
- Would integrate with their sales and delivery pipelines.
By changing their thinking to digital first and partnering with us, they transformed their entire project management and bid management processes to digital, reducing wasted time, effort, duplicate work, and errors, and increasing productivity, efficiency, customer service, data collection, and profit margin.
Project Manager is now the digital platform that runs their entire business. You can read more about it here, or read the summary version here.
For more examples of digital transformation, check out these articles: