The Fortune 500 list, which ranks the largest United States corporations by total revenue, was first published in 1955. Since then, thousands of companies have entered and exited the list. However, as of 2022, only 49 of the original companies remain on the list. These select few have demonstrated remarkable resilience by adapting to change and overcoming disruptions, economic crises, and other challenges throughout the years.
And recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for companies to adopt new technologies and implement new ways of doing business. In an increasingly competitive environment with growing customer expectations, there’s no time to waste.
Businesses worldwide must embrace digital transformation to remain competitive and innovative. Despite economic and supply chain obstacles, there are positive economic signs and opportunities for growth.
In this article, we’ll dive into the latest digital transformation trends and how they impact different areas of business. We’ll also showcase real-world examples of mid to large-size enterprises in different industries that have successfully navigated their own digital transformation journeys.
Why Enterprises Are Undergoing Digital Transformation
Enterprise digital transformation is driven by several factors, such as consumer demand for digital experiences, the need to remain competitive, and the breakneck speed of technological advancement.
Customers increasingly demand digital experiences. In the post-COVID-19 world, customers expect more functionality online than ever, and businesses must keep up to remain relevant and competitive. Yet keeping up with competitors isn’t enough – brands must exceed customer expectations and deliver a seamless digital experience that keeps them coming back.
The need for resilience also drives digital transformation. Thanks to COVID-19 and the possibility of future economic downturns, CEOs and executives understand that to survive, they must adapt quickly and remain agile in the face of changing circumstances.
The first wave of digital transformation enabled humans and businesses to use technology to find information and connect with each other. The second wave focuses on machines and data. Thanks to robotics, machine learning, and big data, devices now communicate and can even make predictions.
Examples of Digital Transformation in Strategic Business Areas
Digital transformation isn’t just about implementing the latest technology. It relies on the effective use of data and processes to drive meaningful outcomes that support marketing, sales enablement, and business operations.
Gartner estimates sales reps only have 5% of their customer’s time during the buying journey. To reach today’s customers effectively, businesses must change how their marketing approach. This requires adopting new processes and methods to promote products and services in a way that resonates with the target audience.
Email may be old technology, but it’s still an effective way to reach customers. By using email automation and segmentation technology, businesses can send relevant messages to their customers, which can then be tracked for effectiveness. The same applies to social media, which is increasingly used by companies to engage with customers in real-time.
Another example of marketing digital transformation is the use of data analytics to better understand customer behavior and preferences. This includes the use of website analytics tools to track customer behavior on a website, or the use of machine learning to predict which products customers are most likely to purchase.
The third aspect of marketing digital transformation improves the processes. In other words, it’s about using the data and tools available to achieve the desired marketing objective. This might mean personalizing messaging to specific customers, providing seamless and consistent experiences across all touchpoints, and supplying customers with personalized content. Of course, it’s important to measure the effectiveness of your marketing strategies in real-time, so you can adjust your approach as needed.
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Forrester’s research demonstrates that despite the growth of self-service digital commerce, 42% of B2B sales still involve sales reps.
With sales enablement tools, brands can optimize sales rep productivity, boost sales numbers and customer retention, and improve the entire sales department’s performance. This can be done with customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and sales enablement tools.
Another aspect of sales enablement is data – whether it’s customer data, product data, or any other data that sales reps can use during the sales process. Data allows for an improved understanding of the customer, more effective engagement, and a better informed purchaser.
Finally, it’s important to rethink the sales process itself. How do your customers like to purchase – through a quote, proposal, or via the storefront? What ordering or pricing structure makes the most sense for your users? Answering these questions will help you arrive at the best sales enablement approach for your needs.
A report by Accenture revealed that businesses that have future-proof operations saw a 2.8x boost in corporate profitability and 1.7x higher efficiency than at lower maturity levels. Updating your business operations can streamline processes, improve efficiency, and lower costs.
There are plenty of tools and technologies available to help you automate repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and save time and money. With everyone working more efficiently, teams can collaborate better and have a bigger impact on the company.
Another benefit of transformation is greater access to data. By having real-time data and analytics, businesses can make better decisions and capitalize on opportunities. They can optimize their supply chains and inventory, and manage their suppliers’ performance more effectively.
Lastly, revisiting your processes can help sales reps become more efficient and do more with less. For example, monitoring systems can reduce downtime and improve productivity by alerting team members when they need to take action. Ultimately, your business can maintain a competitive edge and sustain growth even in an uncertain future.
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Enterprise Digital Transformation Examples by Industry
Rather than completely overhauling their businesses from scratch, businesses need to take an approach that works for them to power their transformation efforts. Here are some inspiring digital transformation stories that explain how other organizations have leveraged technology to achieve their goals.
1. Digital transformation in aerospace
The digital transformation: PartsBase is at the forefront of serving the new breed of buyers who prefer ordering aircraft parts online. To excel in a traditionally offline industry, PartsBase required a digital platform to facilitate transactions and help organizations build relationships with all members of the value chain.
The result: By building a marketplace that streamlined both selling and purchasing for aerospace organizations, PartsBase is transforming the aviation supply chain and cementing its position as an industry- leader.
2. Digital transformation in automotive
The digital transformation: Trigano offers a range of services to its dealers, including logistics, finance, training, marketing, and other services, in addition to selling to both B2B and B2C customers. The company’s digital transformation was centered around the unification of business processes, using digital commerce. This approach helped Trigano expand its customer base and increase sales.
The result: Trigano accelerated its time to market by utilizing a single solution to power five websites, including three B2B and two B2C storefronts. The decision paid off – Trigano went to market quickly, increased productivity and visibility, and optimized costs.
3. Digital transformation in entertainment
The transformation: Disney created Disney+ as a formidable competitor to Netflix and Amazon Prime. Then they turned their attention to personalizing the park experience. The MagicBand, implemented at DisneyWorld properties, allows guests to make payments, manage reservations, and access their hotel rooms.
The result: MagicBands, MagicBand+, and MyMagic+ set new industry standards while unlocking new revenue sources for the company.
4. Digital transformation in chemical supply
The transformation: Azelis, which operates in more than 50 countries worldwide, launched web-based self-service systems that support the product discovery phase of purchasing for the personal care, food, and health sectors. These experiences are localized for language and currency to support their global client base. Azelis plans on expanding the platform to other territories and market sectors.
The result: Azelis’ new self-service experience addressed customer pain points, enabled customers to educate themselves, and gain personalized support from sales reps at any time they needed. The platform supports more than 90 portals and facilitates over 12,000 interactions each month.
5. Digital transformation in construction
The transformation: Turner has always been at the forefront of technology in a traditionally offline industry. In 2021, Turner signed a multi-year enterprise agreement with the San Francisco-based construction technology provider Versatile, to expand its AI-powered CraneView solution on Turner projects.
The result: CraneView allowed Turner to discover the best way to install rebar, which cut down cycle time by 30%. The new data-driven processes cut installation time by 50% for every 600 feet of structure.
6. Digital transformation in distribution
The transformation: MSC slashed the number of branch office locations and replaced them with virtual customer care hubs. In the 2010s, the company integrated its smartphone system, enabling customer care associates to connect with each other and customers across the country, not just at branch locations. This made MSC more agile and better equipped to adapt to change.
The result: Today, MSC does more than 60% of its nearly $4 billion in annual sales through eCommerce. This has not only benefited customers but also enabled MSC to address mission-critical challenges on the plant floor.
7. Digital transformation in food service
The transformation: Back in 1996, Domino’s established an online presence with the launch of its first website. And in 2008, the company transformed delivery tracking with its revolutionary Domino’s Tracker. To combat COVID in 2020, Domino’s launched 2- Minute Guaranteed Carside Delivery allowing customers to have orders delivered to their vehicles.
The result: During the past decade, Domino’s stock outperformed both Google and Apple, with revenues rising from $1.7 billion to $4.4 billion. The company also achieved record-breaking U.S. same-store sales during this period.
8. Digital transformation in government
The transformation: Due to the unique nature of their business, SupplyCore processes relied on extensive back-and forth between contractors, sales personnel, and agency representatives. With the help of a new commerce platform, processes, and integrations, the company boosted efficiency, reduced errors, and achieved significant cost savings.
The result: When COVID-19 struck, SupplyCore was well-positioned to launch a new website to meet growing demand. Since then, the company has launched additional sites to support other lines of business.
9. Digital transformation in healthcare
The transformation: Midwest Dental needed a modern eCommerce solution and a secure payment gateway. From experience, they knew a patchwork approach was not the answer. They implemented a robust online experience that included customized price lists and checkout workflows. Even if an order exceeds the purchaser’s authority, there’s an automated workflow for that. Customers simply scan a barcode to automatically create a quick order form to reorder, fueling repeat business.
The result: By implementing a range of customer experience features and optimizing the approval and checkout processes, the company digitally supports its customer-centric mission. Their digital transformation elevates the customer experience, improves staff productivity, and ultimately lowered costs.
10. Digital transformation in manufacturing
The transformation: When Dunlop launched its company-wide digitization initiative, Always Dunlop, the goal was to reevaluate sales and operational processes for inefficiencies and replace them with cutting-edge technologies. The enterprise realized its growth was hampered by manual ordering systems and the need for sales and support staff to continually field inquiries about stock and order status. Their digital transformation focused on automating processes to meet the ever-evolving needs of its customers and stay ahead of its competitors.
The result: Dunlop successfully launched fully functional online stores for 12 countries in less than ten weeks. The company also saw a 3.5x increase in monthly website traffic, a 41% increase in self-service adoption, and over 300 hours of routine work being automated each month. Now employees can focus on building relationships.
11. Digital transformation in oil, gas, and energy
The transformation: Over the past few years, Braskem allocated over $7 million to 25 different initiatives that aim to improve its business operations and enhance its customer experience. One of these initiatives is the B2M EDGE platform, a digital platform designed to support the company’s business-to-many (B2M) operations.
The result: By adopting a gradual, MVP approach to customer engagement, Braskem tested their EDGE marketplace to build a solution that meets customer needs. By testing and reiterating, the resulting product was easy to use and popular with customers. The company achieved tremendous success, experiencing an almost threefold increase in customer adoption.
12. Digital transformation in retail
The transformation: Early on, Saltworks company understood the benefits of extending a B2C-like experience to B2B customers. To achieve this, they adopted a digital commerce platform that provided features such as one-click mobile purchasing, all while still meeting B2B necessities like quoting, bulk ordering, and flexible shipping options.
The result: Saltworks realized what B2B customers wanted in terms of pricing, discounts, and ordering and shipping experiences. At the same time, the company’s B2B and B2C experiences remain distinct, leading to greater personalization and engagement.
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How OroCommerce Helps with Enterprise Digital Transformation
Although it’s not the only aspect, technology plays a crucial role in any digital transformation effort. When selecting technology for your organization, it’s important to consider how it will integrate with your existing processes and technology stack, as well as its flexibility to adapt to your evolving needs.
That’s where OroCommerce comes in – it’s a powerful digital commerce platform that streamlines operations and boosts efficiency, all while providing an exceptional customer experience. What’s more, it’s a trusted choice for businesses across multiple industries.
What sets OroCommerce apart is our understanding of the unique challenges faced by B2B businesses, and our commitment to providing personalized support to our clients. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to optimize your existing digital strategy, our team of experts is here to guide you through every step of the process – from scoping your MVP to testing, validation, and implementation.
And because digital transformation is an ongoing journey, Oro is always there to help you along the way.
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Questions and Answers
What are key digital transformation trends in 2023?
In 2023, we’ll be seeing greater adoption of cloud computing, hybrid cloud solutions, and automation. There will be a greater emphasis on cybersecurity and data privacy, as well as advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI), and the internet of things (IoT).
What are the criticisms of digital transformation?
Enterprises may be hesitant to embrace digital transformation due to resistance to change. With employees accustomed to the current processes, they fear change, and this can make it difficult to implement new technology and processes. Some people may not fully understand the benefits of digital transformation, or they may have preconceived biases. Another reason for hesitancy is that legacy systems may not be compatible with new technology. There may be concerns about security risks and the high costs associated with digital transformation.
What are the best examples of digital transformation?
Netflix is a prime example of how digital transformation can revolutionize a business. Their original business model was based on an internet direct mail hybrid. Customers went online and requested a movie rental and they would receive it via mail. When the company shifted to a cloud-based streaming service, they not only improved customer satisfaction but enjoyed enormous financial gains, making Netflix one of the most successful digital transformation stories to date.
Should I invest in digital transformation during a recession?
Investing in digital transformation during a downturn can be a strategic move for businesses looking to future-proof their business and emerge stronger afterward. However, it’s important to assess the risks and benefits to ensure these initiatives align with your organizational goals.