8 Successful Digital Transformation Examples in Business

Jonas Sickler SEO Manager
Key Points
  • Analysts expect investments in digital transformation to reach $2.3 trillion globally by 2023.
  • The benefits of digital transformation include better supply chain management, improved ability to meet customer needs, secure data management, and stronger profitability.
  • Digital transformation examples include mobile applications, constant connectivity, instant loan approvals, virtual try-ons, buy online and pick up in-store, and more.

Digital transformation means adopting a digital-first mindset to improve business processes, streamline operations, and drive greater customer and shareholder value. For many businesses, it can mean the difference between becoming the market leader or becoming obsolete. Just look at Blockbuster Video for a prime example of digital transformation failure.

And this isn’t a passing trend you can ignore. Analysts expect investments in digital transformation to reach $2.3 trillion globally by 2023, capturing the majority share of worldwide information and communications tech expenditures.

$2.3 Trillion

Analysts expect investments in digital transformation to reach $2.3 trillion globally by 2023

International Data Corporation

The benefits of these digital transformation initiatives? Better supply chain management, a greater ability to meet customer needs, more secure customer data management, and stronger profitability which leads to higher stock prices.

However, it’s an expensive and risky undertaking to reinvent the way an enterprise operates. So, before you commit to a plan, let’s look at some successful digital transformation examples across multiple industries to help you chart your course ahead.

8 Digital transformation examples

Some digital transformation examples include implementing tangible, customer-centric digital tools like mobile applications or websites that improve the customer journey. And others involve machine learning algorithms that transform a traditional business into a digital business.

Or digital transformation efforts can dismantle the silos between the digital world and the real world. As a result, business leaders can understand how customers interact with every marketing campaign they run — whether direct mail, in-store, TV, digital advertising, email, or social media.

Think about banks shifting from an in-person banking standard that’s held for generations to ATMs and then to mobile banking.

In communications, faxing used to be the norm, but today, it’s virtually extinct. Faxing was first replaced by email and PDF files. We now have virtual documents with secure electronic signatures and document lifecycle management solutions.

Critics might consider many of these transformations to be a part of change management. However, they’re also vital parts of the new digital age. And they’re all excellent examples of innovative digital strategy.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the best digital transformation strategies in the specific examples below. I’ll explain how companies across key industries achieved new growth through digital transformation by building new business models with big data and digital savvy.

And if you have time, I highly recommend you watch this video from Technology and Services World that offers some real-world examples of digital transformation.

Digital transformation examples in manufacturing

Many manufacturing companies undergoing a digital transformation are doing so for greater efficiency. They use predictive analytics to reduce supply chain costs and maintenance needs, as well as decrease energy and water consumption, etc.

As a B2B industry, the main attraction for their clients is the ability to reduce costs in all manners, and even to increase yield.

But there’s still room for additional innovation that sets some businesses apart.

Desktop Metal, for example, is altering the state of manufacturing with a novel digital technology for 3D printed metal. Automotive manufacturers are already heavily invested in this new technology. Beyond automotive solutions, there are also applications across the medical, dental, aerospace, and even luxury markets.

Examples of digital transformation in banking

The financial services revolution involves much more than the shift to mobile banking and cash apps. Consumers now use cash airdrops, cardless payments through services like Apple Pay on phones or watches, and completely bankless banking.

But that’s the bare minimum to keep up with the trending changes in banking. To earn loyalty and build a better customer experience, you should keep innovating.

Capital One revolutionized banking. After acquiring the digitally-focused ING Direct, Capital One launched an ambitious plan to morph itself into a digital innovation leader. Software was placed at the core of the company. Today, it’s a software powerhouse with a technology staff of roughly 11,000 and with more than 500 artificial intelligence (AI) patents.

Intergiro built an entirely new way to bank and conduct business, called embedded banking. It’s an automation of payroll systems, invoices, and reconciliation. It integrates with apps for checkouts, wallets, and holding your cards. Integiro’s perspective is that every company should be, and at some point will be, a financial technology company.

J.P. Morgan just entered the metaverse, opening the Onyx Lounge in Decentraland, a popular metaverse for the blockchain-based world. There, the company plans to operate like a bank in the virtual world much like it does in the physical world.

In the Onyx Lounge, customers can conduct virtual banking, such as getting a virtual mortgage for digital plots of land or buildings based on blockchain. Additionally, it sees itself facilitating cross-border payments, foreign exchange transactions, financial asset creation, and stock trading. In other words, J.P. Morgan is building the company’s virtual existence to mirror its real-world services.

Digital transformation examples in retail

Retail businesses are fighting to meet customer expectations due to the massive push towards ecommerce in the market. Even Walmart has undergone a transformation to keep up with Amazon and other grocery stores turning to things like online ordering and delivery services.

But Walmart has taken it farther than that to stay ahead. Their latest digital transformation success: voice ordering. Not only have they shifted to allow their customers to shop from the comfort of their homes or their jobs (or anywhere else), but they can now do so using voice command devices such as Google Home.

They’re also adding a visual delivery service, providing customers updates on their deliveries, and allowing visual connectivity so you can see them putting the order away in your kitchen.

Furthermore, the Walmart mobile app now offers visual search, allowing customers to type in the item they’re searching for and locate it on the store map. No more flagging down a store associate for help.

Examples of digital transformation in healthcare

Healthcare often lags in digitization on the patient side, but we’re starting to see digital innovation initiatives like e-portals for patients, real-time health monitoring, and virtual health visits. The innovation is improving the patient-institution relationship and leading to better health outcomes and engagement in healthcare decisions.

Where much of the healthcare industry suffers, especially certain niches such as senior living, is in managing prospective patients that come in and the proper documentation that goes along with it. Many digital marketing departments in senior care, for example, rely on referrals as many of their patients are coming from hospitals or other care facilities.

Atria Senior Living in Kentucky solved the prospect management issue by building a customer relationship management (CRM) system, complete with all the features they needed to track prospects on their website — how often they use the word “need” with chatbots; flagging actions for the sales team; and identifying how prospects interact with their various communities.

They also built an engagement app that allowed families to connect and communicate with their loved ones throughout the pandemic. On top of this, they launched a care management app for more efficient time management and treatment of their patients.

Digital transformation examples in marketing

Marketing technology, or martech, is a crowded business arena, with more than 8,000 product offerings. Between 2011 and 2020, product growth in the space reached 5,233%. Martech happens to permeate just about every other industry.

Now, it’s a landscape of platforms that includes digital asset management (DAM) and product information management (PIM), as well as marketing resource management (MRM) and content management systems (CMS). There’s marketing automation, personalization, and CRM solutions. In terms of SEO, there are web crawlers and analytics tools, as well as rank trackers and AI-based optimization grading tools.

5,233% Growth

The martech space grew 5,233% from 2011 to 2020

chiefmartec.com

The list of martech options goes on and on, and these software solutions are having a positive impact.

Take Terakeet, for example. We’ve grown significantly over the years with a business that is largely run online and through digital processes. The technologies we use to assess the competitive landscape were developed internally and are completely unique in the industry. Management of projects is digitally based. The tech platform we use to manage a database of more than 9 million publishers for strategic outreach is also something that we created when we recognized the need.

In many senses, Terakeet is just as much a digital technology company as it is an organic search company. 

Digital transformation strategy examples in transportation

Tesla pushed many car manufacturers into a new type of competition. With the rise in concerns over global warming and the world’s overreliance on oil, the automotive sector has recently embraced a move towards electrification and autonomous driving. 

Taking it a step further, technologies such as by Smart Eye deliver AI-based driver monitoring systems and automotive interior sensing solutions. These technologies make driving far safer by detecting when drivers are distracted, falling asleep, or otherwise putting themselves and their passengers in danger.

Other shifts in automotive digitization include autonomous fleet vehicles, the electrification of fleets, CO2-neutral trucks, and holographic overlays.

Clearly the automotive industry is reshaping itself to improve operations, performance, and customer experience.

But then there’s also the emergence of entire businesses built on digital transformation, like Carvana. They started with the ability to buy a car completely online, from start to finish, delivering the car to your home and giving you a trial period to test it out. But they still found ways to innovate further, with Carvana vending machines — essentially unmanned towers of cars where consumers can pick a car and drive away with it.

Another example is Hyundai, which recently acquired Boston Dynamics, a robotics company. The intention is to take their cars into the metaverse and become a trailblazer based on new, advanced robotics capabilities.

Examples of digital transformation in insurance

Insurance is an industry with a lot of tradition. However, we’re now starting to see innovation in the insurance market like never before. This includes significant technological changes related to the customer experience. 

Online portals are driving most of the change, such as telematics driver behavior monitoring, the ease of document access, and the ease of filing a claim solely from your phone. 

While a lot of the changes are incremental, maybe even standard, there are a few companies blazing a new path forward.

Root is entirely run through its app. You can get started within new insurance in minutes. Root uses your mobile phone to measure your driving behavior, with automatic savings applied to your account when the system detects you driving more safely.

Kroodle, a Dutch insurance company, interacts with its customers entirely through social media. Customers use a Facebook app to file claims, get quotes, and request services. 

Farmers Insurance is now using drones to conduct risk and damage assessments, roof inspections, and more. Since the drones are connected to the company via cloud computing using the Internet of Things (IoT), they’re able to transmit data analytics instantaneously for much faster assessment results.

Examples of digital transformation in foodservice

Another push towards digital transformation may simply be to make things more convenient for your audience. 

Take Dominos for instance. In 2011, Domino’s set out to make it easy for an individual with a smartphone to order a pizza within the 17 seconds it takes for a traffic light to turn green. From that moment, Dominos transformed from a pizza company into a tech titan.

They created an app for their customers to place orders and watch their order progress from placement to delivery. What’s more, they’ve invested in countless additional digital initiatives, including delivery by autonomous vehicles and electric bikes. The innovations resulted in digital sales now making up the majority of all global retail sales for the pizza chain.

This type of digitization of operations and customer engagement helps to separate Dominos from the competition. It also helps to delight customers at the same time.

What these examples have in common

The common denominator with all these transformations is the shift towards efficiency through increased digitization. This translates into convenience and cost savings for customers and companies alike.

The digital transformation examples above feature a consistent reduction of friction in operations, product development, training, customer engagement, marketing, sales, and support. This is generally accomplished by streamlining clunky, disjointed processes, eliminating waste, and making new connections fast.

Learn from these examples to transform your own business performance.