This site uses cookies and by using the site you are consenting to this. We utilize cookies to optimize our brand’s web presence and website experience. To learn more about cookies, click here to read our privacy statement.

What is Digital Transformation? Your Guide to Business Growth

In today's world, technology sets the rhythm for progress, and businesses that don’t adapt risk falling behind. In this blog, we'll explain the digital transformation process and explore strategies that will help your organization thrive.

Digital Transformation Defined

Digital transformation is defined as the process of implementing and adopting digital technology to create, transform, and improve existing products, services, or operations. It is done to both stay competitive and be disruptive in the marketplace.

A successful digital transformation ends with market-leading products and services offered by an organization that has seized previously unclaimed differentiation. This is done by bridging the gap between what is and what has become possible through advancements in technology.

Netflix is a prime example: Back in the 2000s, the company realized its core business of delivering entertainment by mail would soon go the way of the rotary phone. They switched up everything about their delivery process to become a streaming company, delivering entertainment to customers directly on their TV or digital device. In doing so, they disrupted the entire marketplace and changed our expectations for entertainment delivery.

Demystifying Digital Transformation

It can be overwhelming when thinking about the scope of possibility of a digital transformation. While every company may not be an Uber, an Airbnb or an Amazon; that doesn’t mean there aren’t transformative opportunities. So, where to begin? It starts with three things: technology, process optimization, and cultural shift.

Technology Integration

Technology integration is the process of incorporating new technologies into existing systems and workflows. Digital capabilities like automation, workflow management, and data analysis can help businesses streamline processes, enhance efficiency, and boost productivity. Technology integration ensures that all the new technologies work in harmony to achieve the desired outcomes.

Tip: Partner with an IT project management firm to streamline technology projects and ensure a smooth transition.

Process Optimization

For process optimization, you need to examine existing workflows to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies. From there, you can reorganize processes and implement improvements to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve outcomes.

Examples of process optimization can include reducing manual data entry through automation, streamlining customer support to improve response times, or cutting costs across an organization. Each of these can be accomplished with custom software integration.

Cultural Shift

Culture plays a critical role in the success of digital transformation. It's not just about implementing new technologies; but also changing how your organization thinks and operates. While new technologies are flashy tools, a supportive culture is the foundation for success. For example, the shifts toward cross-functional DevOps and Product-focused teams promotes collaboration between previously siloed functional areas and ensure that teams and stakeholders are operating with the same goal - delivering business value via modern digital experiences.

Digital transformation can upend the way things are done, so a culture that embraces change is key for employees to adapt. Additionally, since digital transformation can widely focus on the customer, a culture that prioritizes customer needs will help drive new digital initiatives. Finally, leaders who support digital transformation, communicate clearly, and are committed to overcoming challenges help keep the transformation on track.

Why Should Companies Undergo Digital Transformation?

In today's fast-paced world, transformation is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity. Customer expectations are constantly evolving and companies that fail to adapt risk being left behind. Transformation allows businesses to meet changing needs and stay competitive.

With that being said, deciding whether to do a one-size-fits-all or custom approach to digital transformation depends on several factors. While a one-size-fits-all approach may offer efficiency, scalability, and standardization, it lacks flexibility and can limit innovation. On the other hand, a custom approach can provide tailored solutions but can lead to higher costs. Choosing between these two approaches may depend on the business’ size, complexity of the transformation, and strategic objectives.

Common Misconceptions

There are four common misconceptions about digital transformation:

  1. Myth #1 - Digital Transformation is Only for Large Enterprises: Digital transformation can be beneficial for businesses of all sizes, in fact, smaller companies may even have an advantage of being able to implement changes more quickly than larger enterprises.
  2. Myth #2 - Digital Transformation is a One-Time Project: Believing digital transformation is a one-time project is a recipe for stagnation. Digital transformation is an ongoing process of adaptation and improvement. As technology evolves and customer needs change, your approach needs to as well.
  3. Myth #3 - Digital Transformation is Just About Technology: Technology is a key part of a digital transformation, but it's not the whole story. Successful digital transformations require a shift in mindset and company culture.
  4. Myth #4 - Digital Transformation is Expensive and Risky: While there are certainly costs involved, the potential return on investment (ROI) from a successful digital transformation can be substantial. Increased efficiency, improved customer satisfaction, and a competitive edge can all contribute to significant financial gains. It is more risky to not adapt at all.

Getting Started with Your Digital Transformation Journey

While every digital transformation will look different, we’ve put together four basic steps to help you get started on your digital transformation:

  1. Assess Your Organization’s Digital Maturity

Before starting a digital transformation, it's important to assess your organization's current digital maturity level. This involves evaluating existing digital capabilities, processes, and technologies across various departments. Understanding where your organization stands will help identify strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

  1. Identify Key Areas for Improvement

Once you've assessed your organization's digital maturity, identify key areas for improvement. This may involve pinpointing specific processes, workflows, or functions that need optimization or modernization. Consider factors like customer experiences, operational efficiencies, employee productivity, and competitive positioning.

  1. Develop a Strategic Plan

Next, develop a strategic plan that outlines the goals, objectives, and milestones of your digital transformation. You’ll want to define clear and measurable outcomes that align with the broader strategic objectives of the organization. Then, plan to break down the transformation into manageable phases, setting realistic timelines, and allocating resources accordingly.

  1. Embrace Experimentation and Continuous Learning

Digital transformation is a process that requires experimentation and continuous learning. Embrace a culture of innovation, agility, and adaptation within your organization. Encourage teams to experiment with new technologies, processes, and business models, learning from both successes and failures along the way.

“A culture of learning, training, and professional growth is crucial. Team members who can find and respond to new challenges are more engaged and will become more well-rounded professionals who, over time, prove more valuable to their organizations,” said Justin Rodenbostel, Executive Vice President at SPR.

Digital Transformation in Action

SPR is proud to help many organizations with their digital transformations.

We recently worked with a retirement benefits organization that needed to migrate their applications and systems. The company came to SPR for an assessment and cloud migration strategy.

Since the company was new to the cloud, they asked us to assess the current environments, build a phased strategic approach to migration, and create a detailed plan for the initial phase of the strategy in migrating this set of systems to the cloud.

We then helped establish a proper cloud foundation for long-term sustainability and evolution. The approach was centered around understanding the client’s specific needs and balancing fast time-to-market and a proper cloud foundation.

Read more here: Retirement Benefits Company Migrates to the Cloud, Balances Future Growth

Another success was leveraging machine learning for an insurance company to help underwriters classify risks and identify fraudulent claims. This is done in an effort to streamline and automate processes which can result in overall reduction in losses, improved profits, and more satisfied customers.

Read more here: Leveraging Machine Learning to Transform Insurance Underwriting at VGM


Digital transformation is not just about incorporating new technologies into your business; it's about fundamentally changing how your organization operates to meet evolving customer needs. By embracing new technologies and fostering a culture of adaptation, you can stay ahead of the curve and deliver exceptional value to your customers.

SPR can help provide several solutions for modernizing technology including  UX design, and cloud consulting. Contact our team today to take the first step in your digital transformation.