What is Digital Transformation? | smoothmind

I was recently asked this question by a friend. In fact, it was while I was writing and recording the ‘How to Succeed in Digital Transformation’ series here on smoothmind. As I answered her question, it made me realise there are likely to be others out there who are keen to get a simple overview on what Digital Transformation is.

Therefore I am pleased to bring you smoothmind’s definition in just thirty-words for you below.

What Is Digital Transformation? | Definition

Digital Transformation is the process undertaken by a business when it needs to drive a significant change, in order to become streamlined, competitive, or remain relevant to its’ customer base.

Why is it Important?

Although Digital Transformation is not new as a term, it is one that is now front-and-centre for established businesses across virtually every industry sector. One of the primary reasons here is due to the global impact from COVID-19. This has virtually changed the world overnight.

Although every business will need to iterate on its’ service offering and business processes to remain relevant over the long-term; COVID-19 has only accelerated the pace of which, many established businesses are needing to urgently change through Digital Transformation. This is in order to adapt to a world of health-related uncertainty. Combined also with the impact of Global Consumerism! Consequentially, leading to the need for change on multiple dimensions including that of Sustainable business operating practices.

Across every industry sector, whether it be Retail, Fashion, Automotive, Aviation, Tourism, Entertainment, B2B, Telco’s or other; established businesses across every industry are needing to re-evaluate their role and service proposition in context of this global uncertainty.

Needless to say, this global uncertainty has impacted and amplified our need to re-prioritise what is important to usas individuals, and how we choose to live our lives. Inevitably this has a consequential effect on the choice of products and services we choose to consume, where, and how.

Digital Transformation is the process undertaken by a business when it needs to drive a significant change, in order to become streamlined, competitive, or stay relevant to its’ customer base.

Gopesh Raichura, smoothmind

What Are The Typical Steps Involved?

A successful Digital Transformation will at least include the following steps at minimum in the process:

1 of 5 | Technology Shift

Here a business will typically shift away from the use of pre-packaged software stored on local machines, otherwise known as On-Premise. The shift normally involves transition to Cloud Computing. This opens the door to web applications, also referred to as SaaS. The benefit of this is that they are instantly accessible to employees through Internet connected devices, which can help support a work-from-anywhere culture in the right business environment.

A whole plethora of cloud vendors exist. Each with their own nuances and areas of specialism to cater to differing business needs and requirements. So it’s important for business leaders to understand the value that any selected Cloud Computing vendor will bring.

What is Digital Transformation | smoothmind | man sitting on concrete brick with opened laptop on his lap
Working From Anywhere | Photo by Avi Richards | Unsplash

If you’re curious to learn more about how you can navigate technology choices for a winning digital transformation, more information can be found here on smoothmind.

2 of 5 | Business Goal Definition

Business Goal Definition involves the need for a clearly articulated and measurable performance goal. With a clearly defined Business Goal, it can help to align the direction of the Digital Transformation deployment process. It is also important to help align post-deployment business activities to.

What is Digital Transformation | Business Goal Definition | smoothmind
Photo by Isaac Smith | Unsplash

3 of 5 | Data Unification

Data Unification | Step 3 of 5
Photo by Alexander Sinn | Unsplash

This is the unification of audience data signals that reflect customer engagement activities with the business. First-Party Data is another term for these kinds of data signals. It is typically unified from across a multitude of siloed web applications or physical data systems of a business. The purpose of unifying this first-party data is to help a business to establish a 360 customer view. This view can help a business to better understand its’ customer base. In turn, the business can then provide for a more meaningful customer service and engagement across the customer lifecycle.

4 of 5 | Team Alignment

Democratisation of Customer and Business performance data internally across different business functions. These functions could span for example Sales, Customer Service and Marketing. Readily available data insights will help inform business decisions across team functions. It will therefore help the team to work more closely to improve the customer experience and increase operational efficiencies.

What is Digital Transformation? | smoothmind
Photo by Jon Tyson | Unpslash

5 of 5 | Enablement

Team Enablement | smoothmind
Photo by Chris Montgomery | Unsplash

Employee enablement is essential to help them understand how Digital Transformation supports the need for change within a business. By enabling a carefully devised training plan, it will help employees to be able to effectively utilise the new Technology. This will help a business to continue to optimise towards its’ defined goal beyond the Digital Transformation process.

What is Digital Transformation | The Next Step On Your Journey

If you would like to learn more, the next step is to go and check-out ‘Strategic Considerations To Be Successful‘ section (topic number 2) on smoothmind’s Digital Transformation page.


  • Gopesh Raichura

    Smoothmind was launched by Gopesh Raichura in 2012. He graduated from the University of Westminster with a B.Sc. (Hons) Industrial Systems and Business Management, with majors in ‘Marketing Management and Strategy’ and ‘Marketing Research’. Gopesh is a London-based Subject Matter Expert, with over twenty years applied Digital industry experience. Gopesh continues to evolve smoothmind as an independent platform for positive change.