Are you one of those afraid of the digital world? Maybe, you don’t understand too much about it, do you? Or don’t know how to start. If those sceneries connect with you, this article is for you. Yet, it can also help you clarify the terms and steps you should consider to transform your business digitally.
We decided to talk about this because we have found out that several of our business partners are still struggling to shift their business to a digital environment. Even so, the pandemic has pushed us to adopt and have an online presence. However, sometimes we don’t act and freeze due to misconceptions before embarking on the digital road. Thus, we’ll discuss the interconnection and differences between digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation. Also, we give you some questions that can help you set your roadmap to set the goals and digital strategy for your business.
As Digital Tourism Think Tank mentioned in their March 2022 report, the increasing pace of digitization has increased the importance of being digitally competitive. Leveraging digital to provide greater flexibility is closely linked to increased personalization of the digital visitor experience and an agile approach to prototype new solutions.
Digitization, Digitalization, or Digital Transformation?
It’s common to see many using these terms as synonyms. However, they aren’t, but they’re interconnected. So, let’s find out more.
Digitization converts an analog process to a digital format without changing the process itself. For instance, mechanizing existing manual and paper-based procedures. Its main value is reducing expenses and laying the foundation for the business to develop data-driven applications.
Digitalization, on the other hand, uses digital technology to alter the business model and generate new revenue and value-generating opportunities; it is the process of converting to a digital business.
“Digitalization cannot occur without digitization.”
Digital transformation is the significant and fast change of company operations, processes, capabilities, and models to fully harness the changes and possibilities brought about by digital technologies and their influence on society in a purposeful and prioritized manner.
The primary goal of digital transformation is to improve individual and organizational innovation and productivity by enhancing the decision-making process, offering connectivity, boosting invention, and facilitating business growth.
What do these concepts look like in our day-to-day life?
Digitize by uploading your programs, budgeting, or customer service reports to the cloud, and allow your team to collaborate and update the information.
Digitalize by using a CRM to manage the relationship with your customers. You can collect data like their needs, last trips booked, destinations they would like to visit, and type of interests they are into. Then, use the data to design authentic experiences that match your travelers’ desires. It’ll also help you to engage them and build a fidelity bond.
Transform your business digitally after many digitizing processes, helping you identify the gaps in your service that can be filled through technology. For example, a mobile app to upload travelers’ journeys before their trip or send them push-up notifications to remind them what to bring for their next day’s itinerary. Or may adjust your website to offer travelers online bookings and payments options.
“Digitization and digitalization can be seen as the first steps on a digital transformation journey.”
Designing the roadmap for your digital transformation
Developing a cohesive road plan is critical for identifying and changing your systems and cultural organization. Then, it would help if you began by inventorying your present procedures, then discovered the technologies available to assist you in improving the system. Finally, you can set your digital transformation goals and strategy.
Step 1: Analyze and evaluate your current status.
To help you identify how are your business up today, start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What is your value proposition?
- Why do you want to help people to travel?
- How can you help them?
- What benefits are you offering to them?
- What are your competitors doing?
- What can you learn from them?
- How can you improve what they are doing to differentiate you from them?
- Who are your current and potential customers?
- What are they looking for?
- How can you communicate and engage with them? Through which channels?
- What is the customer experience you’re offering?
- How are you communicating with your travelers?
- On how many channels are you present?
- Are you making all your effort into having straightforward communication with your customers?
- CX belongs to everyone within the organization
- How is your team doing?
- Do you have clearly defined goals for each employee?
- How can you reward your employees for their achievements?
- Which skills do they have now, and which skills can they obtain?
Step 2: Identify the technology you need
Technology is critical in digital transformation because it creates a new business ecosystem your organization will operate. Thus, Factory has a series of questions that can help you define the type of technology you may need:
- Have you updated the technologies and platforms that you’re already using?
- Do you have any ideas for improvement?
- Which technologies are you using currently?
- What kind of technologies might you use in the future?
- Do you have a team dedicated to updating our technology?
Please remember that this process is gradual. You cannot go from a beginner tech level to an advanced level in one step. Please avoid comparing yourself with others in the industry. They have probably spent much more time and money to be at their stage, and you don’t know it.
Step 3: Answering the what, why, and who related to your digital strategy
Three questions to help you put in perspective what you expect to have, why, and who can help you achieve the digital transformation of your tourism business.
- What are your short, medium, and long-term objectives?
- What do you need to do first?
- What knowledge and skills do you have and need?
WHY do you want or need to digitally transform your business?
- Whom do you need for this project?
- Who do you have, and with which capabilities?
- Who does what and takes the lead in it?
- Who defines the strategy, means, and KPIs to achieve the DT?
Please don’t underestimate the importance of these questions. They are vital for framing your strategy with realistic goals. Also, remember to time frame the plan considering the different aspects. But, embrace that there may be some disruptions and a risk level of embarking on a digital transformation process, so be flexible too.
Step 4: Define your investment
At this stage, it’s time to define your investment to enhance the current company operations and innovate within the sector in the short, medium, or long term.
If you think the investment is too high at this point, please consider that McKinsey estimates that businesses with obsolete systems may need to double their spending on IT alone over the next five years. So, the longer-term risk of not investing financially in digital transformation is far larger.
As tourism businesses, we must embrace digital transformation to be able to serve the “new traveler” in a pandemic era, as well as ensure the sustainability of our business. At first, the digital environment and the work we need to do may be overwhelming. Yet, it’s crucial to have this self-evaluation and answer all the questions we have given you. It’ll assist you in setting the roadmap of your digital strategy.
Last but not least, please consider that embracing the transformation of your business digitally it’ll bring you some benefits, such as: saving time and money through the digitization of your processes; increasing productivity and efficiency by digitizing to assist you in streamlining your business operation; improving your customer experience by offering digital convenience and simplicity; enhancing your customer engagement through establishing a solid online presence and brand awareness; and igniting innovation and creativity within the organization by giving you endless opportunities to grow.
“Digital transformation is more people-focused, rather than technology-focused”