DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

WHAT IS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION?

In its technological sense, digital transformation (DT or DX) pertains to the adoption of digital technologies in transforming how a business operates. It involves replacing traditional or manual processes with automated ones or replacing old technologies with more advanced innovations.

With this said, digital transformation is about deeper enablement through technology. The goal is to improve efficiencies that are otherwise would not happen if the individual or group clings to manual methods. Such transformation is both innovative and creative, allowing the business to tap into the digital potential. It also means switching or enhancing the business model to accommodate technology in its operation to deliver value to the customers.

As a cultural change, digital transformation aims to challenge the status quo. It compels a business looking to integrate to experiment with the processes and systems—and even people. The transformation also encourages the company to get comfortable with failure along the way and learn from it and leverage the available resources to turn failure into milestones. When one rethinks old business models, he or she would surely encounter the term agility. Becoming more agile is being mindfully aggressive in responding to inefficiencies and threats. 

Thereby, digital transformation is imperative for all businesses regardless of the nature and size of operations. The message is loud and clear: it is necessary to remain relevant and competitive. Your business won’t go anywhere if you don’t have a digital transformation strategy in place.

“There is no room for complacency in the fast-moving digital world.” ~ Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for Digital Agenda

The Filipino people have yet to embrace a full-scale digital transformation. We live in a digital era, so there’s no escaping its influence, and it’s a good thing. Nonetheless, the transformation takes more than mere ‘going paperless.’ This transformation means striving to reach or reaching digital maturity. 

Digital is a term that means differently to people. What digital transformation means for one business may not be the same for another company. It could be customer-centricity, technology-centricity, people-centricity, process-centricity, et al. No matter how the business defines or characterizes this, the premise is to understand what digital transformation means to your business.

WHAT IS DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

STRATEGY?

At the corporate level, digital transformation is a change. This strategy essentially involves a plan of action that the business should implement to position the business in the digital economy strategically. Leveraging emerging technologies is at the heart of the digital transformation strategy.

For some, this makes the most strategic sense since businesses need to adapt to the ever-changing competitive landscape. Over the years, however, firms of varying scale, scope, and reach realized how complex the transformation can be and what it takes to succeed from it.

A digital transformation strategy requires the assembly of four elements, such as technology, data, process, and people. Together, they contribute to the overall capacity of the business to become fully integrated. Technology has the central role since it facilitates its evolution to better respond to customers’ and clients’ needs and pain points.

What are the four main areas of digital transformation?

Digital transformation involves four main areas.

Organizational culture

Digital transformation is not necessarily about the technologies that the business is going to adapt to. Instead, it is the company’s ethos towards turning digital. The business may invest in the most powerful technologies, but they won’t have the expected impact if a neanderthal mindset still dominates the culture. 

Similarly, the digital transformation won’t happen if changes are concentrated on the top management or the rank and file. There would be hesitations in incorporating digital resources into everyday processes. This is understandable, but if the people refuse to adapt, no real transformation will occur.

The tech-first approach can be tricky, more so for established businesses with deeply ingrained processes. The tendency is to adapt in silos. It is best to start the transformation from the ground up without thinking of it as the end-point. Instead, it should be an ongoing initiative.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is here at the disposal of businesses. Consisting of the entire IT infrastructure, IoT highlights hyperconnectivity. Embracing IoT can speed up the business’s digital transformation, which could be business- or customer-facing. As such, IoT is designed to drive a more agile experience that, in turn, shapes attitude when shifting to become more digitally focused.

 

New technologies

When altering company processes, on the one hand, and people’s behaviors, attitudes, and mindsets, on the other hand, technology is the factor that ties these two aspects together. Out with the old IT system and in with new agile technologies. It does not have to be a massive tech-centric transformation, though. Going digital requires pacing. A business can tackle digital transformation in this order:

  • Cloud-as-a-service

  • Microservices

  • API (Application Programming Interface) integration

  • Headless commerce

Harnessing the power of digital may mean introducing technological upgrades here and there. However, it is best to start with things that can be implement company-wide. 

 

Business model

Digital transformation is disruptive, and this disruption often requires a change in the business model. The shift into the digital sphere takes more than doing old processes digitally. Instead, it is putting technology at the heart of all operations.

THE PITFALLS

With the four areas mentioned above, it is not surprising that businesses are in different stages of digital transformation. Some are already ahead of the competition, doing things differently and pursuing ideas that appear too ahead of their time to even work—but work anyway. Others felt stuck in the middle of integration. 

The thing is digital transformation has its humps and bumps, and they also progress from vision to execution. Many businesses fear lagging behind the competition when it comes to transformation, but this may not be the case. 

No business would want this, but the majority is in haste given the health crisis of 2020 that hurts operations. It brought new challenges that the only way was to force a digital transformation without realizing the long-term consequences. This is the first pitfall—turning a blind eye to the consequences. Yes, it may fail, but businesses should engage in calculated risks instead of implementing without an aspirational purpose.

Opportunities are created, but it should be clear why it wants to pursue digital transformation. It could be to improve customer experience, increase employee productivity, and boost profitability, among others. A business should pursue going digital if it is the absolute best and nothing more. 

Another pitfall is investing in agile technologies that no one would use if there is no clear purpose for why the business is doing so. Onboarding is a must whereby all employees must understand why the company is heading in this direction and how strategic it can be. Business leaders must frame conversations in such a way that highlight crucial aspects unique to the business. 

OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AS

THE ALWAYS ON-SOLUTION

Digital transformation as a necessary disruption affects all sectors, industries, and companies. Instead of thinking of it as a threat to what businesses are used to doing, there is no denying the benefits it brings to society.

The financial industry is no exception. In fact, it is one industry where technological advancements are concentrated. Case in point: fintech. Financial technology, or simply fintech, allows banks and other financial institutions to streamline their processes. The most significant impact is observable in payment-related key performance indicators (KPIs). 

Payments are where digital transformation has become so successful because these are the always-on solutions. Through hyper-connective payment experience, the financial industry incentivizes transactions by offering the convenience of completing them digitally. The first foray into the digital world is mobile bank applications (or what has become the digital branch), which serve as the users’ entry point instead of OTC transactions. The mobile branch is the bank’s self-service business model, but self-service has also branched out to include market segments that the banks traditionally left out.

Just when the financial industry thinks channels are hard to scale, digital channels emerged. This is the necessary next step because banks are only inclusive to those who have bank accounts. The underbanked and unbanked are segments waiting to be explored. But that was before when businesses have not yet embrace self-service channels.

With digital evolution comes the changing expectations also, including how businesses operate. The Filipinos expect smooth-sailing completion of transactions. Did you know that there are more mobile wallet Filipino users than credit card owners? Based on the study conducted by the World Bank, one in 50 Filipinos own a credit card, whereas four in 10 Filipinos have an e-wallet?

Filipinos prefer frictionless transactions, compelling the businesses to meet them where they are—on their smartphones by and large. The solution: self-service payment. Self-service digital transformation is customer-centric, despite the fragmentation in services and service delivery. Observe how these point of sale (POS) devices, including payment terminals, machines, and kiosks, proliferate in establishments nowadays. 

These solutions tell us that we are in the middle of a widespread, society-based digital transformation spearheaded by fintech. While the industry has yet to figure out digital completely--for one, passwords, one-time passwords (OTPs), and pins are still needed, the present integrations allow us to complete transactions when we need to.

The self-service payment solutions might still be in the middle, but businesses and consumers alike would not be in the middle forever with technologies continually evolving. The Filipinos need to maximize the payment experience whenever they can. Thanks to self-service, we can make sense of technology.

SELF SERVICE PAYMENT SOLUTIONS

eTAP’s self-service payment solutions

In the Philippines, digital channels, and mainly self-service payment solutions, are considered the future, and for good reasons. These payment solutions are a gateway for a more inclusive digital transformation. 

Furthermore, self-service has created opportunities for both merchants and consumers. For some, this technology, or business model, delivers benefits when seeking to meet the needs of a more demanding customer base.

These self-service solutions facilitate the Filipinos’ participation in the ever-growing digital economy. The machines, kiosks, and terminals enable people to convert their cash into digital currency for purchase purposes. eTap is strategically positioned to serve the ever-growing demand for cashless digital transactions.

We, at eTAP, understand that digital payment solutions are the core agenda of digital commerce. Now, Filipinos expect their experiences to be rewarding and convenient at the same time. Such expectations must be met, and so we highlight payment solutions that address the needs of the Filipino consumers. 

To usher the Filipinos into the digital ecosystem through kiosk technology

MISSION

To be the most ubiquitous e-payment machine in the Philippines

VISION

SUPPORTING THE DIGITAL ECOSYSTEM

eTAP supports the digital ecosystem, solidifying our stand that digital transformation must be both business- and consumer-centric. Our guarantee is using “machines built for service,” providing core business segments such as:

eTap aims to provide turnkey payment solutions with the key benefits include operational efficiency, cost savings, and ultimate convenience. We have a 300% transaction turnover, compared with OTC transactions. These transactions are processed in real-time using a highly secured data encryption process. 

Our self-service solutions are standalone. Businesses can expect to save costs from space rentals and overhead expenses such as the cashiers’ salaries. Machine maintenance is also performed by eTap, which means less hassle on the establishment that chose to be ahead of the competition by deploying any of the payment solutions we offer. 

No time wasted because consumers need not wait and stand in long queues to complete their purchases.

These services are inclusive because they also engage the unbanked and underbanked Filipinos. About 71% of the population, or approximately 76.51 million Filipinos, is underbanked. These people would lag behind the Philippine government’s goal to transition digitally in the next five years. eTAP wants to serve this backlog as well.

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Whatever your business goals, eTAP is here to help you gear up. Let us guide you in a successful digital transformation. Schedule a free consultation with us now!