For many business owners, digital transformation is an intimidating and unnecessary venture.

It’s a buzzword — a passing trend. Why would I pour time, effort, and resources into a concept I don’t see the need for?

Because without it, your competitors will leave you in the dust. We live in a digital age that demands that companies either keep up or get left behind.

Fortunately, digital transformation is attainable for businesses of every size in every industry. With the right digital tools, companies can optimize their operations, boost employee satisfaction, and gain a competitive advantage.

This article will explain what digital transformation is, what it means for your business, explore 10 real world examples of digital transformation, and discuss how hybrid work systems drive digital transformation.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of replacing outdated systems and manual processes with digital technologies and tools to maximize employee productivity and improve overall business performance.

Digital transformation allows companies to:

  • simplify and optimize processes
  • facilitate internal collaboration and communication
  • reduce the time spent on manual tasks
  • make more informed, data-driven decisions
  • increase business agility
  • improve customer experiences

Embracing digital transformation is important, as it can help streamline your business’s workflow and boost productivity company-wide — giving you an edge over the competition.

Because of its enormous potential, global investment in digital transformation is expected to reach $3.4 trillion by 2026. For more info on that, check our article on the 9 game-changing digital transformation trends for 2023.

goals of digital transformation

Most businesses are already shifting toward digitization. In KPMG’s 2022 U.S. Technology Survey Report, 80% of respondents said their organizations have successfully transitioned to cloud-based infrastructure, and 66% have been very or extremely successful in using digital transformation to advance business strategy.

10 Successful Digital Transformation Examples

Digital transformation looks different for every business and every industry. A three-person start-up will have different needs and challenges than an established business with multiple operating segments.

digital transformation illustration

Below are 10 successful digital transformation examples across several industries. You can use these examples as inspiration and guidance as your company begins its transformation journey.

Banking

It’s notoriously difficult to evolve within the banking industry. Only 30% of banks that pursue digital transformation initiatives manage to successfully implement their digital strategy.

In this industry, the primary goal of digital transformation efforts is to create customer-centric processes and products.

Banks can improve the customer experience by optimizing their mobile and online banking platforms and working to reduce or eliminate manual and paper-based processes by offering features like mobile check deposit.

The following two digital transformation examples illustrate successful digital growth within the banking and finance industry:

Intergiro

Intergiro is a tech company that builds financial infrastructure to facilitate smooth business banking. They saw the need for digitization within the financial sector and developed a solution to fill that gap.

Intergiro built embedded banking, a digital business banking system that gives customers a new way to manage their finances.Embedded banking automates financial processes within businesses and integrates with check-outs, wallets, and holding cards.

Now, other businesses can use Intergiro’s services on their own digital transformation journeys.

HSBC

HSBC is one of the world’s leading banking and financial services firms. Their response to the increased need for digitization included migrating certain databases to a third-party, cloud-based platform.

By transitioning to cloud computing, HSBC was able to replace its outdated, legacy applications and scale services based on customer demands.

Also, like many businesses, HSBC shifted to a hybrid work model following the COVID-19 pandemic and shrunk its headquarters by 25% to reduce expenses and energy costs.

If you’re looking to implement a similar hybrid approach to working, using an office space management system can streamline the process.

Tools such as OfficeRnD Hybrid offer support for workplaces that inevitably feel the need to go hybrid.

remote and in office work

Retail

In the retail industry, the goals of the digital transformation strategy are to increase convenience and improve the in-store and online customer experience.

Retailers can achieve this goal by adopting a buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) model and connecting the online shopping experience to the in-store experience.

Ikea, which we discuss below, is one of the best examples of digital transformation in retail.

Ikea

Ikea is a well-known and well-loved furniture store that operates worldwide. To compete with the increasing popularity of online shopping, they transformed their in-store shopping experience.

To do this, they turned stores into fulfillment centers — allowing shoppers to blend their online shopping with in-store experiences.

Using Ikea’s website, you can design custom cabinetry for your home, save your design in their system, and visit any Ikea store to choose finishes in person.

Ikea also uses algorithms for supply chain management and inventory management, reducing the wait time for customers when they order out-of-stock pieces and boosting the customer experience as a result.

Ikea’s digital transformation strategy shows how integrating new technology with established systems can build customer loyalty for a brand.

Hospitality

The goals of digital transformation initiatives within the hospitality industry are to improve customers’ booking experiences and increase staff safety.

Adopting contactless solutions can help organizations improve customer experiences. Digital platforms can be used to more effectively manage booking, messaging, payments, room service, mobile room keys, and the check-in and check-out processes.

Going contactless is a priority for most hotels, motels, bed-and-breakfasts, and resorts. In fact, just over 39% of hospitality executives say that implementing contactless technologies at the front desk is a priority for them until at least 2025.

Contactless systems reduce cleaning staff’s risk of exposure to germs. They can also help track linen inventory so you can keep storerooms well-stocked.

Four Sisters Inns implemented a fully contactless system and have reaped the rewards ever since.

Four Sisters Inns

Four Sisters Inns operates 17 beautiful boutique inns across some of California’s most popular destinations.

They pride themselves on providing a curated luxury vacation experience — made all the more luxurious with the use of fully contactless communications.

Four Sisters saw the increase in interest in a contactless approach and immediately implemented a messaging platform for guests to communicate with the staff at their inns. Guests can enjoy contactless check-in, room service, turn-down service, and more.

customer experience graph

Logistics

In the logistics industry, digital transformation efforts focus on optimization. You want to minimize any fallout from human error, speed up delivery, and improve parcel tracking for customers to improve their experience. And you can achieve these goals through automation.

Let’s use UPS as an example of how automation improves real-time parcel tracking for customers.

UPS

As the popularity of online shopping grew, UPS knew they needed to find new ways to stay competitive and create a competitive roadmap for digital transformation.

Over the past several years, they have completely changed their methods of storing, sorting, and delivering through digital systems and digital technology.

UPS drivers now use a system called On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION), which helps them navigate using the optimal route. ORION reduces wait times for customers and fuel costs for the business.

Workers use Bluetooth devices that alert them if they’ve loaded a parcel into the incorrect truck, reducing the chances of shipping delays caused by human error.

In 2016, UPS implemented new data collection practices. They’ve used data they collected to optimize every step of their packaging and delivery process.

This has changed how workers sort packages to send to different locations, how workers load packages into delivery vehicles, and how the company recruits and trains temporary employees during busier holiday seasons.

Healthcare

Digital advances in the healthcare industry focus on optimization and streamlined patient management.

The goal is to reduce wait times for patients, optimize physicians’ time, and lessen the amount of manual paperwork for patients and physicians.

Most hospitals are moving toward a cloud-based digital data management system, using e-portals for simplified patient data collection and storage.

A 48,000-physician shortage is projected by 2024. As such, many hospitals are turning to remote patient-monitoring methods to manage patients with chronic health conditions.

Physicians can use digital tools, such as wristbands or skin patches with software components, to monitor patients’ vitals — all while those patients remain at home.

Other hospitals offer virtual appointments and consultations to reduce wait and travel times for patients.

The following two digital transformation examples demonstrate how healthcare providers can use new technologies to meet customer needs.

NHS

The National Health Service (NHS) is the UK’s publicly funded healthcare system. Their goal is to provide healthcare based on needs, not patients’ ability to pay.

The NHS has set the industry standard for chronic condition remote monitoring. Between November 2020 and January 2023, the NHS supported over 487,000 patients at home using digital home care and remote monitoring technologies.

Transitioning to a remote patient monitoring system allowed the NHS to streamline the patient treatment process.

BetterHelp

BetterHelp is the world’s largest online therapy platform. Its users can access over 23,000 licensed therapists via text, phone calls, or video calls.

BetterHelp makes therapy more accessible by removing the barriers that often limit a patient’s access to traditional therapy.

These barriers include costs, travel times, and scheduling difficulties. BetterHelp is also less expensive than traditional in-person therapy, can be used from anywhere in the world, and allows for greater flexibility for users to interact with their therapists.

BetterHelp all digital setup is beneficial for therapists, too. Therapists who were limited to in-person visits in the past can use the BetterHelp platform to connect with patients all over the world.

Manufacturing

In the manufacturing industry, digital transformation goals revolve around increasing production efficiency and improving inventory and supply chain management.

Manufacturing companies can use predictive analytics to increase their supply chain cost savings, track their maintenance needs, and reduce their energy consumption.

One of the most useful digital transformation upgrades within the manufacturing industry was implementing Internet of Things (IoT) sensors.

Industrial IoT sensors

Industrial IoT sensors collect performance data on industrial processes. They’re used in manufacturing plants and other locations to monitor equipment performance and track occupancy.

IoT sensors can include gas sensors to measure oxygen levels, temperature sensors to measure the temperature of machines and their surroundings, or pressure sensors to measure changes in air pressure around a machine.

The data that these devices collect helps manufacturing companies monitor their plant operations, industrial equipment, energy consumption, inventory, maintenance needs, and environmental conditions that could impact production.

Supermarkets

Digitization in supermarkets is aimed at increasing customer convenience and reducing the amount of time spent finding groceries in-store, bagging, and checking out.

digital transformation efforts

Many supermarkets have adopted the BOPIS or buy-online-pick-up-at-curbside (BOPAC) model to reduce wait and travel times, respectively.

In fact, online grocery shopping is projected to account for 20% of all grocery sales in the US by 2026.

Smaller retailers can use a multi-vendor marketplace rather than setting up their own online shopping platform.

A multi-vendor marketplace is an online hub for stores that don’t have an online store. These platforms reduce costs for small businesses and provide consumers with a one-stop-shopping experience.

The two digital transformation examples below demonstrate the value of optimizing business processes and knowing your customers so you can gain a competitive edge over your rivals.

Thrive Market

Thrive Market is a membership-based online store that claims to “cut out the middleman” to provide organic brands at wholesale prices.

It’s convenient and cost-effective, and it also uses artificial intelligence to recommend items and brands that users may enjoy. Members order their groceries online and enjoy curbside delivery within a few days.

Walmart

Another way to digitize grocery shopping is through the use of reward or incentive programs. These programs can use machine learning algorithms to offer personalized deals and savings.

Walmart is a multinational retail and supermarket chain based in the US. As the world moved into the digital age, Walmart stayed relevant by implementing a digital transformation strategy that complemented their existing business model and made shopping more convenient for customers.

By joining the Walmart+ reward system, members can use the Walmart app to purchase eligible items to gain a coupon-like reward and save on future purchases.

Walmart+ members can even use the app to scan items while shopping in-store, then checkout within the app and completely avoid checkout lines.

It makes shopping more convenient for the customer and helps to prevent long lines at checkout for cashiers.

How Can Hybrid Work Drive Digital Transformation?

Companies that adopt a hybrid work model have no choice but to embrace digital transformation.

Since hybrid employees aren’t in the same place all the time, paper-based forms and processes must be digitized so they’re accessible from anywhere.

It’s important to prioritize the personalization of digitalization when working toward a thorough digital transformation.

Your company’s digital transformation process will look different depending on your starting point, needs, and growth priorities.

To accelerate the digital transformation process, powerful hybrid work tools like OfficeRnD Hybrid can help companies:

With the right tools, hybrid organizations can rise to meet the challenges of adopting a hybrid setup.

A well-managed hybrid workplace offers flexibility for employees to manage their time however they choose, improving employee satisfaction and reducing stress.

Trusting employees with higher levels of autonomy in the workplace encourages them to take initiative and increase their productivity.

Successful transformation to a hybrid system makes it easy to transition between office and work-from-home spaces by ensuring that employee expectations are clear and internal communication channels are open.

Running a successful hybrid setup drives digital transformation in the following ways:

  • It elevates the need for effective, efficient team communication. Because coworkers are often in different spaces, internal communication platforms are essential when they’re collaborating on a project.
  • It elevates the need for clear, easy communication between the business and clients, the business and staff, and the business and guests.
  • It elevates the need for automation since working away from the office often includes repetitive tasks (requests, approvals, service tickets, check-ins, etc.) that could be automated to save time.

hybrid work drives digital transformation

Become a Digital Transformation Example With OfficeRnD Hybrid

Investing in digital technology and new platforms gives your business the edge it needs to remain competitive and relevant.

Business leaders understand that digital transformation empowers any business by optimizing its workflow, strengthening its relationships with clients, and facilitating better communication between colleagues.

Use the digital transformation examples discussed above as inspiration to generate ideas and find encouragement that the initial effort is well worth the results.

Are you ready to undergo digital transformation and look for hybrid workplace solutions?

Book a live demo with OfficeRnD and talk to our workplace experts about how our platform can facilitate your company’s growth as you enter the digital era.

You can also start for free with OfficeRnD Hybrid with no strings attached.

FAQ

What Are the 4 Main Areas of Digital Transformation?

The four main areas of digital transformation are as follows:

  1. Process: Using digital platforms or digital technologies to boost your business processes’ efficiency and effectiveness
  2. Business model: Using digital consumer data to adapt products, services, or pricing strategies to reflect digital consumers’ wants.
  3. Domain: Shifting to cloud-based systems and reducing or removing manual paperwork
  4. Cultural: Using digital platforms to change the way a company approaches meetings, collaboration, scheduling, and project management

What Are the Types of Digital Transformation?

The types of digital transformation are as follows:

  • Automation to speed up repetitive tasks and reduce friction throughout the workday
  • Connection through seamless data sharing and intuitive online communication
  • Consolidation of multiple platforms and processes to streamline workflow
  • Empowerment through easily accessible data and open communication channels

What Are the 5 Levels of Digital Transformation?

The five levels of digital transformation are as follows:

  1. Hesitation and resistance: At Level 1, your business resists digital transformation and is hesitant to move into the digital world. You actively avoid the shift to digital management platforms, cloud-based storage, and automation.
  2. Introduction: At Level 2, your business starts to explore digital projects and processes. You don’t have a clear goal for digitization, nor do you understand the benefits that digital transformation brings, but you’re curious about the digital world.
  3. Exploration and play: At Level 3, your business understands the benefits and necessity of digitization and has begun embracing digital transformation through new technology and systems.
  4. Fully synchronized transformation: Level 4 is the point at which your digital platform is fully integrated into your workflow. As your digital maturity grows and you maximize your efficiency, you’ll move closer to Level 5.
  5. Disruption and evolution: At Level 5, your company has fully embraced digitization. You have a robust and flexible digital system in place that defines the standard digital landscape for your industry.

Why IKEA is Digitally Transforming?

IKEA is digitally transforming to enhance customer experience, streamline operations, and adapt to changing shopping behaviors. By leveraging technology, they aim to offer personalized online shopping experiences, optimize supply chain management, and remain competitive in the evolving retail landscape. This transformation also supports their sustainability goals and global expansion plans.

Why Nike is Digitally Transforming?

Nike performed a digital makeover to meet evolving consumer expectations, enhance its direct-to-consumer channels, and harness data-driven insights. By integrating technology, Nike aims to offer personalized shopping experiences, optimize product innovation, and improve operational efficiency. This digital shift also positions Nike to better respond to market trends and strengthen its global brand presence.

Miro Miroslavov
CEO and Co-founder of OfficeRnD
Miro Miroslavov is a software engineer turned into a tech entrepreneur. In 2015 he co-founded OfficeRnD - a leading flex space and hybrid work management platform. As a CEO at OfficeRnD, he grew the company from inception to a leading software vendor that serves thousands of customers worldwide. He is a big fan of flexible working and is on a mission to "Making Flexible Working the Way of Working".