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For businesses that want to remain relevant in the marketplace, staying stationary with processes is not an option. Whether launching a startup or reinventing a long-standing brand, the constant flux of the digital landscape must be considered. Staying on top of emerging trends is crucial for businesses as competition becomes more robust.
Salesforce Einstein is continually breaking molds in the digital realm, but that would not be possible without past advancements paving the way.
Observing milestones in the digital revolution
Once upon a time businesses kept their records in a paper (or analog) system, and the processes of the era (Xerox, faxes and typewriters) accommodated that. While these technologies have reached a mostly obsolete status, they were efficient at the time.
Eventually, emerging technology began to drive the conversion of analog records into electronic files. This process is known as digitization. While digitization is a big initiative for any company to take on, it is a necessary endeavor.
A generalized enhancement of customer service was a natural side-effect of digitization as files became easier to locate, etc. After it took hold, more efficient ways of working began to become clear, paving the way for digitalization.
As an offshoot of the progress already made through digitization, digitalization keeps the momentum going. It describes the development or betterment of business processes through the use of digital technology.
One example of digitization is scanning paper reports into digital files that can be accessed on a computer. Taking that a step further into digitalization could mean using feature-rich programs, such as Xcel, to put the data into a modifiable spreadsheet where it can be easily organized.
Forward-thinking coupled with new technology has served as a launching pad into the next digital phase – digital transformation.
What is digital transformation?
The power of digital is being leveraged by every industry in the 21st century. Because of the way the digital economy has advanced, businesses are able to take a more analytical eye to every operational aspect. In the midst of technology advancements lies a massive opportunity to rethink business models and practices altogether. This is digital transformation.
For example, computing data and trends in real-time has become commonplace through advanced data analytics technology. Through the knowledge gained, new revenue streams can be revealed.
Consider Netflix. The company leveraged digitization by sending compact DVDs to customers via mail. Sending clunky VHS tapes would not have been nearly as practical. As technology advanced, Netflix launched its streaming service where customers could access digital content through a subscription-based model. Next came a string of Netflix original series where the company began producing its own unique content to attract more customers (and compete with traditional cable companies).
How artificial intelligence is starting to define digital business
Digital evolution is here to stay, and customer acquisition is at the root of it all. After all, the reason people start businesses is to draw spenders in.
The development of artificial intelligence (AI) has opened the door to a future where possibilities seem endless. AI technology enables computers to take on the traits of human brains, giving them the ability to reason, generalize, draw conclusions and learn from mistakes. Because of that, AI has the power to win more customers without the help of humans.
The ability to capture and analyze data is one of the most powerful advantages in the digital revolution, and machine learning has amped up the ability to provide game-changing insights that prompt businesses to adapt. With businesses being able to access more advanced information than would be possible with the help of people alone, the potential for digital transformation is ripe.
Digital marketing apps are also an important piece of the puzzle. Tech giant Salesforce is a digital transformation company that is proving what is possible through AI apps.