Digital Adoption for Businesses
August 10, 2022

What's the Difference Between Digital Optimization and Digital Transformation?

The Difference Between Digital Optimization and Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a term that has been used to describe the business-wide changes that are necessary to maintain competitiveness in an increasingly digital world.

Digital transformation is a process of moving from one state to another. In this case, it means moving from an organization’s current state to a more desirable future state. To make this happen, companies will need to take action and make changes - both internally and externally - to their business practices and culture.

The process of digital transformation can be broken down into three core steps:

  1. Identify the digital trends that are affecting your business and your industry.
  2. Create a roadmap for how you will implement these trends.
  3. Implement your plan and monitor its progress.

But before a company gets to digital transformation, wherein they rethink their business model and gain a unique advantage or a form of digital leadership, they first need digital optimization. Digital optimization is the process of improving business efficiencies in every area of the business using technology so that all processes are running at maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

Digital optimization is about using technology to do what you already do, better. Digital transformation is the process of using technology to change and improve your business model itself by gaining unique advantages, creating new revenue streams, and more. Digital adoption is the process of putting all of these changes into action.

Digital adoption is the implementation of digital optimization and the following maturation to digital transformation.


What is Digital Optimization and Why Is the Difference Crucial for Your Business?

Thought about in terms of catching up to the modern “best practices” of technology, digital adoption is the plan to catch up. Digital optimization is adopting of all new technologies that could improve your processes, and digital leadership is going beyond what is the new normal to being a digital leader. To ignore digital adoption is to get left behind, becoming increasingly less profitable, less relevant, and increasing your chances of going out of business. If you haven’t noticed, horse and buggy manufacturers aren’t doing too well these days.

Let’s look at a more practical and recent example. I remember very clearly 6 years ago, while I was still running a painting franchise company, an occasion in which a senior painter (in his 60’s with white hair) came up to me and said “is that a paper proposal? Man I’ve been using an app for years.” It was at that point that I knew we were falling behind in technology. This led me to encourage our franchise create a digital adoption plan. We needed to optimize, to catch up.

Unfortunately, they didn’t listen. So I digitally optimized my local franchise- setting up my own technology for proposals, for auto-booking in clients, for auto-client reminders to reduce no-shows, and for gathering online reviews to increase our digital presence. All of these, planned for in the off-season, led to an unprecedented spike of $100,000 in sales through leads that came from online sources without even $1 of marketing. Not only that, but we were able to reduce the time to do sales estimates by 30% and never lost a proposal again once they were digital- which happened far too often, especially for warranty work.

Having the right digital advisor can mean massive improvements in your bottom line in a very short time. Every business can be made more profitable with the help of innovative digital solutions, but most do not have the available technical talent or dedicated budget to do so. That's why we offer a fractional CTO for hire. So you can turn ideas into digital reality to improve your company's processes and solutions. For a fraction of the cost of a full-time role, you have access to an entire team of experts with a dedicated lead to know your business personally. To learn more about our CTO for Hire plans and to get 3 Free Recommendations on a discovery call, learn more here.

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