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What is Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to transform existing traditional and non-digital business processes and services, or creating new ones, to meet with evolving market and customer expectations.

The result? Completely altering the way businesses are managed, operated and ultimately, how value is delivered to customers.

As innovation develops, so should your business.

In this article, we will touch on six aspects around digital transformation:


"Digital Transformation can be used to refer to anything from IT modernization, advanced enhancement to the innovation of new computerised plans of action." Generally, it is related to the utilization of advanced innovation to physically advance or make new business measures.

What is Digital Transformation for business entities?

It is the process of understanding client needs and utilizing technology innovation to improve the end-client experience and exceeding client expectations. End users could be clients or employees within the organisation.

Digital Transformation is a means to developing your business by exploring different avenues for new technology interventions in light of the current way you deal with typical issues. Since it’s a complete shift and an advancement, it does not have a clearly defined end point but rather is a continuous, systematic evolution.

The MIT Sloan Management Review, a distribution that spotlights how the executives change in the computerised age, states, "Advanced change is better considered as persistent variation to a continually evolving climate."

For businesses, that implies consistently searching out approaches to improve the end-client experience. A first step could be preparing and relocating information to cloud administrations, utilising automation and better leveraging human capital; the sky is the limit.


  • Customer Experience

Focused on working to understand customers in more detail, using technology to fuel customer growth, and creating more customer touch-points touch-points.

  • Operational Processes

Revolves around improving internal processes by leveraging digitisation and automation, enabling employees with digital tools, and collecting data to monitor performance and make more strategic business decisions.

  • Business Models

Transforming the business by augmenting physical offerings with digital tools and services, introducing digital products, and using technology to provide global shared services.

While each digital change has its own particular objectives, the principal motivation behind any advanced change is to improve your present operations. Advanced change is imperative for organisations who want to remain on the leading edge of their industries.

A Bain & Company study shows that “only 8% of global companies have been able to achieve their targeted business outcomes from their investments in digital technology.” One of the strategies that sets successful leaders apart is that they spend more on transforming their businesses instead of just running them.

Computerised change is significant on the grounds that it enables organisations to adjust to consistently changing ventures and constantly improve how they work.


While the ROI of Digital Transformation relies upon an assortment of variables, the correct innovation can exponentially improve your business’ capacities and client satisfaction.

  • Increases Productivity

Using innovation to work more productively is quite possibly the most effective approach to transforming your business. For instance, time and cash spent preparing new employees or refreshing advanced assets can easily add up. By using intelligent technologies, you can minimize expenses and cut down on unnecessary costs.

  • Customer Journey

Well informed clients require differentiated engagement differentiated engagement through various touch-points — versatile applications, web-based media, email, live visits etc. Computerised changes are the main thrust behind improved client encounters.

  • Stay Ahead of the Competition

Your competitors are most likely already looking into digital transformation to enhance their businesses. Choosing not to embrace digital transformation risks your business being side-lined or left behind on crucial industry changes.



According to the IDC Market Report, the total sub-Saharan ICT Market is expected to grow from US$ 95.4 billion in 2020 to reach US$ 104.2 billion by 2023, a CAGR of 4.5% for that period.

South African spending is expected to grow from US$ 29.3 billion in 2020 to reach US$ 33.0 billion by 2023 while Nigeria is seen to move from US$ 10.0 billion to US$ 11.3 billion in the same period. Kenya’s ICT market is expected to grow from US$ 4.4 billion to US$ 4.8 billion within the same period.

Among the emerging areas in Digital Transformation for the East African region include:

  1. Financial services: Using mobile and social media as new customer contact channels, customer segmentation through analytics, anticipating future banking needs with AI and analytics, fraud detection using AI among other areas.

  2. Manufacturing: Use of automated sales processing, analytics/BI, IoT for supply chains.

  3. Government: Use of AI for citizen service delivery, mobility (mobile applications hosted in the cloud, service innovation.

  4. Telecommunications: Use of big data and analytics to segment customers, predict churn, innovate on products, enhance services, lower costs and robotic process automation.

  5. Retail: Analytics to measure customer loyalty, eCommerce disruption, in-store experience (digital signage, AR/VR), Operational rationalisation – IoT, blockchain, AI.

  6. Healthcare: Integrated patient records, Patient analytics, “Zero waiting time”, remote doctor on-demand, telemedicine and Intelligent Automation in core areas.

Four Pillars for Digital Transformation Success in Africa

Over the last 20 years, many new technologies have been implemented in Africa. Some have had resounding success such as the M-Pesa payment platform, while others have unfortunately floundered and died.

IDC has noted four common success factors within the region, summed up as the RASA filter.

  • Relevance

The African Region is a unique operating environment with characteristics ranging from diverse consumer preferences to specific line of business expectations.

If a solution is promoted purely based on its technological attributes such as speeds and feeds but ignores the direct impact of the application/solution to the end user, then it is bound to fail.

The relevance of the solution must closely map to a business outcome such as increased customer satisfaction, higher production output, or improved sales volumes. The key question to ask - “How does this solution immeasurably improve ___ aspect of the business?”

  • Affordability

Cost is an inevitable aspect of any technology implementation; even more so in the African context. Local currency values fluctuate wildly and buying power versus stable international currencies is typically weak although pricing is denominated in these currencies. In many cases the technology is desired to make a significant impact on the business is not affordable.

  • Security

As variety and complexity of technology increases, so does the security threat surface available for malicious exploitation. Africa is well connected to the global ecosystem in terms of finance, banking and commerce. Therefore, cyber and physical security threats originating internationally and, more importantly, locally, must be considered whenever a new technology is implemented.

  • Accessibility

While much has been made of the significant improvements in global connectivity via undersea and satellite communications around Africa in the last 10 years there are notable gaps in terrestrial access across the continent, especially in rural and semi-rural areas. Affordable connectivity via reliable, high-speed fibre is typically limited to urban or metropolitan areas while rural connectivity remains expensive and inconsistent.

IDC suggests that by applying these four, simple filters at the outset of any digital transformation project pitfalls can be prevented. This will greatly help African CIOs and IT strategists identify and overcome challenges even before they occur.

In need of an digital transformation strategy to streamline your business’ operations? Get in touch with our specialists at or call us today on +254 709 873 000.

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