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a primer

Enterprise digital transformation

Learn about the key considerations for a global corporation that's considering an enterprise digital transformation, how to overcome the main challenges, and more. If you're looking for an AI-powered collaboration and customer engagement solution, book a product tour of Dialpad to see how it can help your enterprise create a smooth remote + hybrid work environment!


Digital business transformation is everywhere, but for large enterprises with potentially thousands of employees around the world, it can be a substantial challenge. Despite having bigger budgets and more resources, the leap isn’t always easy.

Enterprise digital transformation is, however, possible—and the benefits are more than worth the effort. So how can CTOs and CIOs walk this line between innovation and cost savings?

How can you decrease overhead while increasing revenue—and turning your customer conversations into data-fuelled resources for better, smarter business decisions? In this guide, we’ll walk you through the fundamentals of enterprise digital transformation.

What is enterprise digital transformation?

Enterprise digital transformation is essentially the integration of unified digital technologies across a business. From startups to multinationals, these technologies change and optimize the way a company deploys and manages its everyday operations.

The point of digital transformation is to deliver operational optimization and value to customers, while enhancing the employee experience. With customer expectations soaring and working styles changing just as radically, digital transformation is no longer a mere option but absolutely essential.

While no two digital transformations look the same, there are steps you can take to make sure yours is as smooth and successful as possible.

Enterprise digital transformation’s importance in business

We’ve said that digital transformation is important, but why?

In business, it’s because of one basic reason: survival.

Digital infrastructures allow organizations to be agile and quick to adapt to any circumstance. In the wake of supply chain disruption, market flux, or evolving customer expectations, technology allows businesses to stay abreast of changes and react quickly.

Not only this, but it allows companies to keep up with the competition. With digital trends in 2021 including everything from blockchain to artificial intelligence to the internet of things (IoT), there’s a lot of change to adapt to.

What should a modern IT organization's tech stack include?

Five IT visionaries from Quora, Xero, Betterment, Code42, and Vend share their insights on what to look for as you're designing a tech stack for your enterprise. Download the guide to learn more!

6 benefits of enterprise digital transformation

The potential benefits brought about by effective digital transformation are immense. From in-depth consumer insights to increased profits, scalability, and better business decision-making, digital transformation is a one-way ticket to operational improvement.

Let’s take a look at some of the upsides you can expect once you’ve implemented enterprise digital transformation.

1. More detailed customer insights

Whether you’re a healthcare provider, change management consultancy, or SaaS enterprise, a big part of digitization centers around data collection. Structured data like customer contact information and unstructured data like social media metrics are key to driving business growth and relevance.

Harnessing the right data at the right time can be your biggest asset. This is the key to unlocking customer insights, needs, desires, and more.

When you’re able to act on those insights, you can deliver heightened customer-centric services that meaningfully increase customer loyalty and retention long term and set your organization apart from the rest. By harnessing precision data, you’ll be able to formulate a fine-tuned business strategy.

2. Business profitability and flexibility

Digital transformation has a direct impact on your bottom line. For example, Dialpad’s collaboration and cloud contact center features are built on a unique dual-cloud architecture—which leverages the cloud for “decisions,” but relies on its data centers for voice and video quality.

This unique design makes for much better call quality, and for organizations that are moving their communications to the cloud, can be a key piece to make digital transformation a success.

From a cost perspective, what this means is that you’ll be able to significantly scale back your overheads and outlay. There’s no expensive hardware to ship out or implementation charges—just a simple monthly payment structure that offers a consolidated suite of communications tools including a contact center platform.

With Dialpad, an enterprise organization can also spin up new contact centers around the world in much less time, glean more insights from customer conversations than ever before thanks to its Dialpad Ai, and get easy access to real-time analytics like call times and average speed to answer:

Dialpad's built-in heat map analytics feature showing average speed to answer.
👉 See how they did it:

Fun fact: ClassPass used Dialpad to set up new hires around the world—in minutes. See how they did it here.

3. A better customer experience

One of the greatest things about enterprise digital transformation is that it allows organizations to drastically improve customer experiences.

With more data insights at your fingertips, you’ll be able to make targeted changes to your services based on what your customers want and need. Now, if that’s not the most valuable thing since gold, we don’t know what is.

We often think of data as impersonal, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Data is what allows organizations (particularly larger ones who don’t have face-to-face contact with customers day in day out) to foster stronger, more meaningful relationships.

With the right digital technologies in place, organizations can collect, store, and analyze tons of customer data and channel those insights into offering highly personalized services.

Even enterprise-scale organizations now have the tools and resources available to offer tailored digital products and services that speak to each customer’s unique preferences and specifications.

4. Data-driven decision-making (DDDM)

Big data is at the heart of digital transformation. The larger your enterprise, the more customer conversations and insights you’re accumulating on a daily basis, and the more important big data analytics will be.

Digital transformation initiatives are all about gathering data and incorporating it into everyday business functions, decisions, and business processes. That way, organizations start to work at a much higher level than was possible before.

Once your operations are digitized, data ceases to be something that only ever gets seen in the boardroom on a line graph once a year.

Post-digital transformation, that data becomes real, tangible, actionable research, providing you with a comprehensive view over your entire operation from production to customer service, marketing to finance.

5. An empowered global workforce

Finally, digitization has a very human—and useful—element to it. As much as digitization is about data, automation, and process efficiency, it’s also about empowering the people in your workforce to work and live better.

In fact, digitization is allowing more and more people to achieve the work-life balance they’ve long desired. Why? Because digital transformation success transforms work styles as well as processes.

It’s thanks to digitization that flexible, remote, and hybrid working arrangements have taken off in recent years. Being able to work from anywhere is the future—there’s no way around it. And to let a global workforce work from wherever they want, digital transformation is key.

Can your customer support team spin up new contact centers and agents easily on their own? Or do they need to call your vendor every time and wait days or weeks?

Many companies are used to the latter, but today, having the right communications platform allows supervisors and managers to add new hires and set them up with phone numbers instantly—without IT help. For example, here’s how it looks in Dialpad:

Adding and managing phone numbers from Dialpad's online dashboard.

With data centers across six continents, Dialpad’s platform has unparalleled uptime and reliability—key for any enterprise business that’s serving clients and customers 24/7.

Take the first step toward your digital transformation

If you're starting to plan a move toward the cloud, book a demo of Dialpad to see how other global enterprises are using it to empower remote and hybrid workers around the world. Or, take a self-guided interactive tour of the app on your own!

6. Better futureproofing

Future-proofing is one of the most important—and hardest—things for enterprises to do.

As good as your digital transformation strategy looks on paper, it’s no good if it isn’t looking to the future.

A good digital infrastructure should offer your organization an extra layer of protection against market flux, demand changes, emerging trends, unexpected disasters, and any future eventualities. You want to be ready and waiting when customer demand shifts.

Make sure you can access data easily—and that the technologies you’re implementing offer robust data insights and storage. With Dialpad, you’ll gain access to advanced data sets and secure customer data storage too.

Common challenges that enterprises face with digital transformation

As important as digital transformation is, it’s not easy to implement. Especially in larger, enterprise-scale organizations with numerous departments, thousands of employees, and potentially multiple international bases, digitalization is a big task.

There are many challenges along the way when facing a digital transformation at scale, so let’s take a look at the main ones.

Knowing when to make the move

This is one of the most common challenges we see with our enterprise customers. The first thing you move to the cloud is not going to be your telephones. Have you moved your business applications, like your email, to the cloud yet? What about your CRM or ticketing system? Once you’ve done this part of your digital transformation and have experience doing this, then you’re more likely to be ready to move your phone system to the cloud.

The temptation to “let it ride”

Digital transformation is not a small project by any means. And for many CTOs, CIOs, and CFOS, it may seem to make sense to just let things go the way they always have.

Or they may know that something needs to be done with business’ communications platforms and that on-premises technology can’t last forever—but need an extra push.

The question here remains: why wait for a pandemic to execute a digital transformation project that needs to be done anyway?

Keeping on track with company compliance

Many compliance considerations have to be taken into account when going through a digital transformation. It’s important to be aware of the key legal and compliance issues that are going to impact the development of your project ahead of time.

For example, you’ll likely need to:

  • Carry out a risk assessment that takes into account occupational, legal, and compliance risk.

  • Ensure effective management and oversight of business functions.

  • Put in place appropriate vendor contracts to mitigate any legal or commercial risks associated with the project.

  • Identify any legal risks pertaining to information security.

  • Make sure the project complies with all relevant regulatory requirements.

Scheduling and time management

Scheduling is essential to any digital transformation. Again, for enterprise organizations, this can be even more challenging.

Ideally, your digital transformation strategy should lay out a relatively swift implementation timeline. That’s because when companies introduce tools that take a long time to implement, it tends to slow down the entire digital transformation strategy.

Needless to say, implementation across a large enterprise with a significant workforce and international presence will require some serious scheduling and strict time management.

To ensure a rapid digital implementation process, choose tools and software options that can be implemented quickly and easily. Dialpad, for example, provides enterprise-grade telephony and business communications with instant global deployment. This makes installation, configuration, and user experience management simple and easy.

👉 Did you know?

A typical enterprise deployment with Dialpad takes no more than a few weeks. That’s much faster than the deployment of traditional PBX solutions.

Being bound by enterprise contracts

Another challenge enterprises can come up against is contracts. Every process and implementation will come with its own set of terms and conditions. Issues such as ownership rights and jurisdiction are never far away.

In many cases, digital transformation services are contracted on the service provider’s terms. That means enterprises implementing these digital services don’t have a huge amount of wriggle room for negotiation.

Another potential issue is inflexible scoping. Some contracts will define your project's scope from the very beginning. One of the biggest benefits of moving to the cloud is that you can scale up services (and scale them down too!) as you need them.

With Dialpad, you’re able to make the most of your investment and enjoy full scalability and mobility. You can add—and remove—users or phone numbers with a single click, meaning your communications can scale with your business grows or experiences seasonality:

Adding a new user from Dialpad's online dashboard.

4 key levers: how to know if you’re ready for enterprise digital transformation

You’ve completed your planning phase and now it's time for action. Let’s talk about a few ways to tell if you’re ready to move forward with enterprise digital transformation.

A successful digital transformation requires more than just having a good IT team. It’s a delicate balance between planning, installation, and managing employee and customer expectations simultaneously.

1. Is your email still on-premises?

Even if you think or say that you’re ready for digital transformation, there are some tell-tale signs that can give you a rough idea of whether your organization is really ready.

For example, if your email system is still on-premises, then that will likely need to be one of your first steps before you start thinking about more ambitious digital transformation projects like moving your telephony to the cloud.

2. Are you ready for the cloud?

The cloud is a key cornerstone of every digital transformation process. Think of it as the foundation that lays the groundwork for agility, mobility, and flexibility later on for your organization. Cloud-based infrastructures are key to worldwide (and cost-effective) communications, on-demand data, and truly flexible scalability.

That leads us nicely to the issue of mobility…

3. Your employees are demanding a hybrid or remote revolution

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, employees wanted flexibility and work-life balance—and who can blame them?

Before, UCaaS and CCaaS were still emerging technologies, working in an office from 9 to 5 could still be acceptable for most employees. No longer.

Digitization is allowing more and more organizations to offer flexible working opportunities to their workforce—and it benefits the businesses too, with savings in rent or leases for offices, expensive hardware and equipment, and more.

If your employees are asking for a hybrid or remote-first work environment, then you’ll likely be pushed into an enterprise digital transformation sooner rather than later.

4. Are your customers expecting smoother digital journeys?

Customer expectations are shifting rapidly. Part of the reason for this is the influence of digital technologies themselves.

Digital technologies have transformed customer habits and behaviors. Monitoring and appealing to customer expectations is, therefore, an essential part of any digital transformation journey.

Today’s customers want instant gratification. We’re all used to getting what we want when we want it. So, make sure you’re equipping your organization with the tools that will facilitate that.

The digital transformation roadmap

It’s time to talk you through your digital transformation roadmap. Let’s look at the individual stages you’ll need to pass through to achieve your final transformation:

Step 1: Gauge your current business state

First thing’s first, take a step back and gauge the current state of your business. Specifically, look at your current business tools including productivity software, CRM, ticketing tools, and so on.

Which of these would you like to integrate into your unified communications platform? (It may be that you’ll want to integrate all of them.)

Before, when digital technologies weren’t as advanced as they are today, businesses would’ve considered just their phone system instead of their unified communications platform—but today, most businesses are using many other communication channels as well, including messaging and video conferencing.

From here, start to map out the core capabilities and architectural domains you might implement.

Step 2: Narrow down your strategy

Next, narrow down that strategy by defining key business scenarios, target demographics, goals, and objectives. Use these criteria to develop a provisional business model that takes into account all the different factors that can influence your enterprise in its broader ecosystem.

Identify your target customer segments and the technologies that will help you reach out to them (for example, over the phone and live chat). What do these customers need and want? Make sure they’re accounted for in your transformation plan.

Step 3: Set your KPIs

How will you measure the success of your digital transformation project? You’ll need targeted KPIs (key performance indicators) to do so.

As you start to implement your new technology stack, make sure you’re monitoring certain core metrics to get a clearer idea of how your customers are responding, how your business’s operations are running, and how this is impacting your return on investment.

Here are some KPIs to consider—you may not need all of them, but you should at least be aware of them:

  • Customer lifetime value

  • Hours saved

  • Revenue from new digital services

  • Business sustainability

  • Outbound marketing performance

  • Operational improvement

  • Workforce productivity

  • Rate of innovation

  • Cloud application deployment speed

Step 4: Deploy in phases

When it comes to deployment, take a multi-phase approach to reduce risk. Many enterprises take smaller, more manageable steps first.

Once you have a few of these types of digital transformation projects under your belt and understand the process better, you may consider moving your organization’s voice or telephony to the cloud. (Why experiment on the lifeline of your business—the telephone? Best to be reasonably confident before taking that one on.)

In the task automation stage, you’ll be focusing on automating previously manual tasks for improved operational efficiency.

During the digital expansion stage, you’ll be mobilizing your new cloud infrastructures and using your software automation tools to support digital scaling and development.

Finally, during the augmentation phase, your goal will be more around further advancing your digitization journey with more advanced tools and functionalities.

Step 5: Keep track of everything—and we mean everything

The final stop on your digital transformation roadmap is monitoring. You’ll want to keep track of everything that’s going on with real-time data and analytics.

Digital transformations have a high failure rate, so it’s important to assess your progress and rectify any issues before they get blown out of proportion.

Remember to monitor those KPIs closely, and use this information to your advantage.

Ready to embrace enterprise digital transformation?

We live in a digital age. Enterprise digital transformation is looming large right now, and with machine learning and AI technology learning at a more rapid pace than ever, it just makes sense to take advantage of those tools as we consider how to move businesses to a fully digital environment.

How can we automate more repetitive and low-value tasks so that our biggest assets—our employees—can focus on the valuable, more complex work that they were hired to do?

How can we make sure that stakeholders at all levels, in countries around the world, can communicate effectively with teammates, prospects, and customers?

Although enterprise digitization does come with a fair number of challenges, we can make the process as smooth as possible by designing a thoughtful roadmap that takes into account all the touchpoints that teams across the business need, planning for software lifecycles in advance, and using born-in-the-cloud tools.

Transform your enterprise

If your organization’s communications are a big piece of your enterprise digital transformation, get a product tour of Dialpad to see how it can help you move to the cloud.