Digital Transformation: 'What is it and why does it matter?'

In this first post of our new Digital Transformation content series, our Marketing Manager Jack Waddingham talks about what exactly Digital Transformation is and why it should be high on the agenda of sport organisations.

The term ‘Digital Transformation’ is finding its way in to a lot of conversations in the sport sector, and for good reason. This incredibly important process is high on the agenda of almost every industry, but it stops many people in their tracks because of the ‘do or die’ rhetoric that sometimes accompanies it.

In order to shed light on what digital transformation means in the context of the sport and recreation sectors, we’ve teamed up with the Sport and Recreation Alliance to bring you a series of informative blogs, guides and case studies.

First up, what does ‘Digital Transformation’ mean?

This description from The Enterprises Project, an online community of IT professionals, is probably one of the best definitions we’ve seen:

“Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers.”

We’ve all seen a dramatic shift in consumer behaviour and the introduction of new (often more efficient) ways of working due to technological innovation. What digital transformation aims to encapsulate is the process that organisations are going through to adjust to and capitalise on this innovation.

For most industries, digital transformation is something that cannot be ignored, but it doesn’t require a knee-jerk reaction or wholesale changes overnight. The important thing is to understand where your organisation is in its journey and where you want to go.

It’s likely that you’re already on your way.

We are sure many of you are already tackling elements of digital transformation including basic things like giving members the ability to renew their membership online, or using video-conferencing tools so employees can work remotely.

These types of initiative fall in to what we have observed as the five core areas of digital transformation:

  • Customer (or member) Experience

  • Operational Process and Agility

  • Transformation of Business Models

  • Culture and Leadership

  • Digital Technology Integration

The graphic below provides examples of initiatives in each of these areas as well as examples where we have experienced digital transformation in action when working with governing bodies of sport:

The five areas of digital transformation

This is not a journey with an end-point…

Digital transformation is a moving object, and the speed of innovation is sometimes quite unforgiving. Technology will always aim to find new ways of helping you overcome your challenges; whether it’s changing an internal process to be more efficient or launching a new service to cater for member demand.

It’s important to understand that it’s never too late to jump on this moving train, and once you do, it’s going to be a journey that doesn’t have a final stop. The crucial thing is to make sure you know how to stay on track once you’re moving and that’s where we are hoping to provide some guidance with this series of content.

The focus of next piece will take a more detailed look at one of the core areas covered in our graphic and what it means in the context of the sport sector.

Get in touch to find out more about our work and how we're supporting Governing Bodies of Sport with digital transformation projects.