What is Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation (DT) is the process of improving existing processes through the use of better applications, often borrowing on successful UX patterns from consumer-facing services and apps.
This could mean that a process that used to be paper-based 10 years ago, say requesting annual leave, would – through multiple iterations – be replaced by HR software, which in turn could be made available to mobile devices or even be made accessible through chatbots.
While there are many nuanced definitions of Digital Transformation they generally share the aim to reduce wasting of resources by improving productivity on multiple fronts: make data available digitally and instantly, send it to the right person who can access it at their desk or on the go, letting them see contextual information that's again available electronically and feeding decisions back to the system faster as a consequence.
Are Digital Assistants a Digital Transformation tool?
Yes. Digital Assistants borrow on the successful UX established by Siri and Google Now as reliable handheld "companions" that you can query using just your voice. These smart assistants are not just easily accessible with voice recognition, they also act as a "hub" or "gateway" to other apps installed on the phone by triggering rideshare requests, money transfers or even changes to IoT devices like a smart lightbulb.
This pattern is what Digital Assistant is bringing to the enterprise context: Instead of being a phone-only experience, it is available as a responsive design web app or is simply added as a "companion" chatbot into existing chat channels the organization uses. Then instead of triggering apps from the App Store, it communicates with APIs available from almost any enterprise application. These API connections allow the assistant to both retrieve results the user asked for, but also trigger workflows and requests in these systems on behalf of the user.