The 4 Types of Digital Transformation

Written by
Mariel Lettier

Digital transformation (DT or DX) is a popular buzzword in the business world. Using digital technology to improve your business is more than standard practice. It's almost a must to stay ahead of the competition. If it weren't for DX, companies wouldn't have been able to overcome COVID-19's challenges! Here, we'll go over four types of digital transformation with real-life examples. Hop on the Digital Transformation train!

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation applies digital technology to impact all aspects of businesses. In this scenario, its main areas include business processes, models, and products. DT focuses on improving efficiency, managing risk, and creating new monetization strategies. DX exploits new technologies to add value and services for stakeholders. It does so by adapting to the ever-changing circumstances in the business world. Hence, it helps improve efficiency and customer experience. Also, it provides companies with a competitive advantage. You can use digital transformation in many ways and in various areas. You can look at workflow, supply chain, employee skills, or products.

If you are still unclear about the concept, here are some examples:

● Including shifting from on-site to remote work.
● Adding in-store digital ordering kiosks.
● Migrating data and assets to the cloud.

If you'd like to know more about DX and why it's essential, you can look at this article. Also, you'll find some digital transformation trends there!

What are the Types of Digital Transformation?

As we've mentioned, DX can take different shapes depending on the needs of your business. There are four main types: process, business model, domain, and cultural transformation. Let's take a look at what all these entail below. We'll also throw in some examples at the end of each section!

The 4 Types of Digital Transformation

Process Transformation

Process transformation entails modifying the focus of your entrepreneurial activities. This approach improves internal processes and day-to-day operations. How? By making them more straightforward and efficient. It uses new digital technology and services like Analytics, APIs, and Machine Learning. Process transformation leads to reducing costs and lead times. It also improves quality, brand image, and customer experience. Examples include simplifying or removing steps, automating manual processes, and improving reporting.

Examples of Process Transformation

Adobe decided to install a data-driven operation model. This system helps the company track how the business is doing.
UPS also tackled process transformation. The courier company launched a fleet management tool in 2012. Through Machine Learning, the device improved delivery routes. This method raised productivity while reducing fuel costs and UPS's carbon footprint!
Nike turned to their app to change how its customers interact with its products. Nike's app allows shoppers to scan clothes and try and buy them straightforwardly.

The 4 Types of Digital Transformation

Business Model Transformation

This type of digital transformation is more drastic as it changes how to conduct business. It seeks to change how users buy or use a product or service to mimic competitors. Further, it's about reinventing your model with the least possible disruption and cost.

You can find plenty of examples of companies using DX to change their models in our everyday lives. For instance, Netflix switched from DVD mailing to content streaming. Uber reinvented the concept of taxi services. And iTunes changed how we get music. Business model transformation can lead to outstanding innovations and considerable growth!

Examples of Business Model Transformation

● In 2008's economic crisis, Adobe changed its license-based model into a subscription-based one. The company also divided its services into three cloud-based solutions.
Ikea decided to focus sales on eCommerce and convert stores into fruition centers.
Intergiro revolutionized FinTech by introducing embedded banking.

The 4 Types of Digital Transformation

Domain Transformation

Domain transformation happens when a company successfully dives into a new market. This type of digital transformation helps companies grow and expand. Domain DX also applies to finding new industries or products when existing ones are no longer profitable.

Examples of Domain Transformation

● An excellent example of domain transformation is Amazon. As you may know, the company started as an online bookseller. Now it has its streaming platform (Amazon Prime). Plus, it has its cloud computing service (Amazon Web Services)! This path might not seem obvious. Yet, Amazon adopted various tools and techs to launch into these areas.
Adobe also preyed on domain transformation. It acquired Omniture, a web analytics company, and Magento, an eCommerce platform.
Lego caught onto digital transformation early. The company expanded its business into video games in 1997.

The 4 Types of Digital Transformation

Cultural/Organizational Transformation

You won't be surprised when we say a company is more than the product or service it provides. Internal values and behaviors are a big part of the success of any business. Hence, company culture should be at the forefront of digital transformation. This guideline is vital to ensure every team member is on board. If not, productivity and revenue may decrease.

Cultural or organizational transformation focuses on changing how employees think about their work. It also revolves around how they collaborate and how they deal with problems. It may happen due to a change in ownership or leadership or a damaged reputation.

Examples of Cultural Transformation

● Consumer credit agency Experian introduced Agile development and collaboration into its workflow. This switch led employees to change focus from equipment to data.


Digital transformation is all around us and has brought about a lot of progress. Companies can execute any or all of these four types of transformation. They can also do it in any way most beneficial to their business. We hope this article has inspired you to add digital changes to your company! We are sure these will make your business even more successful and help it stand the test of time.

Our human-centered approach and hard-earned reputation make us able to deliver successful, top-notch, and stunning products. Whether you're looking to move from an idea into a business or thinking of new iterations for your product, our UX-focused Custom Software Development company is here to help. Feel free to reach out, and let's shape the future together!
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