The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to rapidly adapt to new realities, including remote work, changing customer demands, and disrupted supply chains. Digital transformation has become a defining moment for businesses, as companies are forced to embrace digital technologies to survive and thrive.

We’ll also look at how digital transformation has enabled improved communication and accessibility while highlighting the challenges and unexpected training requirements that come with the new process. It’s important to understand that digital transformation isn’t just about turning technology on and expecting it to work but also about digital security and the future of digital disruption.

We’ll explore the future of digital transformation and provide strategies for unlocking the power of this new reality, building a future-ready business that can thrive in the face of disruption.

A Defining Moment for Businesses

Companies that had previously hesitated to adopt digital technologies were suddenly forced to embrace them to survive. The pandemic highlighted the importance of having digital capabilities to remain competitive and agile in a rapidly changing business environment. The companies that have been able to adapt quickly and leverage digital technologies have thrived despite the pandemic.

In contrast, those slow to adopt digital transformation have needed help to keep up. Digital transformation is no longer a luxury but a business imperative that companies must embrace to stay relevant and competitive in the years to come.

A Journey of Innovation and Disruption

Digital transformation is simply businesses using technology to fundamentally change business operations. Digital transformation can drive innovation and disrupt the industry by enabling organizations to improve operations, streamline processes, and create new business models. By embracing digital transformation, companies can gain a competitive edge in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape.

From Buzzword to Business Imperative

Digital transformation has become a buzzword, no different than synergy or innovation. However, we believe that digital transformation is more than a trend or fad. This is a business imperative, not a buzzword. Businesses who want to stay competitive must consider digital transformation.
One common myth is that digital transformation is simply about implementing new technologies, but, it’s much more than that. It’s about rethinking business models, processes, and operations to leverage technology to create new customer value and drive innovation. By embracing digital transformation, companies can create disruption in their industries and establish themselves as leaders in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Accessibility and Improved Communication

Digital transformation has brought about improved accessibility and communication in the workplace. Previously, in-person meetings and traditional communication channels were relied on to conduct business. However, digital tools and technologies have emerged to allow efficient communication and collaboration from anywhere worldwide.

By investing in digital transformation, you can improve collaboration through video calls, messaging and project management. Improved collaboration allows employees to work remotely and collaborate effectively, improving work-life balance, productivity, and employee satisfaction.
Accessibility also comes to mind when celebrating digital transformation. Through careful planning, organizations have a unique opportunity to revolutionize accessibility and communication in the workplace.

Process Challenges and Unexpected Training Requirements

Digital transformation can be tricky for businesses as they adopt new processes and technologies. They might encounter various difficulties such as reluctance to change, inadequate technical know-how, and difficulty in integrating with existing systems. To make the transition successful, employee training is essential, which can be a significant investment.

We won’t pretend there aren’t significant challenges related to digital transformation. Navigating these challenges can be difficult, but by prioritizing employee training, investing in the necessary resources, and communicating the benefits of digital transformation, you can successfully lead your organization through this transformational change.

Strategy and Planning

Digital transformation is not just about implementing new technology; it requires a strategic and planned approach to ensure success. The initiative leaders need to create a cohesive strategy that includes people, process and technology with a clear plan of how each integrates with the other. You might conduct a tool audit or evaluate your existing communications or guides. Developing your roadmap for how you will execute any digital transformation process is the key to your success.

Without proper planning, it is almost certain that your digital transformation goals will not be met. Digital transformation is a journey, not a one-time project. It requires ongoing evaluation and optimization to drive long-term success.

Security in the Wild

Digital transformation has enabled companies to operate with unprecedented speed and efficiency but has also created new security risks. With an increased reliance on technology and remote work, it has become more critical than ever for organizations to prioritize digital security. From implementing secure communication tools to establishing robust data encryption protocols, companies can use various strategies to protect their digital assets and sensitive data. Maintaining strong digital security practices cannot be overstated as businesses continue to navigate the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Embracing Disruption to Drive Growth and Success

Digital transformation is the future and will revolutionize the way businesses drive growth. Leaders who embrace new technologies and innovations will streamline their operations, deliver superior customer experiences and keep a competitive edge. Beyond improved internal operations, businesses that prioritize digital transformation can gain access to new markets and expand their reach. Those who fail to embrace change will be at risk of falling behind and missing growth targets. Digital transformation means staying ahead of the curve and thriving.

Strategies for Building a Future-Ready Business

As the business landscape evolves, digital transformation is becoming increasingly essential for companies that want to remain competitive and future-ready. However, implementing digital transformation is not always straightforward. To successfully navigate the complex digital transformation process, companies must have a clear strategy. This involves implementing new technologies, restructuring business processes, and changing company culture to embrace the digital mindset.


The COVID-19 pandemic has served as a catalyst for digital transformation in the business world. Companies that take the lessons learned and use them to their advance will accelerate their growth. With the right strategy and team in place to implement, companies can thrive in the face of disruption.

When Josh Fleming joined Bank Iowa as the Vice President of Marketing, he wanted to push the envelope and move away from a traditional approach to bank advertising. He reached out to LIFT, a company specializing in research-based customer and brand experience, for help.

“I would say bringing in an outside partner was the smartest thing we could have done because otherwise, it’s just a new marketing director saying we got to spend all this money here, here, and here.” Fleming explains. “I needed to know for myself where the best place to spend money was.”

LIFT’s brand awareness study of Bank Iowa surveyed customers in every county the company serves. The results were insightful. “The good news is the people that knew of Bank Iowa absolutely loved us, they thought we were trustworthy, loyal, skilled. The bad news was only 9% of the people in the counties we served knew who we were,” Fleming recalls.

This positioned the bank with a unique opportunity to build awareness through ongoing measuring and monitoring. Its media plans are specifically structured to promote the brand primarily through radio and television, with some traditional print advertising as well.

Fleming says when you’re trying to elevate the brand and measure it, “it has a domino effect because everybody at the bank knows that we’re trying to build brand awareness.” He adds the benefit of this approach is that it’s hard to argue with data. “If you have data to back up your assumptions in what you want to do, it makes it pretty easy to kind of give a head nod to move forward.”

The research LIFT provides has produced numbers that prove the marketing approach is effective. “It’s really hard to say that we ran this radio spot and 10 people opened accounts, we can’t really do that.” But that’s where the data comes in. Fleming can show brand awareness has increased somewhere between 15- 20% over the last five years. “We’ve been able to do that with a dedicated marketing plan, and data that shows this is actually working.”

Up to this point, Bank Iowa’s primary approach has been building brand awareness. Fleming says now that they have their message figured out, which was done through a lot of research and data collecting to get to a brand position, “it’s time to go a bit more granular”.

Fleming says they are looking at ways to move the needle more specifically. “To be able to say we’re going to run this digital campaign, we expect it to generate 110 accounts within the next three months. And here’s how we’re going to track it,” he explains.

Bank Iowa is based in Des Moines, Iowa, and serves some 40,000 customers.

Turnover reduces by 50% when employees have access to a remote work option.

It is hard for employers to ignore the costs associated with employee turnover. The average cost of replacing an hourly employee is reportedly $1,500, according to PeopleKeep. But for technical positions, it’s 100% to 150% of their salary. And for C-level positions, the cost is a whopping 213% of their salary!

That is a lot of money to spend on hires who may or may not stick around. A Pew Research Center survey found overall, about four million workers switched jobs each month on average from January to March 2022. This translates into an annual turnover of 30% of workers or nearly 50 million.

Add to this that one in five workers says they are likely to look for a new job in the next six months, and the potential cost to their employers is high considering up to 20% of the current workforce could exit at any time.

There is a solution. Can some or all the positions your company offers be done remotely or with a more flexible hybrid model? If the answer is yes, then it’s worth pursuing. Turnover goes down 50% when employees have a remote work option, according to a report by Zippia. One out of five workers asked were even willing to give up vacation time in exchange for virtual work opportunities.

As of last year, some 26% of employees in the United States are now working remotely. That is four times more than pre-pandemic levels. With employees looking for flexibility and employers looking to attract and retain top talent, there is no doubt remote work is here to stay.

By Tara Thomas-Gettman