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Innovation showcase: How digital transformation can launch businesses into the future

Digital transformation is an essential, ongoing process for businesses.

Because progress is often incremental – a series of small steps rather than a few giant leaps – it can be easy for digitisation to feel more like a mundane part of business as usual than an adventure into a shiny digital future.

But, from customer experiences that would have seemed sci-fi just few years ago to transformed ways of working and collaborating across teams, and a long list of other things besides, sometimes it’s important to reflect on the advances that businesses everywhere are making.

With that in mind, we’ve assembled a list of some of the most innovative examples of companies pushing further into the digital frontier than ever before.

At-a-glance technology

Through the explosion of eCommerce, logistics leaders are finding themselves under more and more pressure to streamline their work and provide the best service possible. Some industry leaders are taking that transformation a step further, kitting out employees with new tools to do their job faster.

For example, DHL’s packaging and delivery services have recently been supported by smart glasses with in-built barcode scanning technology, keeping pickers on the move, without the need for hand-held barcode scanners that can be dropped and easily broken.

The technology will allow workers to scan and move at a glance, significantly boosting efficiency across the warehouse floor and saving key time throughout the working day, opening the potential for greater fulfilment.

In-branch banking from home?

Online spaces are increasingly becoming the first point of contact for many businesses and their customer bases, but what about virtual reality?

In a world-first, American finance company, J.P. Morgan, has bought space within Mark Zuckerburg’s Metaverse, now hosting a VR walk-in bank branch in the online world “Decentraland” – a browser-based 3D virtual world in which users can buy plots of land in the form of NFTs and interact and transact with other users through 3D avatars.

The efforts are part of a show of broader commitment to new ways of banking as the firm looks to expand its services into opportunities for blockchain trading. The virtual space was first generated in early 2022 and has continued to hold a significant footprint in the simulated world.

Allowing the workplace to adapt to employees

As working lives have adapted and spread beyond the workplace, efforts are being made to make physical offices more adaptive to both employee and operational needs.

Activity Based Working (ABW) lets employees have the choice of different working spaces according to their mood or activity. While broader changes to culture and office design help facilitate this, IT infrastructure plays an essential part too.

In our own efforts to help drive change, Brother has developed a “balanced deployment” method, matching the right people with the right technology, in the right place, at the right times. What that means is whether providing the tech for a hybrid home office or across larger working spaces each device is strategically placed within a location to provide the most effective use.

The rise of the digital collector

Sometimes, all that’s required for better business is boosting accessibility and raising awareness. Scottish Whisky distiller, Glenfiddich has done just that, allowing collectors of rare and vintage whiskeys to do so through digital tokens.

The more than 100-year-old distiller is now offering NFTs that supply a receipt of ownership for some of their rarest vintages, encouraging a new generation of collector. The benefits of the scheme have allowed buyers the chance at ownership of the whiskey without needing to worry about where they’ll store the bottles or the particulars for ensuring that they won’t spoil.

Instead, Glenfiddich will continue to house the bottle while allowing owners the ability to turn in their receipt at any time and receive their physical bottle of whiskey. This innovative approach has seen a broader pool of investor than ever before and highlights the new avenues of product accessibility and viability that digitisation may bring.

A brave new world

With so many different directions to explore, digital transformation represents an untapped reservoir of innovation for firms who are able to look beyond their traditional services. It is allowing forward-thinking businesses to find ways to increase ease of use, for both customers and employees, allowing business leaders to make their companies stand out from the competition in new and exciting ways.

As this new frontier of working opens up further, business leaders looking toward the future shouldn’t be afraid to explore the new or the unusual. In fact, to avoid doing so may mean getting left behind by the competition.

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