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What Is a Business Transformation?

Article Details
  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 December 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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Business transformation is a strategy that seeks to find ways to bring the function and structure of a business operation into harmony with the stated vision and goals of that company. The idea behind the transformation is to identify and implement long-standing changes that move the company from its present situation to a level that is closer to what the company ultimately wants to be. Considered an executive management initiative, the process of business transformation is usually orchestrated by upper level executives and managers, although inspiration for the specifics tasks involved in the transformation may come from others within the company structure, the industry that the company is associated with, and even the general culture in which the company operates.

As with most management strategies, business transformation will often focus on achieving one or more goals that are specifically slated for fulfillment within a given time frame. Working within the scope of those goals, attention is often given to three key areas. One has to do with the perception of the company by consumers. Taking actions that help to enhance the public persona of the business holds the potential to not only strengthen ties with current customers but to also allow the company to move into niche markets that were previously unexplored.

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Another aspect of the business transformation process will often focus on redefining the corporate culture of the business. Here, making changes in the basic operational philosophies that were once helpful but now hinder the company’s progress is often the focus. For example, if the business has a culture based on a hierarchical model that does not allow for interactive communication throughout the organization, this may be changed so that the communication flow involves more than simply pronouncements from the board room and instead includes mechanisms that help to involve employees more in the decision making process.

Business transformation will also involve making changes to the physical aspects of the business operation. Some facilities may be combined with others as a means of saving money and bringing a new level of efficiency to the operation. In like manner, some functions may be moved to new locations altogether in an effort to streamline the process and take advantage of lower operational costs and a larger pool of employees. Choosing to embrace new technology and restructure the organization to accommodate that technology is also likely to be part of the business transformation process.

Whatever elements are involved in any business transformation, the approaches will make a significant difference in how the business operates, what employees think of the company, and how consumers perceive the company and the goods or services it offers. At its best, business transformation always occurs for a specific purpose, is managed responsibly and with great care, and ultimately enhances the potential for the company to remain viable in the years to come. When successful, the company will often experience a sense of revitalization and find that new customers are joining older ones as more people see the benefits of doing business with the company.

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