3 Stages of a Successful Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is a trend; if a business stays on the sidelines, sooner or later, it will fail
October 20, 2023 by
Uyen Duong

Many good companies struggle with digital transformation, hindering growth and competitiveness. While digital transformation is a prevailing concern among leaders today, what concrete measures can you take to achieve success through it? The initial step revolves around understanding your current position in the digital transformation journey.

The concept of digital transformation has transcended mere buzzword status; it has become a vital necessity for companies seeking to build sustainable resilience and agility in this fast-changing world. Nevertheless, digital transformation is not a rapid shortcut; rather, it unfolds in a progression of three distinct stages.

Companies often fail in digital transformation when they rush the final stage. This article explores the 3 stages of digital transformation, their differences, and SotaERP will provide unique insights for you to solid each step along the journey and successfully reach the finishing line.

Stage 1: Digitization

Digitization means converting non-digital records and information into digital format. In other words, instead of businesses storing and synthesizing information in the form of papers, memory cards, tapes, etc., businesses will store and synthesize information in formats such as excel, PDF, word,...

To digitize information effectively, businesses need to follow these steps: 

  • Identify and select information that needs to be digitized. 
  • Organize and classify information based on criteria. 
  • Search and select information digitization solutions. 
  • Build a security layer to protect information. 
  • Guide and synchronously train personnel on how to digitize information.

Small and medium-sized businesses are often in phase 1 of digital transformation because the volume and complexity of data is still low. And if businesses want to achieve high efficiency in the next digital transformation activities, it is imperative that businesses do well in the information digitization stage.

Stage 2. Digitalization

Digitalisation includes the conversion of processes or interactions into their digital equivalents. The key difference between digitisation and digitalisation is that the former deals with information and the latter refers to process and people. However, business models still remain the same in these two stages.

Key activities in the process digitalization phase include: 

  • Analyze and evaluate information to determine digitalization needs and goals. 
  • Search and select process digitalization methods. 
  • Including improving, changing or refreshing operational processes. 
  • Applying technology and software to support process digitalization activities. 
  • Train and develop personnel in the use of digital processes.

During the process digitalization phase, businesses cannot ignore the application of SotaERP solution, please refer to here.

Stage 3: Digital transformation

Digital transformation refers to an innovative and disruptive business transformation, where strategic decisions are made with the support of digital technologies.

At this stage, companies can well leverage customer-centric design thinking to dig out customer insights and then strengthen customer engagement. They focus on innovating the overall business approach to build strategic competitive advantage and gain sustainable high growth.

‍The biggest difference between the third stage and the first two is that digital transformation starts from business transformation, rather than technology.


Leaders should carefully consider which stage is most appropriate for the current state of their company when undertaking digital transformation. Whether pursuing incremental or transformational growth, leaders should have a unique strategic thinking, design thinking, customer-centric approach to drive actual plans and actions at each stage of digital transformation.

Sota Solutions is an innovation and creative consulting firm. We combine practical growth strategies, design thinking, and agile execution for your company to succeed in digital transformation.