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What Does It Mean to be Digital-First? 

June 14, 2022 / by Frederid Palacios

It might seem as though today, technology is everywhere - and that’s because it is. Advancements in technology have revolutionized the modern world, drastically accelerating and optimizing nearly everything we do. Particularly in business, going digital is a significant component of staying competitive. 

In a world where consumers want products as fast as possible, without compromising quality, going digital is a must. As such, a growing number of businesses are embracing the “digital-first” model, leading them to embrace technology and all things digital. If your feel as though your business is falling behind, or in need of a digital transformation, adopting the digital-first model may be the solution. 

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What is Digital-First? 


Often when we talk about adopting new models, it requires the actual implementation of a new process or system, such as migrating to the cloud or adopting Agile. When it comes to adopting a digital-first model, it’s more of a change in mindset than the adoption of anything. Essentially, becoming digital-first means approaching new opportunities or problems with the assumption that whatever the solution is, it should be as digital as possible. 

For many organizations, it can be easy to revert to traditional solutions when faced with a problem. While this sometimes works, more often than not, it results in businesses relying on outdated processes. In contrast, with the digital-first model, companies view each problem or opportunity as a chance to introduce new technology or digital solutions. 

To get into the digital-first mindset, consider the preexisting services that your organization offers. Now, imagine that same service being used by customers digitally. Even further, imagine that service being powered by digital platforms within your organization. Virtually every service that your business provides, or process that it runs, can be digitized. 

So, aside from adopting a more forward-thinking mindset, what does it really mean to be a digital-first company? As a digital-first organization, you are setting yourself up to be an early adopter of up-and-coming innovations. New technologies emerge every day, enabling companies to operate with more efficiency and speed than ever before. 

With so much technology available, it can be easy to feel like you’re always one step behind. But, as a digital-first company, that doesn’t have to be the case. The more your organization embraces technology and designs your services as a digital experience, the easier it is to adopt and leverage other new technology. Not only does this help you to improve your business, but also stay ahead of the competition. 


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Benefits of Adopting the Digital-First Model


Clearly, the digital-first model is instrumental in modernizing and digitizing your business, but how does that translate into clear business benefits? We know that’s the question on your mind, so we’ll get straight to it:



One of the most notable benefits of the digital-first model is its ability to significantly reduce organizational costs. Traditional organizational processes that were time-consuming, resource-heavy, and thus expensive, can be digitized and even automated. As a result, processes can be drastically accelerated - and improved. 

By digitalizing business processes, they can be completed faster and, when automated, more accurately. Automating processes eliminates the risk of human error, ensuring that even though operations are completed faster, quality is not compromised. 

As processes are digitized, your organization’s team members can work with more accurate data and focus on more strategic tasks. With a significant increase in speed, efficiency, and accuracy, there is no question that your revenue will rise. 



Another highly beneficial aspect of going digital-first is becoming more flexible. Flexibility is critical in today’s fast-paced business environment. By digitizing your organization, it is much simpler to switch processes and make changes within a short time period. 

A change that previously could have halted business operations can now be made quickly with minimal disruption. With a digital-first business, changes can be made within minutes rather than days. Such flexibility is key for companies responding to social trends or market conditions.



Hand-in-hand with flexibility is agility. If you’re familiar with our previous blogs, agility is a hot topic in the world of business, and especially IT, today. An agile company can quickly respond to changes and adapt at short notice. 

If you face an unexpected problem with a digitized organization, you can quickly resolve it and continue business as usual. Even beyond unforeseen issues, the agility brought on by a digital-first model also can open you up to unexpected opportunities. 

As a digital-first company, you will already have the tools and technologies needed to jump on new trends. Rather than having to entirely migrate to a new system each time you want to adopt a new tool, your organization will be able to embrace new opportunities with ease. As such, your business will be a front-runner in innovation, allowing you to stay ahead of the game. 


Customer Appeal

Customer appeal is also a major competitive advantage of going digital-first. Many organizations fear that in going digital, they will lose or upset customers. After all, most people find change to be daunting. While this may be true, modern customers want to see digitization from the businesses they interact with. 

Consider online banking. While customers may have been hesitant at first, today, conducting your banking online is commonplace and usually preferred by customers. This is the case for most business services - customers want the convenience and speed that digitization offers. As a digital-first company, you’ll find that customers will be more likely to adopt your organization’s services. 



There has been a lot of talk lately about how to future-proof your business. While no singular technology or solution can help you achieve this, it is achieved by a set of capabilities. With flexibility, agility, and efficiency, businesses can handle any changes or problems thrown at them. That being said, such speed and agility can only be achieved through technology today. 

As a digital-first company, you are committing to embracing technology and welcoming innovation. Once you start to look at problems and processes through the lens of digitization, you’ll see how many operations can be optimized through technology. As such, business processes will be accelerated and improved, resulting in more success for your business. 

Digitization can be daunting, but it is no longer just the future of business - it is the present. Adopting the digital-first model is only the first step to future-proofing your business and embracing all of the capabilities that modern technology has to offer. If your organization is looking to get ahead - and stay ahead - you may be ready to go digital-first.


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Frederid Palacios

Written by Frederid Palacios

Fred Palacios is a seasoned software architect with more than 20 years of experience participating in the entire software development cycle across a host of different industries--from automotive and services to petroleum, financial, and supply chain. In that time, his experience working closely with high-level stakeholders has provided him with a strategic vision for developing the right solutions to flexibly meet critical business needs. As CTO of Intertec, he's continuing to focus on the creation of business-critical applications for large enterprise projects, particularly those that handle high concurrency and large datasets. He is passionate about using technology as a tool to solve real-world problems and also mentoring technical teams to achieve their maximum potential and deliver quality software.

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