What Are Digital Operations?

March 30, 2023 • April Miller


Advancing technology means new job titles enter the scene almost daily. Digital operations require parsing some nebulous and inconsistent thinking. Experts in the industry have demonstrated how roles in digital operations change as much as the technicalities of their definitions. So, how do people view it now, and how will companies utilize digital operations to propel them into a future of technological adaptation and proficiency?

How Do Companies Define Digital Operations?

Digital operations feels vague because it is. The concept changes alongside digital environments, which are constantly improving and advancing. Therefore, the definition of what people in digital operations do must also change.

Originally, definitions were more straightforward. They mainly required workers to manage software and digital services to benefit B2B and B2C relationships while increasing internal efficiency. Implementing digital services in a company came with expectations — because software can automate and track processes, digital operators can translate and oversee that data to generate process improvements and profit.

New techs like AI, machine learning and IoT devices complicate this definition even more. Sometimes, professionals avoid describing it as a job and more of a company mindset. It represents enterprises that embrace digital resources to understand more about their audience and sector. 

Digital operations are often spoken alongside digital transformation, and in short, that’s what the job entails. Digital ops react to new data and learn beside advancing tech to incorporate new best practices within an organization and scale with innovation.

What Are Practical Examples?

Because digital operations encompass so many business areas, most condense it to a five-element model:

  • Processes
  • Decisions
  • Capabilities
  • Incentives
  • Organizational structure

The world’s population and customer demand are too significant to ignore optimizing processes for speed and automation. Examples of optimizing processes include using technology to inspire creative ideation or expedite blueprints. Then, digital ops could incorporate AI, asking for determinations to decide if these creations are worth investing in.

Then, operators can install software to improve operational capabilities. If it takes an hour to produce 100 units, how can the number go up to 150 with maximizing software capabilities to program machinery?

Lastly, what incentives do these employments provide a company and its organizational structure? Usually, it manifests into workforce satisfaction and increased revenue because of streamlined operations. However, other organizational boons occur, including optimized recruitment and improved human resources management through database implementation.

Why Will Digital Operations Continue to Be Essential?

Businesses must extend more effort to stay afloat if they dismiss the technology. The primary reason digital operations will remain relevant is not only because the world is digitizing faster than ever, but these resources connect businesses to customers in the most engaged way. It doesn’t matter if the industry is agriculture or health care — digital ops are applicable everywhere.

Customer interactivity instigates rapid process discovery and promotes internal agility as businesses adapt to recommended automation and operational practices.

Additionally, antiquated operational measures, such as keeping filing cabinets full of employee records, will become obsolete. Companies that hold onto these systems will need to catch up in the face of smart technology and companies with active digital operations. Employees will face burnout as redundant tasks that could be replaced with technology evade reluctant adopters.

Digital operators must learn and use technology but recognize inefficiencies and where technology could bridge an operational gap. Slowly phasing out older business processes will continue transitioning the world into Industry 4.0.

A Day in the Life of Digital Operations

Remote work and e-commerce are just some of the modern business models impacted by digital operations. However tactile or digital a business is, digital processes are non-negotiable. Even the most minor technological adoption could streamline communications or improve productivity for brand loyalty and employee satisfaction. Those wanting to enter digital operations can only expect constant change, powered by a curiosity to push the boundaries of new digital resources.