Israel is driving digital transformation with tech - comment

The Israeli tech ecosystem has grown on a foundation established by a strong understanding of digital transformation and the power it has to increase the scalability of start-ups.

A CYBER hotline facility, part of Israel’s hi-tech innovative sector (photo credit: REUTERS)
A CYBER hotline facility, part of Israel’s hi-tech innovative sector
(photo credit: REUTERS)

For companies looking to succeed in today’s economy, flexibility and foresight are absolute prerequisites. To stay at the forefront of your sector and edge out competitors in your market, you have to be able to understand the direction that your industry is moving and adjust accordingly. In the digital age, that means keeping abreast of the latest technological developments and using them to your advantage, and research shows that implementing digital technologies augments progress toward company goals by 22%. This is essentially what digital transformation is all about – integrating innovative technological solutions into every aspect of a business so as to improve its efficiency and value. This, interestingly, is an area in which Israel has become a leader.

In recent years, Israel has become renowned for its pedigree in the tech industry, with 54 start-ups worth over $1 billion. With a deep pool of technological expertise to draw on, the country’s tech ecosystem has become an exemplar of how to drive an economy with product-led technological growth. Israel has been dubbed the “start-up nation” alongside this unprecedented success, as the country has one of the highest start-ups per capita rates on the planet. With such a plethora of ambitious new tech enterprises cropping up in Israel, it stands to reason that innovation would follow suit, and that assumption has proved correct time and time again.

Israel has produced a slew of global successes across the tech industry of late, including well-known companies like Wix and Fiverr, and an increasing number of Israeli tech businesses are achieving the coveted unicorn status with each passing year. The truth is that a large part of the success of the Israeli tech scene can be attributed to its scope. Due to the small size of the country and the geographic barriers it faces, Israeli tech start-ups have focused on devising ways to rapidly scale up their businesses so that they can operate globally as early as possible. To that end, they have predominantly honed in on B2B (Business-to-Business) sectors, and in particular SaaS (Software as a Service), and this is where Israel’s contribution to digital transformation has been the most profound.

One company that is leading the charge in this regard is WalkMe, a software-publishing enterprise based out of Tel Aviv. WalkMe was founded by Dan Adika, Rafael Sweary, Eyal Cohen and Yuval Shalom Ozanna in 2011 and has since gone to achieve immense success. WalkMe created a unique software solution, known as the WalkMe Digital Adoption Platform, designed to help companies embrace the opportunities innate in modern technological developments. The platform fosters digital transformation in an impressive fashion, layering on other software applications and accelerating user proficiency with key task walk-throughs and process evaluations. This platform streamlines the onboarding process for employees, enabling companies to embrace software solutions for processes in cases where they might previously have struggled to do so.

Business empowerment

TODAY NEARLY 40% of Israeli start-ups are consumer-facing and more than 20% of Israel’s unicorns are B2C companies. In the photograph: Hi-tech development centTODAY NEARLY 40% of Israeli start-ups are consumer-facing and more than 20% of Israel’s unicorns are B2C companies. In the photograph: Hi-tec (credit: GILI YAARI/FLASH90)TODAY NEARLY 40% of Israeli start-ups are consumer-facing and more than 20% of Israel’s unicorns are B2C companies. In the photograph: Hi-tech development centTODAY NEARLY 40% of Israeli start-ups are consumer-facing and more than 20% of Israel’s unicorns are B2C companies. In the photograph: Hi-tec (credit: GILI YAARI/FLASH90)

WALKME’S PLATFORM has demonstrated how software solutions can empower businesses to engage in the process of digital transformation, but the work of other Israeli tech titans has revealed that it’s also possible to use tech to bridge gaps in pre-existing processes.

Optimove, another Tel Aviv-based enterprise, is one example of an Israeli company at the forefront of this aspect of digital transformation. Founded in 2009 by CEO Pini Yakuel, Optimove provides a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform that completely changes how businesses deliver value to clients. Most notably, this platform offers businesses a means of transforming their marketing processes, using a variety of innovative features, including predictive micro-segmentation and advanced customer modeling, to help companies to decide on the most efficient and profitable course of action for each customer group. Since its foundation, Optimove has quickly grown to become a major player on the tech scene, both domestically and abroad, and recently even acquired Graphyte, a UK-based company specializing in cloud-based personalization, for around $40 million in the summer of 2022.

The process of digital transformation is not restricted only to internal business processes, either, as Israeli companies are exemplifying that digital transformations can also be used to analyze and improve the customer experience side of things.

Glassbox is one company that has made strides in this regard. Founded in 2010 by Yoav Schreiber, Yaron Gueta and Hanon Blumstein, Glassbox focuses on digital customer experience analytics for websites and mobile apps. The company’s digital experience analytics platform works in real-time and allows businesses to play back every stage of the online customer journey. This powerful tool provides a way for companies to gain actionable insights that they can use to further optimize the CX for their client base. The concept behind Glassbox’s work is evidently a very resonant one, particularly in SaaS circles, and the platform has quickly gained traction on an international level.

All told, with increasing numbers of businesses bringing digital transformation initiatives to scale, the Israeli tech industry is proving to be one of the primary drivers behind what has become a global digital transformation movement. Not only are Israel’s tech giants powering digital transformation for other companies by devising innovative new software solutions, but they are also breaking new ground and exemplifying digital transformation in all aspects of their own operations.

The Israeli tech ecosystem has grown on a foundation established by a strong understanding of digital transformation and the power it has to increase the scalability of start-ups. Simply put, Israeli tech not only understands what digital transformation means to businesses, but also where it can take them.

The writer is a marketing consultant for VCs and a member of the Forbes Business Council.