If your business feels stuck in the past, inefficient, and/or unable to adapt to the latest trends and developments in the marketplace, these may be signs that digital transformation is needed. Are you on board?
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is basically the strategy of overhauling an organization’s existing processes with advanced technology and automation. The goal is to establish more efficient strategies and digital models that promote greater productivity, efficiency, and profitability.
“The technology involved in digital transformation centers on information,” explains Box, one of the leaders in the digital transformation movement. “It includes processes related to collecting, cleansing, cataloging, and storing data. These processes allow companies to better govern, retrieve, analyze, and integrate data in business processes.”
The benefits of digital transformation vary from organization to organization. However, almost every company will see improvements in the following three areas:
• Customer experience. As your business becomes more modernized and efficient, customers will take notice. Their interactions with you will be smoother and less troublesome.
You’ll also be reachable in more places, which makes your brand more convenient and accessible to your audience. This results in better customer experience across the board.
• Competitiveness. It’s possible that most of the businesses in your industry are still reticent to adapt to this new digital age. If that’s the case, your commitment to digital transformation will increase your competitiveness and make you a market leader in your niche.
• Labor and productivity. Did you know that employees spend 10 percent of their workweek on repetitive tasks? (This totals 200-plus hours per employee each year.) Digital transformation eliminates this wasted time and ensures you’re paying your employees to perform work that actually matters.
When you add up benefits such as these, the importance of having a digital transformation strategy becomes quite clear.
Tips for Transforming Your Business
Digital transformation will look different for every company. With that being said, here are several ideas you can use to move your business forward and enjoy some of the aforementioned benefits.
• Define a Vision. This process starts with having an articulate vision for where you want to go. This involves more than just short-term goals. You need long-term, overarching principles that drive you toward big-picture outcomes.
In other words, where do you see your company in three, five, or seven years from now? That’s the vision. Then you work backward to create a roadmap for reaching that outcome.
• Get the Right Support. You can’t make digital transformation happen without the right support. It’s not something you can do on your own (or even something you can initiate with a small team of people). Your entire organization must be informed and onboard. This obviously begins in the C-suite and filters down.
But don’t neglect the importance of obtaining buy-in from those on the lower rungs of the corporate ladder. They’re often the ones who will be carrying out this transformation. Ignoring their needs and desires could prevent meaningful transformation from happening.
• Use the Correct Tools. The key to carrying out your vision is to use the right technology. The good news is that there’s a tool, application, or piece of software capable of automating and streamlining almost anything these days. The challenge is filtering through all of the noise to find the one that’s the right fit for your organization.
For example, a business may want to invest in synthetic monitoring tools to fix website issues and improve its reliability and performance. Also, CRM softwares are pretty in-demand nowadays as businesses want to improve by efficiently managing relationships through organizing customer information.
This requires careful due diligence and lots of patience. You’re going to spend a lot of time researching software, sitting through product demos, and evaluating different features. Embrace this part of the process and learn to enjoy it.
• Continually Iterate. You never arrive at digital transformation. It’s a process that you’re constantly in. The key to being successful is to fail fast and continually iterate. You’ll quickly see what works and what doesn’t. Then it’s up to you to develop processes that amplify the former and allow you to quickly replace the latter.
Putting it All Together
Digital transformation has the potential to take your business to the next level. Whether it’s a simple boost in productivity that allows you to generate more cash flow, or it’s a total shift in your business model that empowers you to embrace new products and services that take your company in an entirely new direction – you will experience growth.
The only question is, will you put in the work to lay the proper foundation?