As we move further into the digital age and especially with the pandemic forcing many businesses to go virtual, digital transformation becomes more imperative every day. Digital transformation can be defined as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business. It is the use of digital technologies and office management software in a strategic and planned manner that works to streamline and accelerate your business model. This integration fundamentally changes how your business operates and delivers value to customers. This change affects company culture and requires organizations to continually try new ways to improve and advance. Though most businesses do already function on a computer system of some sort, digital transformation is the shift to completely digital functioning.
Advantages of Enabling Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is key to any business, especially in this age, to survive. Without digital transformation, many are left behind or cannot keep up with demand. It allows for quick adaptations when there are disruptions to the supply chain line, an ongoing issue that has continued throughout the pandemic. The pandemic has put digital transformation at the forefront and challenged many businesses to step up or suffer. This transformation allows for an automation of your businesses operations, allowing more time for you to focus on what matters.
Though digital transformation will benefit all parts of your operation, it is mostly driven by the customer experience. Many customers expect an online experience these days as the new norm. Lacking in a digital experience may drive customers away as it can appear more time consuming and less organized. If your business strategy is putting the customer first, then a digital transformation should already be in progress for your business. Through this, customers become more engaged and more likely to repeat buy from your brand. They become more likely to buy from you even if your product has better competitors on the market and more likely to recommend you to their friends and family. MIT found through a study that companies that have embraced digital transformation are 26% more profitable than their peers.
Beyond your customers, digital transformation needs to happen company wide. Many businesses have already taken this step as the pandemic has pushed operations virtual. A streamlined workflow and operations makes it easier to track tasks, collaborate with others, and keep all information in one central, cloud-based location. The market for digital workspaces has been booming this past year and there are a variety to choose from. If you’re looking for a project management software then Asana is an easy way to manage and assign different work. If your business is more collaborative, then Slack may be key to communication. If you’re trying to have both these features and more without having to download multiple applications, Nifty has full integration of these features and even allows for the launching of Zoom calls directly from inside the software.
Streamlining allows for simplification or elimination of unnecessary work, allowing for more efficiency and time spent on what matters. The benefits of streamlining workflow are unmatched as it means increased cost efficiency, improved productivity and communication, easier time management, and minimization of risk. When assessing the “big picture” of the direction of your business, using a qualitative risk assessment can help to analyze data and assess the likelihood of a risk occurring and the impact it would have on a project if it happened. This assessment also allows for the prioritization of risks based on their probability and impact. By identifying these issues, it’s possible to eliminate them before customers or employees encounter the problem.
Digital transformation or digitization has many benefits that make it worthwhile. It can mean increased revenue, decreased operating costs, improved customer satisfaction, lowered fragmentation, and optimized operations to name a few. By investing in a CRM system, you will be able to treat customers as the individuals that they are and through that then analyze and study customer-related data based on a customers’ previous interactions with your business.
Data from a CRM system allows you to get a better understanding of what your clients or customers are expecting. From this data, you can create targeting information to match customers’ preferences. Using data rather than just blindly guessing and taking risks, allows for better decision making.
Streamlined operations allow for more of a focus on the customers. Many customers expect instant results, especially when it comes to customer service and the customer experience. Companies that can offer immediacy, personalization, and accessibility will benefit in the long run as they procure higher customer satisfaction. Allowing customers to shop in person and/or online, use mobile applications, and access support through your website or social media channels, makes for a seamless experience and allows customers to make faster decisions.
X Digital Transformation Challenges & How To Face Them
Digital transformation is still relatively new, though rising in popularity. With that, there are challenges that may arise when trying to take your company to the next level. Additionally, lacking strategy in your shift to a digital transformation can be detrimental to your business funds, employees, and customers. There are many CEOs from top brands that have been asked to step down due to the inability to proceed in the digital age. Be prepared for the different issues that may arise so that if they do, you are able to strategically overcome and push forward. Some of these challenges may be:
Most leadership roles are filled by senior members of an organization. Due to this, they may feel digital transformation is unnecessary as the business has gotten along fine without it thus far. There is a failure, for some, to understand how crucial the digitization of a business is to further its success in years to come. It is important to create awareness within your company culture before beginning the transition into a digital transformation so that less friction will be encountered.
It can be a very steep learning curve to try different tools all at one given time. Tools can have ranging levels of complexity and even for those that are already tech-savvy, it can take time to get full usage of an application. Some of these tools were previously mentioned, such as Asana, Slack and Nifty, but there are many more tools that are necessary to the success of any business. Google Drive or Dropbox are good centralized locations to keep information readily accessible, but they still take time to understand and navigate. Even when it comes to Zoom calls, people are still struggling to identify why they are having audio or visual issues. Using unified tools is a way to cut down on the learning curve of using multiple different tools. For example, with Nifty, you are able to track tasks like Asana, message, and collaborate like Slack, and there is a smooth integration of both Google Drive and Zoom. This allows for your team to spend less time navigating and switching between different applications and more time on what matters.
Just as it may be difficult for leadership in your company to buy into the idea of digital transformation, it may overall be difficult for some of your team members to understand the digital culture and solutions that are available. Start slow and insist that employees and stakeholders get adjusted to the digital tools that will be used. Slowly introducing new tools or technology will make it easier for those that may have more of a learning curve. This will allow for more success when your digital transformation fully commences.
Prior to your company’s digital transformation, be aware of the resources available to make this change. Have your plan set and know where funding is the most necessary and where it is not. Your budget could be applied to a variety of resources such as technology, softwares, and training. It is unlikely one would have an unlimited budget, so be prepared with your strategy and spend on the most important aspects first. Over time, your budget may need to continue evolving with your business.
Before deciding on what new resources your company will need, take inventory of what is already available. By acknowledging what you already have available, you can better plan and save money in the future. Additionally, having a team that understands technology can help you to better manage resources and focus on other areas.
David Campbell, Marketing Strategist at Right Inbox recommends having a strategy and plan in place. Without a strategy in place, your transformation could fail to get off the ground. So, ask yourself: What are my company’s goals and priorities in the long and short term?
Digital transformation is still in its early stages, but it’s only going to continue advancing. If your business is already behind, now is the perfect time to make your transition into digitization. The longer your company takes to make the switch, the more difficult the switch will become. Our world functions digitally now and it is an inevitable switch for any company to make. Though there are many challenges that may arise, the many benefits greatly outweigh them and a strategic team may be able to avoid some issues altogether.
Have you tried implementing digital transformation in your organization? What were your key challenges & how did you talked them? Let us know in the comments below.
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