Digitalisation in companies started happening around 30 years ago with basic data and processes being transferred to computer based systems. It’s come a long way since then, but some businesses are still on the platform and not boarding the digital transformation train!
Digital transformation has numerous benefits for all business sectors that will only grow as the technological options increase with time. So, it makes you wonder, what it is that’s holding people and their businesses back?
How can digital transformation help my business?
Across the public, private and third sector, numerous businesses are moving with the tide and are, at least, beginning to adopt more digital based practices. However, more still need to follow and more may still need to be done.
Digital practices shape the lives of people all over the world; when we’re lost we use GPS on our phones, when we need to make an appointment, we’ll Google and then book and when we need to update people on our lives, we’ll head straight to social media instead of picking up the phone. This is by no means a criticism of modern life, instead it’s a celebration. Things are changing and have been for some time now and it’s key that your business changes with it and caters to growing digital population.
It’s one thing to open social media channels and have a customer service email, but how will you keep up with the growing demand of customers and the ever changing pace set by an evolving tech market? 45% of companies think they lack the elements to begin their digital transformation. Meaning almost half of global businesses will be facing a bigger and bigger mountain to climb when it comes to keeping up with the vast array of options that will only continue to multiply. The sooner you start the better!
It may seem like a huge challenge to undertake, but in actuality, the number of challenges you solve by undergoing a digital transformation far outweigh the journey to get there.
Online or cloud storage space means that physical archiving (where things can get lost or damaged in bulk) can be a thing of the past. Everything is backed up and stored in high security applications and websites, and it’s certainly not taking up vital space in the office environment. By removing (or lessening) the need for paper and pens and moving things online you move into a much more collaborative and organised workflow. Not to mention, all of the work will be accessible from most devices connected to the internet, so working while on the move is no longer a difficulty.
Better business insight
Data collection and analysis to provide insight are modernised and simplified through digital platforms. Analytics tools are tailored to be accessible for a much wider audience than just the average professional. In fact, there are even free courses in tools like Google Analytics all over the country to aid anyone who wants to learn a little more! Centralised dashboards allow content to be easily collected, stored and devoured by business owners and employees. Having these powerful and intuitive tools at your fingertips places opportunity in your hands. The opportunity to easily digest and act on data, providing both a better user and customer experience.
Digital transformation is a surefire way to streamline your work process. We’ll get onto the collaborative element of working digitally in a minute but taking as many elements of your business online as possible removes a great deal of cumbersome paper based processes. Anything from holiday requests to sickness forms to plotting meeting schedules can now be done with digital applications. Introducing employees to an online workflow seems to be a concern with many business owners. Around 77% of business owners consider missing digital skills to be a key hurdle to getting to a full transformation. However, according to MIT research, 70% of employees believe this to be something their organisation should be working with them to achieve. If you can bite the bullet and get over that initial hurdle you will be looking at a more efficient team with processes that will be second nature and thus easy to introduce future adaptable employees to.
In a world where over 50% of customers expect a company response within one hour, moving with the times is essential. Harnessing the full potential of existing digital platforms can create a better relationship with both customer and colleagues. As previously mentioned, collaborative workflow is key to building a more efficient working environment. Take advantage of things like Google Hangouts, Skype, Dropbox, Yammer, Slack, Google Docs, Gmail and online calendars (not all at once). They will allow your team to file share, schedule (and even host!) meetings online, liaise easily with clients and communicate with vital team members who may not be in the office. Taking money that used to be spent on outdated systems and old hardware and investing it into the applications that will aid in the future growth of your company is just another step on your digital transformation journey.
What’s more the customer service channels have progressed. From email to social media channels, we now compete with 24-7 expectations from the everyday consumer.
How can my company begin our digital transformation?
That all depends on the company! Rather than trying to follow a set blueprint that others have followed, take each and every thing that makes your organisation unique into consideration. You can see from our digital evolution process below that every transformation should be a completely tailored one.
Different types of companies call for different roadmaps. When looking at a roadmap for a third sector organisation, a much different approach will need to be considered to the roadmap of a public sector organisation. Where the main concern in the public sector seems to be a lack of confidence, with 31% of employees claiming that they don’t believe their leaders have the sufficient skill set to cope with a digital transformation (and only 17% of the public making use of the current, lacking, digital elements), the third sector is mostly concerned with cost. You can check out Steve’s blog on third sector digital transformation and where the common challenges and opportunities lie here. Alternatively, you can browse other digital transformation blogs below.
And each and every organisation, no matter the sector, will require a tailored process and output.
If you think we would be able to help you on your digital transformation journey or to build an actionable roadmap, get in touch by filling in the form below!