What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the utilisation of digital technology to either adapt existing or create an entirely new culture, business process or customer experience to remain up to date with changing marketplace requirements.
For established businesses, it is a user-focused organisational change and evolves laborious and tedious paper-based tasks into effective and efficient technological processes. Whereas for a new small business, it is about early implementation to ensure your business runs autonomously. It enables you to future-proof your business from the get go, fostering flexibility, agility and growth.
With the advancement of digital technology and it’s ever increasing role in our daily lives, businesses need to keep up or fall behind.
How can Digital Transformation help your business?
A company needs to ask themselves, ‘can we change our processes that will streamline efficiencies, make decisions with more authority or enhance user experience?’ It should add value to every user interaction.
The key element of digital transformation is understanding the capabilities of your current technology. Establish whether you are able to adapt your business to maximise on your current investments or do you need to look at the latest iteration of technology to facilitate your aspirations?
In any business, customer happiness is the main component of driving your business sales. With the evolution of technology, the customer is digitally connected and empowered. They are able to comparison shop with ease. If you do not offer what a competitor does, you will lose out.
Digital innovations like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and cloud analytics are metamorphosing research, production and manufacturing. This enable you to meet customer demand, afford real time visibility and accuracy in budgeting.
When is the right time to Digitally Transform?
There is no obvious or specific time when you need to look at digital transformation and this can be a daunting task. However, your company may be showing some symptoms that digital transformation is required.
Do you feel that you are not getting the volume of enquiries you had in the past? Referrals are now largely shared online either through social media or email. If you don’t have an accessible and engaging digital presence, you could be missing out.
How about your existing clientele base, are you maximising opportunities and retaining potential repeat custom? Have a look at how your competitors are promoting similar services and how you follow up communications with customers.
In your monthly meetings, has there been mention of a lack of information or collaboration between departments? The core element of your digital transformation is to make data freely accessible across your business.
Your technology may feel outdated with colleagues asking for similar features they have seen on consumer apps. Whilst software like spreadsheets may still be useful for some aspects of your day to day running. You might be able to create a bespoke built user friendly system that addresses your exact needs and reduces time and cost.
Don’t be disheartened when you begin to dig a little deeper to understand the root causes of these problems. People often find themselves realising how little visibility they actually have. Also, how much you could have potentially lost touch with your customers.
The Framework of Digital Transformation
The fundamental features of digital transformation can be broken down into 5 areas. It should promote a continuous cycle of review of your successes, failures and opportunities for improvement:
Start with an internal evaluation of the business. Identify problems and gaps where you will potentially experience objections and more importantly how to overcome them.
A pivotal aspect of digital transformation is forming a team of experts within this field to perform your proposed strategy. Whether in house or outsourced, it is completely up to you.
Those with expertise in the digital industry will ensure that you achieve your goals effectively and efficiently. Most importantly – working within your allocated resources. They will be able to provide insight in both the larger picture, but also minute details that will drive the project forward.
In turn, your digital team’s thorough understanding of the objective will enable them to communicate to and embolden others within the company to embrace the cultural change. This company-wide knowledge can then be conveyed to your customers in an informative, positive and collaborative manner.
These digital transformation decisions will impact everyone and as such should be involved at the earliest possible opportunity. There will be aspects you haven’t even considered – trust us!
A “culture of innovation” is key. But like any other creative pathway, it must be nurtured with practice and patience.
Whilst it is a worthwhile pursuit to implement ‘proven technologies’ into your strategies, you should foster the inclusion of the unknown. Otherwise, you will not garner a competitive advantage; you’re merely implementing what everyone else is. Be the trailblazer.
Identify your customer’s problem and provide bespoke user-focused solutions. Use your communication to convey this message and then the relevant technology to facilitate it.
Technology should be used as an implementation tool for your innovative ideas. Make sure the entire team is provided with the resources and environment to educate themselves. With the constant nature of evolving technology, keep yourself and your team up-to-date with the latest iterations and developments.
Things like CRM automation tools, UX design, voice, AI or IoT will streamline draconian practices you may not realise you are exercising. And if this technology still doesn’t tick all the boxes, there are always bespoke-built solutions.
The most common mistake a business can make is when implementing multiple facets of technology. If these platforms do not integrate with one another, it wastes both time and money.
The means in which you analyse your efforts. Was it all worthwhile? You should be assessing your previous actions and determining what you will do in the future. Investing time and money into areas that were successful, and redistributing resources of failures to either improve or diverge into new areas.
Still with us? If you’d like to know more about how 6B can help you to achieve your digital goals, please do not hesitate to contact us.