Digital transformation is one of those phrases that gets used a lot, but perhaps you are unsure of what it actually is. In this article we will explain all about digital transformation and how you can be better prepared for a digital future thanks to it.
Summary: 5 Minutes read, Level: Expert
It might sound like something from a science fiction thriller, but digital transformation is very much a reality. Digital transformation is basically the application of digital methods and capabilities to processes and systems. What this does is increase efficiency and give customers a better experience. From your point of view as a business it will also be cheaper in the long run as a digital system costs less to run than a department full of people.
More simply put, a digital transformation could be called “going digital”. It’s all about using technology to help you. Automated systems are easier to manage and with technology assisting you, you will have more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
The analogue world is now firmly behind us and you could be forgiven for thinking that everything has been digital for some time. This is not the case though. Many companies and businesses are using what they believe to be modern methods when in fact they are beginning to become antiquated.
Just because you have a well-presented website and a webshop doesn’t mean you are using technology to its fullest., Do you still have physical customer service staff and sales staff? A digital transformation can remove the need for these and make your business more effective.
We’ve already said that digital transformation will improve your business, but now we will look at how exactly this can happen in a bit more detail.
This is what the owner of any business wishes to achieve. With a fully-automated sales programme the whole of the checkout process is taken care of. This can happen at any time of the day and the only thing left for people to do is to physically ship the product (eventually this might also become digitally possible). Social media posts and promotions can be handled digitally without the need for a marketing team and can be scheduled by a digital assistant. With analytical data it will learn when the best time to post is and give you the best possibility of reaching a greater target audience. A digital transformation will definitely improve your bottom line.
Yes, you will save money, but your productivity will increase. Digital productivity is far greater than human productivity, so you are on to a winner there straight away. Fundamentally, for you, you will have more time. You will no longer need to supervise and organise certain things and you will have more time to focus on other areas of your business. This will see your own productivity increase too.
From a customer’s perspective, purchasing a product will be much easier. An added bonus is customer service. Digital customer service is available 24 hours a day, so there is no longer a lengthy wait when a customer has a query. Digital help can be programmed with a series of set responses and you can interact with customers without every actually talking to them yourself.
All payments can be processed securely with fully encrypted data. This gives both you and your customers peace of mind. Even you cannot see a credit card number which means it’s 100% secure at all times.
Along with increasing revenue and sales, reducing costs is great news for a business owner. You will of course decrease your labour costs by being able to replace people with digital automated systems, but a smart system can help you yet further. For example, it can take control of your inventory, ordering only when it predicts you need specific items. This eliminates the need for a large inventory with lots of money tied up in stock. A digital transformation will of course cost you, but you will begin reaping the benefits of saving immediately.
While many think that digital transformation is something for the future, it’s very much something for the present. The time is now for digitally transforming your business. Experts predict that most businesses will have undergone a full digital transformation by 2020. That doesn’t give you much time and if you don’t act soon, you could be left lagging behind your competitors.
Technology advances fast in this day and age and it is imperative to stay ahead. Implementing all the necessary changes to give your business a full digital transformation might cost you money, but the long term benefits far outweigh short term costs.
Digital transformation, while important, is not something a company should race into. You will first need to identify which areas of your business can benefit from an increased digital presence and find out which systems can help you. This will involve a lot of research and possibly consultation, but there are a couple of ways to help yourself in this area.
Remember that running a business is a constant learning experience. A digital transformation is the next barrier you will need to cross, but once you do there will be no looking back. Make sure you are prepared for a digital transformation of your business by 2020 in order to stay ahead of the rest of the pack.