Digital transformation has quickly become a term that is thrown around without the organisation or employees, really defining or knowing what it means. With it now being such a common term within the business world, it is essential that all members within an organisation are on the same page on what it is and how to implement it.
It can be clearly defined as “The integration of digital technology into all areas of a business that results in fundamental changes to how a business operates and delivers value to customers.”
Many businesses have naturally fallen into a routine of operating with long-standing processes and consequently have stalled their progress because of the lack of innovation. Stepping away from these processes can prove to be a difficult decision for business executives. However, because of the growing competition between organisations across all industries, digital transformation is no longer an aspirational goal, it is now a necessary change.
In understanding what digital transformation is, it is just as critical to clarify why it is necessary for businesses.
With the continuation of technological advancements, organisations are now facing a constant battle to lead the pack. This can be viewed from a business sense in showing the ability of the company to adapt and progress at speed as well as from a customer experience viewpoint.
Take the finance services sector for example. Using a bank whether as a business or as an individual used to require a fair amount of effort from the customer to authorise transactions, pay invoices/bills etc. But as technology advanced, banks saw the opportunity that they could appeal to a wider audience if they reduced the effort required by customers. This led to the introduction of online and subsequently mobile banking. The improved accessibility and ease of use led to increased customer satisfaction scores. The banks that were slow to digitally transform their systems and processes ultimately lost out as quite simply there were better customer friendly options out there.
The importance of digital transformation is highlighted by the fact that even if your business is slightly late to change, it can still have a huge negative impact. Chasing competitors that have already made those changes becomes harder and harder as the focus turns from what your business is doing well at to what do we need to do to keep up. The fact is, digital transformation is a move that your business will have to make at some point. Being proactive by testing and implementing small solutions as early as possible will only benefit your business, as having this preparation will make the major transition a lot easier when it arrives.
The bottom line is digital transformation improves every aspect of your business. Firstly, it improves workflows by collaborating employees with automation solutions. Removing mundane repetitive tasks from staff members reduces stress and pressure while also empowering the workforce. AS mentioned previously, customer experience is improved and often noticed straight away due to the streamlining of services and ease of use. In consistently evolving and upgrading processes across the business, the outside view of the company is positive as it shows innovation and adaptation to specific needs. In building this positive, active, image of the business, it can motivate staff at all levels to learn and grow within the business. This in turn builds a business culture that is constantly improving and growing.
Additionally, and importantly, embracing digital transformation will reduce costs. By providing automation solutions to areas of business that previously have used and wasted valuable staff time instantly reduces costs. This additional staff time that automation has now freed up means more staff can upskill and work on more useful business tasks. Furthermore, digital transformation provides organisations the opportunity to utilise outside vendors to cover tasks such as data storage management. A number of cloud-based options are now available to businesses at low cost and no longer requires the constant support of in-housework.
It can be easy for business owners to be sceptical around digital transformation and when to make the shift. But, the key rules applied with automation solutions relate to those in a whole business transformation. These rules include thoroughly planning, openly communicating the upcoming changes and to not be scared to test the unknown. Breaking through the barrier in understanding that digital transformation is not an if but a when, can only be done in pushing the boundaries and reaping the rewards. Hesitating and waiting for others to try first will only lead failure. Trying first and failing is okay, as there is then something to build from. Make sure that the business is the one to be followed and not the one following.