How to Prepare Your Business for Digital Transformation
The digital age has been around for some time now, yet there are still companies that haven't embraced digitalization. Digitalization, by definition, is a transformation process that affects all levels of a company, including business activities, operations, and other aspects. Digital transformation requires quite a bit of strategic planning, in order for it to generate better results.
Therefore, digitalization isn't about having a digital presence in the online world. Instead, it is about improving the entire business by leveraging modern technologies. That being said, a digital transformation may vary from business to business.
For some companies, the digital transformation may include updating software, while for others, it may include everything from replacing obsolete technology to implementing modern solutions. In any event, digitally transforming your business requires extensive research and careful planning, many because you want to ensure you've chosen the best solution for your company. With that in mind, here are a few ways to prepare your business for digital transformation.
Research your options
As mentioned before, a digital transformation of an entire business requires a good strategy and careful planning. You have to assess your current situation within a company, in order to determine what the best course of action is. By conducting extensive research on the matter, you can identify technologies and solutions ideally suited for your company's need.
However, digital transformation isn't just about adopting a technological solution and implementing it. As a matter of fact, it's also about changing the entire company's mindset ranging from leadership to employees on how to embrace technology for better results. That said, aside from researching technologies on the market, you should also take the time to research how to implement a digital company culture over the period of your business transformation.
Consider the cloud
Nowadays, cloud computing has become a leading aspect in digital transformation from technology's point of view. If you wish to implement a modern solution when it comes to software, platforms and even infrastructure, you don't have to look beyond the cloud-based solutions.
The way it works is that cloud providers offer companies various solutions, such as software, platforms and infrastructure, among other things. You can subscribe to any number of services you deem necessary for your organization. As an example, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) allows you to "rent" hardware for your business.
You'll have access to servers, virtual machines and practically any other hardware you need without having to install any of it on the company's premises. This solution is ideal for businesses that need to scale up or down fast. Aside from that, cloud solutions include online storage and backups for any relevant business data. Simply put, choosing a cloud-based solution for the digital transformation of your business may be an ideal strategy to start things off.
Implement a document workflow
One of the major steps toward digital transformation is going paperless. A lot of companies still use paper format for documents and files, as well as use obsolete filing systems, such as filing cabinets. This method served its purpose in the past but it's surely becoming unreliable.
That's why, going paperless is now an integral aspect of digital transformation. As an example, you can start by scanning and digitalizing every document and file you have within your company. However, simply digitalizing documents isn't enough to properly organize them.
For that purpose, you'll need to implement a digital document workflow. That way, you can automate organizing documents ranging from simple files to business document templates. You can decide how documents should be created, labeled, stored and even accessed. Furthermore, one of the aspects of a paperless office is creating policies on how documents should be accessed and who has the right to access them, in the first place. That way, you avoid scenarios where files can get lost, tampered with or even stolen.
Improving customer experience
Today, consumers are influenced by technology as much as businesses are. That means that consumers expectations, needs, demands and preferences are shaped by the technological trends they're currently following. In order for businesses to effectively reach out to their customers in such an environment, they simply need a digital approach. Enriching customer experience through digitalization is simply a must these days.
Businesses must reevaluate their approach from marketing efforts to consumer engagement, in order to meet their customers' expectations and needs. As an example, you must engage consumers on various touch points in the online world, such as a company's website, email, social media platforms, mobile and so on. With that in mind, consumers expect from the companies to remain consistent across all of those channels.
This becomes very difficult to achieve without a digital transformation. In order to improve customer experience, companies must be able to collect information about their target audience, analyze their demographics, extract actionable data to craft personalized messages and engage consumers on multiple channels. For that to happen, your company will have to have a proper solution in place and you cannot achieve that without digitally transforming your business, in the first place.
Digital transformation has become mandatory these days. Companies that refuse to embrace the technology that's available to them are simply going to lose their relevance, competitive edge and they'll surely cease to exist sooner or later. Therefore, plan out your digital transformation strategy well and ensure that your company can survive in the market for years to come.
David Webb is a Sydney-based business consultant, marketing analyst and a writer. With a decade of experience in a business sphere and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is an Editor in Chief at BizzmarkBlog.