Most of the latest trends speak the same language: we should all think about going digital and taking our business into the next level. But thinking alone won’t be enough if we don’t merge it with a quick reaction. According to the latest surveys, still more than 22% of companies stay passive or don’t even plan on going digital at all. Bad news for them – the competitors are probably way ahead, enjoying all the benefits that come with a proper digitalization. And there are quite a few.
What does digital transformation actually mean?
Our civilization always speeded up forward leaving agrarian and industrial revolutions behind, and making way for what’s new. Digital transformation is said to be the third wave of change – a wave that can turn our world upside down once again. But exactly how?
Some time ago we still kept most of our business records on paper. Now, it’s almost unimaginable to work without computers and cloud based products that help us get organized. Yet, digital transformation is far more than that. It’s a way of using modern hi-tech technologies to create a completely new business model, turning all or most of a company’s processes from analogue to digital and building new, wholly revolutionized ones. Why? It’s main goal is boosting the organization’s performance and providing a better customer experience – maintaining the competitiveness on the market and meeting your clients’ needs and wishes.
4 business areas affected by the digital transformation process
To fully understand the shift that comes with every business digitalization, it’s worth dividing the areas it affects into four crucial categories:
Although the process eventually leads to lowering the costs, first we have to invest a certain amount of money to make it all happen. The overall expenses depend on the level of digitalization. They can be relatively low in case of smaller alterations such as cloud migrations and storage, hosting, integrated SaaS product subscription, or analytics. But they can also build up to a considerable amount if a company wants to develop a mobile app or provide a customized platform for its employees.
Digital transformation is not a piece of cake. It requires a strong leadership and induces implementing new roles inside the organization in case of building an in-house team. Hiring an external agency creates a necessity of setting up efficient process management as well.
The process of digitization will probably turn the world of your company around. Optimizing most of the inner processes and applying an agile approach may lead to replacing some of the roles in the organization or adapting them to a new reality.
A digitized business is more customer-centered and flexible. The change may have a considerable impact on both a flag product vision and the corporate culture within the company.
The impact of pandemic and the increasing phenomenon of digital exclusion
In the times of global crises caused by the pandemic, it only took a few weeks to make all the barriers that prevented businesses from going digital disappear. What’s more, many companies managed the situation quite well. They made the most of working fully remotely, understood the need of taking some of the processes online, and invested in useful innovations. In these uneasy times, digital transformation contributed to the development of telemedicine, e-learning, more advanced e-commerce, e-banking, and even online fitness classes. Turning a company’s products, services, or processes digital in such circumstances may sometimes even let it survive.
But there’s also the other side of the coin. Although many entrepreneurs understood the value of going digital, not every business was able to undergo the process to the same degree. It deepened the inequalities between the companies that implemented the changes and those that simply couldn’t. The phenomenon will alas increase until there’ll be a way to digitize almost every business segment there is.
Digitization after the coronavirus – shaping trends
Technological trends forecasted for 2020 were the ones that helped many companies stay onboard and elope the economic slowdown. The times may not be perfect to invest a large amount of money in developing a new IT project. Nevertheless, most businesses should look ahead and be aware of the fact that it will pay off in the future as soon as the pandemic is finally over.
The most crucial technological trends for the next decades are:
- Self-service and helpdesk solutions. The pandemic showed us that we need efficient processes with a minimum engagement of the IT department. It’s a good time to invest in chatbots, voicebots, speech recognition systems, interactive voice response (IVR), and tools for a remote IT infrastructure administration.
- Automation. When the crisis ends, companies will need scalable solutions to avoid overinvesting or just simply economize. Some of them are: cloud and DevOps, Robotic Process Automation, machine learning, or processes based on artificial intelligence (AI).
- Business continuity. Entering the online world made us pay more attention to cybersafety and risk management. Thus, companies should invest in VPN solutions and online security, as well as consulting and trainings for their employees to keep the work environment maximally safe.
- As-a-Service solutions. It’s anticipated that due to the necessity of retrenching, some of the companies may try to cut back on office equipment. The trend has been noticed before the pandemic and can play a crucial role after it as well. On-premise solutions will eventually be a thing of the past, replaced by the cloud first strategy and software-as-a-service tools.
- Data analysis. It’s a definite must if a company wants to keep abreast and monitor its condition after recovering from the crisis. Making strategic decisions will go better with Business Intelligence solutions (BI).
Ok, but why? Actual reasons to go digital
You already know how it looks and what it might turn like in the future. But what actual profits will the digitization come with? Here are some pretty good reasons why it’s worth all the effort and fuss.
A substantial boost in customer experience
Contemporary customers have a magnitude of choices and experiences while using online services. If the journey is unsuccessful and tedious, they simply switch to a better solution. No compunction there. A professional, efficient and intuitive software tool might prevent a company from a bitter stepback. It’s essential to take care of the customer service, too. Investing in customized chatbots and voicebots might help.
Knowing your customer better
If you want to provide customers with exactly what they want and need, you have to put some effort into getting to know them on a deeper level. What are their purchase patterns and motivations? What influences their behaviour? What enhances and discourages them as clients? Using data intelligence is crucial in analyzing all the useful information about your customers and goes as far as even predicting their future desires.
Root of employees empowerment
Right digital tools may have a positive impact on employees morale making their work easier, more efficient, and scalable. Reduced amount of administrative, repetitive tasks can prevent them from getting bored or tired and enhance an overall job experience. A tailored CRM, collaboration tools, centralized file storing, sharing real-time information across departments, and automation of some processes builds up to a better teamwork, making the company more innovative and appealing for future workers.
A significant hike up in productivity
Automation and digital collaboration can effectively accelerate business processes within a company. Letting the intelligent software take over may essentially reduce the time spent on particular tasks. What used to take hours, can be now limited to minutes or even seconds.
6 things to remember before you go digital
We’ve nearly come to an end. But before you start forming your digital transformation strategy, there are some things you need to go through first.
1. Think outside the box
Remember InPost – one of our clients? They were the first ones to create a convenient Parcel Lockers service with a remote locker opening option, functional, friendly app, and many other innovative, original solutions. Don’t go the easiest way. Think of something extraordinary and it will surely pay off.
2. Put your customers first
We may have mentioned it a couple of times before, but it’s so important that we won’t hesitate to mention it again. What drives your company is its clientele. And what drives your clientele is fulfilling its needs, requirements, and likes. Nothing more to add.
3. Go with the flow, but also trends
Seek the best solutions, but first check what’s on top to avoid being so 2019. Trends come and go pretty fast and it’s sometimes hard to catch up. But you can do it. We know that.
4. Pick your innovation fast
The world of newest innovations and technologies can change overnight, so you need to act fast. In order to maintain your competitiveness, strive for most modern, hi-tech solutions.
5. Make the Internet of Things your best bud
It’s time to embrace the power of the famous IoT. So many things are connected to the internet right now that it’s easy to lose count. What’s in it for you? Well, a fridge that can establish that its owner is low on food and make an order by itself and other everyday objects doing things for humans create a new opportunity for marketers. It’s all about going along with what’s best for a customer and benefiting from it at the same time.
6. Don’t be scared of big data
A valuable, enormous amount of data is right there at your feet. You just need to lean down and grab it. If content is king, analytics is surely its queen. It’s indispensable to understand how customers behave, what are their impressions about the brand, and how the company is seen on the market.
We can help you take off
You reached the end of our article and still have some questions? Want to go digital, but don’t know how? We’ll be happy to help. Our team of dedicated specialists can analyze your idea and create an in-depth plan on how to make it all real.