Digital transformation may sound like an abstract concept floated around the tech team. But it’s a crucial stage of any business evolution. In order to stay up to speed with the latest tech advancements, companies need to adapt to the changing times. It’s no wonder that globally, companies are embracing digital transformation to address challenges to abating business processes. Outdated systems only slow down productivity and often increase expenses. While this may sound all well and good, let’s cover the basics. First and foremost, what is digital transformation?
Way back when, humans used to trade in cattle, grains and weapons – physical commodities. Today in the information and digital age, more and more businesses are beginning to trade in data. This information is the new currency of modern businesses. In order to be ready for and adapt to this new evolution of business exchange, companies need to digitally transform. This is a complete organisational shift in how a business operates. It includes adapting how your employees work, digitalising your general everyday processes and often, changing the mindset of some of your employees. It is a shift that will affect every level of your business and can be a daunting, confusing process, which is why a digital transformation strategy is vital.
What is a digital transformation strategy?
If the end goal is the complete digital transformation of a company, then a digital transformation strategy is your plan of how to get there from your current business state. It’s your plan from A to B. It is made up of a long-term strategy broken up into smaller, practical steps that address how your company can evolve into being completely in tune with the new data-led way of doing business. It will also look at any potential future problems or adaptations and how to accommodate these, such as a lack of funding, the need for business-wide staff training and employing new staff with digital know-how.
Not only does a fool-proof digital transformation strategy require a long, hard look at your business as it stands, it also requires communication within your workforce. In particular, it needs the teams in charge of the marketing and management of the business to talk with the digital side. The IT wizards need to talk with the business-savvy marketers. By communicating and being on the same page about where the company is going, what is achievable and in what time frame, both sides can execute their part to play in making digital transformation a reality. Without the key IT knowledge and language, the marketers cannot effectively communicate with their target audience in the long run. This is because they won’t be able to address the ever-changing digital needs of the client or customer in a modern and effective way. As how the consumer researches, finds and investigates different services and products changes, so should the service providers. Likewise, without understanding how this transformation can be communicated, the IT teams won’t be able to know how much of their expert knowledge they need to impart onto their marketing co-workers. But there is more to digital transformation than cross-company communication.
Getting everyone on board
It might be an easy sell to convince the tech team and the marketing gurus to embrace a digital transformation strategy, but how about the rest of your workforce? Digital transformation can only be successful if it is a company-wide project. And that includes training your ground-level staff so that they are able to adapt to the new way of doing things. From helping them familiarise themselves with new user interfaces and cloud-based services, to understanding why digital adaptation is important in the first place. As the building blocks of your company, your employees need to understand why the business needs to change, and how to change with it. That way, the technological evolution that has been forecasted in the digital transformation strategy can actually become reality.
Information is king
Making sure that all teams across the board understand what is needed for the digital transformation strategy to be implemented is vital. But having a plan only works if you start actualising the steps towards the end goal. Digital transformation involves various improvements and system changes in how a business operates. And it’s all to do with how you deal with data. This goes beyond simply buying the latest tech gadgets for your employees. To achieve complete digital transformation, the first thing any company needs to do is realise and begin to utilise digital data. From switching over to a completely paperless way of collecting, capturing and analysing data, to changing what data is captured in the first place. There is a lot that can be done to modernise how your company uses this information. Once you are able to integrate and effectively use end-to-end information collection and management, you can begin to digitally evolve as a business. By collecting and analysing this data, you can use your findings to constantly inform and improve how your company operates. Optimising and using supply chain information, analysing customer online habits, and investigating how technology can replace more humdrum jobs, can all contribute to moving your operations into the modern age.
Taking the first steps
Digital transformation is not an overnight process, it is a long-term goal. One of the first steps that your company can take to technologically evolve is to integrate simple but effective systems such as chatbots into your infrastructure. By integrating AI into how your business operates, you will be able to use bots to effectively answer your customers’ queries without the need for on-the-ground employees. This frees up resources and employees’ time to be used more effectively in other areas of the business. There are plenty of other ways that chatbots can help improve how your company operates and set you on the path towards complete digital transformation. If you are interested in how integrating chatbots can help put your business in the right direction, get in touch today by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.