Embracing Digital Transformation In A Covid-19 World
The world is going through a dramatic shift right in front of our very eyes.
People of all ages can be found typing away on phones, streaming from smart TVs, and paying with double-click access to their digital wallet.
We’ve officially embarked on The Digital Revolution, where MORE data than ever before is accessible to anyone searching for actionable insights. This data growth is accelerating every day as businesses empower their workforce to adapt in this new virtualized environment.
The result? A showering of personal and business data across multiple systems and with it comes a digital scramble of information (and misinformation).
Welcome to an era of data chaos.
The corporate world was embracing The Digital Revolution with various digital transformation projects, but it was happening slowly.
Not too long ago, small-to-medium sized business owners in all industries were comparing the pros and cons of adopting a digital transformation strategy, hemming and hawing over the considerable changes technology would bring to their lives or (perceived) high cost.
Unfortunately, there isn’t time to continue this organic evolution, the shift has abruptly and disruptively happened.
In the days that it took for COVID-19 to spread a shock wave of uncertainty, the question for most businesses quickly changed from…
“Should we consider digital transformation as an initiative?”
“Where do we begin?”
So, let’s dive in.
What is Digital Transformation?
Before we discuss the why’s and how’s, there are a few things we need to get clear.
Digital transformation can be defined as the “integration of technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how it operates and delivers value to its consumers.”
What are the benefits of Digital Transformation?
Unfortunately, companies are (now) seeing that without a digital presence and platform to manage processes and how information is shared/used, their employees’ productivity is restricted, and operational costs are high.
There are endless lists detailing out the benefits of adopting a digital transformation strategy, so I’ll keep this brief and only introduce the three I believe are the most important AND the easiest to achieve:
- Improved workflow: Automate standard processes that were once a manual, paper-driven process anchored by in-person collaboration and centralized office infrastructure.
- Higher profits and lower costs: Streamlining systems and processes means business hours are dedicated to the work that requires hands-on attention. The added side effect being core functions are automated and costly mistakes are drastically reduced.
- Increased competitiveness: Businesses are able to unlock data and create actionable analytics, which means no more cobbling together data for reports. This yields greater levels of responsiveness to market and environmental changes.
As we have all recently seen, most businesses aren’t equipped to sustain operations in a virtualized environment. So, above all else, having a digital transformation strategy allows businesses to run without interruption.
What should we do first?
Digital transformation is a STRATEGY that can help you navigate to the new normal… but, maybe now you’re wondering, “How in the world do I actually make this work for my business and my employees?”
Here are a few ways you can start integrating technology into your business:
- The mailroom: This is a fantastic place to begin your digital transformation initiative — currently, paper and manual processes lead to an information backlog, which can be fixed with a little automation. Stop the paper at the source and scan it to a digital format.
- Document processing systems: What is your company’s ability to manage high volumes of information? If you’re like most companies, it isn’t great, which leads to company-wide bottlenecks. It’s time to automate!
- Accounts payable: Unfortunately, a slow payment process can cause delays in critical business activities and eliminate early pay discounts … but technology can fix that in no time!
- Customer onboarding: These days, your customers have been conditioned to expect instant results, so a slow setup process leads to dissatisfied customers. Let’s create a better buying experience and remove the friction in on-boarding.
- Records management: When is the last time you conducted a full audit of your records? Chances are it’s been a while. Unfortunately, disconnected archiving can lead to both a lack of compliance and consistency, which are two things smart business owners avoid at all costs.
Need an example? Think about ALL the emails you’ve received from companies over the last month. Did you get an email from a brand that you haven’t heard of in a LONG time? Perhaps a dentist, chiropractor, or even hair salon, etc.? Those businesses are taking their once paper-based records (of you and services/goods provided) and converting it into a digital format, thus unlocking the power of the data, and access to contact you.
Even if you’re not totally sold on the idea of integrating technology into your business, take the advice of this sought-after tech professional and start embracing digital transformation ahead of your competitors. Organizations that can successfully transform data chaos into actionable information will not only enhance their business processes and differentiate themselves from their competitors, but will also ensure survival when things get rocky
I’m personally dedicated to building a future where our next generation can continue to succeed, no matter what obstacles (including a pandemic) may arise.
Organizations like Toshiba are using data to innovate new solutions that ensure both current operations and new business processes can continue to grow and expand.
If you’re struggling, please reach out. I’m here to help!