Does your business need another digital transformation?
Digital transformation has helped businesses adopt better technologies to improve their business models and operations. But “digital transformation” isn’t a plug and play process. It’s an ever-evolving adaptation to new ways of working and upgrading business tools, processes and cultures to survive in new environments.
A business may have gone through a digital transformation a decade ago, but now find themselves falling behind again because they haven’t kept up with new developments.
So, when is it time to put a business through another digital transformation project?
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is adopting digital technology to replace outdated non-digital processes and systems and improve and upgrade outdated or underperforming digital technologies. By the mid-2000s, you’d struggle to find a business anywhere that wasn’t utilising digital tech in some way. Smartphones and similar devices changed the way we consume information. While improved computer processes and file sharing changed the way we manage data on a massive scale. The current trend is automation, particularly with the expansion of artificial intelligence technology. But this is where some businesses stagnated and failed to keep the ball rolling with their digital technology.
Over 50% of respondents said outdated technology had a “moderate” effect on productivity in their business, while 16% said it had a “major” effect, according to one report. A business may have been an early adopter of digital transformations during this period, but now be lagging behind as new technology has come along.
Existing business processes that have evolved with digital technologies
Digital transformation has the potential to impact every area of every business, but in the last few years, certain processes have been ripe for a change:
Once upon a time, the classic pen and paper was the only way to effectively store and share data. Then, the computer changed everything, allowing huge amounts of data to be stored, edited and shared at the touch of a button. But modern data management offers so much more.
Advancements like CRM (customer relationship management) software can manage not just interactions with customers but can track and analyse the data behind customer decisions in the hopes of improving services and profits in the future. Managing and analysing this data with CRM software can help businesses improve the customer experience and build on their offerings as they grow. 91% of businesses with more than 11 employees use CRM software. Are you up to speed? If not, is it something your business could benefit from?
Door-to-door sales used to be a key part of a business’s sales strategy. Today, a salesperson can reach infinitely more customers without ever leaving their seat. However, even since the advent of online sales, there have been further advancements to take the service to the next level. Modern POS (point-of-sale) systems let businesses do more than just make and track sales. They can handle inventory management, sales reports, customer engagement analysis and more. If your business is still using outdated methods to collect and track payments from your customers, in person and online, a modern POS system gives you the tools you need to move further forward and make more sales.
There used to be entire offices dedicated to project management efforts. Now, everything that used to be displayed on huge boards and stored in 12-inch-thick binders can all be conveniently accessed on a single application. Project management tools now encompass virtually all aspects of project management tasks. Including detailed dashboards, timesheets, real-time communication, external tool integration and more. Companies waste almost 12% of their organisational resources as a result of poor project management. Embracing digital transformation effectively, can avoid you becoming one of them.
Newer technologies that have changed the way businesses operate
New technologies have been successfully applied to business processes. This hasn’t just helped them boost profits but lends itself to other areas including customer safety and both external and internal communications, to name but a few.
Here are some your business could be taking advantage of if it’s not already.
The internet was seen by many as just a toy when it first came into being. That’s still partly true, but it has also changed the direction of society as a whole. One area businesses have seen improvements thanks to improvements in internet speeds and technology is in their communications.Services like VoIP (voice over internet protocol) allow employees to communicate with their customers – and each other – through an internet connection rather than traditional phone lines. On top of this, VoIP systems are often integrated with other services to improve business communications and operations. Like auto attendant, HD calling, business texting and many more. Adopting VoIP services has been shown to boost productivity within a business by 67% and lower costs by 45%.
Fast internet speeds
Back in the days of dial-up, internet speeds were only a fraction of what they are now. As time has moved on, internet speeds have improved in leaps and bounds. With many businesses and homes now enjoying speeds that once seemed revolutionary.
In 2005, the average internet speed in the UK was 5.2Mbps. Today, it’s ten times that amount. But businesses need to adopt broadband connections that can handle the vast amount of users and devices on their network at any given time. Robust business broadband options like Superfast broadband, powered by a combination of fibre and copper lines, have helped businesses reach exceptional speeds to manage their data. This broadband solution can deliver speeds of up to 76Mbps. Plenty of speed for most businesses.
However, it’s nothing in comparison to the speeds Ultrafast broadband will bring once it’s fully rolled out. Users can expect speeds of almost 1000gbps (that’s 1gb per second). Speeds like these could be lightyears away from the speeds you’re working with now and could seriously boost the performance of basic operations. If you’ve been using the same business broadband connection for years, upgrading could offer you the speeds and the productivity you’ve been sorely missing.
Improved security processes
As technology has advanced, so have the skills of criminals seeking to take advantage of any weaknesses it presents. Thankfully, cybersecurity processes have evolved at a solid rate alongside new tech. The security measures of today make the measures of years past look like simple puzzles a child could crack.
Improved firewalls and VPNs (virtual private networks) have helped keep viruses and hackers away from businesses’ sensitive data. A VPN masks the connection between your devices and your network by connecting to external servers. Making it much harder for criminals to break into your system through your broadband connection. 50% of people who use VPNs do so for business reasons, according to Forbes. If your business isn’t utilising security measures like VPNs, perhaps you should consider it if you want to give yourself and your customers the best defence.
How to undergo another digital transformation
If you’re worried your business has fallen behind the times since your last digital transformation, to the point it’s become a serious detriment to your growth, it’s time to do something about it.
Seeking out the services of technology experts who can help guide you through your digital transformation efforts could prove to be the difference maker you’ve been looking for.