Businesses that want to be or remain relevant have to make broad technological and cultural transformations. All industries are moving from analog to digital systems and businesses that have not yet made the transition are losing out in lots of different ways. Below, we will look at why it is time to make the transition.
It Will Allow You to Compete with Digital-Only Businesses
No one can deny the fact that digital-only businesses are providing traditional businesses with stiff competition. Most of these digital-only businesses know how to cater to “digital” customers who no longer visit physical businesses. By adopting a digital stance, your business will be able to compete.
Traditional businesses like banks are already at an advantage because they have a lot of information and data on their customers. If more of them can bring this data to digital platforms, like many have been doing over the past few years, they can better serve their customers by providing better customer experiences thereby coming out on top.
It Will Allow You to Better Serve Your Customers
A whole generation of potential customers has grown up with technology. Millennials, those aged between 25 and 40, are a huge market segment that cannot be ignored by businesses. An overwhelming majority of millennials – some studies say up to 90% – do everything online. They shop, bank, seek financial information, and discover new products online.
By moving your services to digital platforms and formats, you will be putting yourself in a better position to serve these customers in a way they understand and where they are found – online.
It Makes Automation Easier
There are a lot of manual tasks that can be automated to make them more efficient and to cut costs. Such tasks include payroll, project management, data collection and processing, schedules, and marketing. By using a cloud-based system, all the data is available to different management systems and it is these systems that make automation possible. Now, instead of sending emails to individual customers or paying customers manually, businesses can trigger these events at the right time.
Before automation though, a business needs to think about a few things. One is the goals they want to achieve with automation. In most cases, automation will help you cut costs, eliminate waste, and make your processes a lot more efficient. Second, you need to think about which tasks can and should be digitized and which ones can and should not. Some tasks require human input and automating those tasks has more downsides than it does upsides. Lastly, you need to consider if your employees have the right skills or if they need new skills to handle the transformation. Kettering University has a great write-up on how Ikea was able to achieve all of these. Click here to read their blog as well as learn how operations managers are crucial to their implementation.
Exploding Data Volumes
The amount of data that businesses have to deal with in this digital age is mind-boggling. Before they can do anything with this data, they have to ensure it is collected, cataloged, stored, and analyzed the right way. Although doing this is not impossible if a business does not use digitized records and systems, it would take far too long, cost too much and the data that comes out of the process cannot be relied upon due to human errors.
Digital systems allow businesses to collect enormous volumes of data and store it cost-effectively. Then, businesses can use various tools like artificial intelligence and big data analysis methods to sift through the data and glean insights that inform business decisions from it. This analysis also helps businesses understand their customers better which gives them a competitive advantage over businesses that do not.
Complex Relationships Between Businesses and Other Parties
Businesses have to deal with a lot more people than they used to if they want to stay competitive. From answering questions from their suppliers to dealing with those asked by their customers, businesses handle a lot of complex interactions. Digital systems make it easy to manage these interactions through communications systems that not only make it easy to communicate with these parties, but also possible to store interactions for future reference.
When records such as those from past suppliers and customer service agents are stored in secure systems, it becomes easier for businesses to retrieve and reference these records in the future. This way, a business can, for example, streamline their customer service if there are frequent questions customers ask, or even improve their products if there is a particular feature that customers have difficulty with.
Better Inter-Departmental Collaboration
When you go digital, you will be fostering collaboration between departments. Software makes it easy for people in different departments to communicate and work together. This may be through making communication easier or ensuring all relevant files are uploaded to a central storage server.
Because anyone can work with anyone else, everyone aligns behind a common purpose. This makes it easier to achieve your goals and objectives as everyone will be moving in the same direction.
It Makes the Onboarding Process Easier
The onboarding process can be difficult for new employees. If information is scattered around the office, it can be hard for employees to get started. But, if you have already switched from analog to digital, the process can be as simple as giving the employee a username and a password.
This is especially true for companies that use project management tools like Kanban. These allow new employees to quickly know what the current project is, which tasks everyone is working on, and what is assigned to them. Having moved from analog to digital, companies can also create knowledge bases for new employees so they can learn everything they need to without needing too much assistance.
Remote Work Is Here
Perhaps the biggest reason for moving from analog to digital is to make remote work possible. Remote workers rely on software to get work done, communicate with their employers and teammates as well as know what tasks are assigned to them. Advantages such as access to a global pool of talent and reduced operating and office costs should be enough to convince any business to move from analog to digital.
The digital transformation is here and businesses that do not make the necessary changes are likely to be left behind. Many businesses have already switched from analog to digital, which should be a big sign that there is something your business is missing out on if you have not made the change.