For decades, businesses have been using technologies that helped them deliver better, faster, and cheaper products and services. Numerous technological advancements have played crucial roles in transforming businesses over time. Today, businesses are being facilitated by a new force – digital transformation.
Digital transformation is a result of increasing competition and the need to drive customer value by leading changes. Watermark’s 2019 consulting report shows that companies that focus on Customer Experience show 3x greater return on investment than Customer Experience laggards. Therefore, it is no wonder that Gartner sees that digital transformation is among the top three priorities for enterprises, and their spending reflects this priority.
Fortunately, digital transformation doesn’t require businesses to move every process to the cloud, nor does it require them to invest millions of dollars in brand-new tech — a critical note, since more than half of SMBs plan to use current IT budgets to fund their digital efforts. The most effective digital transformations leverage existing infrastructure and find maximum value in the most sensible improvements.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is a catchall term that includes a wide variety of goals. For some companies, digital transformation means leveraging cloud capabilities. For others, artificial intelligence and machine learning are more important. Increased analytics capabilities and Internet of Things implementations play roles as well.
The point of digital transformation is not to take companies from paper processes to hyper-advanced and complex digitized alternatives. On the contrary, many components of digital transformation are subtle. Even the most technologically challenged business owners, given a bit of time, can lead an effective digital transformation with the right mindset.
So, here are three tips to plan and implement your digital transformation strategy according to your business needs:
- Design a strategy that will save you both time and money
Money saved is money earned, even for companies with growth goals. Before taking on new debt to tackle grand opportunities, consider how digital transformation could make existing processes cheaper and easier.
Humberto Farias, co-founder at software company Concepta, recommends that SMBs take advantage of simple tools with high potential impacts, such as predictive analytics for ad spend. Small companies can’t afford to put money into substandard campaigns the way big ones can. With a predictive analytics tool that integrates with existing tech, small businesses can increase their advertising budgets much further.
- Listen to employee’s concern to confront them
Most employees are set in their ways: In SMB Group’s study, 27 percent of leaders cited their team’s resistance to change as a top challenge. To make the change go as smoothly as possible, talk to employees about why the company is moving in a digital direction.Some employees worry that digital transformation will eventually cost them their jobs. Business Wire reports that 35 percent of millennials share that concern. Speak honestly with employees about how the company envisions its future and what role employees play in that future.
- Work with consultant that knows about your industry
SMB Group reports that 33 percent of SMBs don’t have digital transformation strategies because they need some help. Don’t wait for the competition to make the first move — find a technology partner with experience in the right areas.
Bigger companies can afford to staff robust IT departments, but smaller companies don’t have that kind of cash. By outsourcing, small companies can maximize their resource pools and only pay for the aspects of digital transformation with the greatest impact.
A good technology partner will recommend in-budget solutions that are compatible with a business’s infrastructure. Ask potential partners whether they have experience with small businesses, who at the vendor will be responsible for communications and what kind of preparations the business should make ahead of time.
In conclusion, remember the why. Digital transformation ensures that SMBs can continue to deliver value to customers while supporting their changing behaviors and needs. Hiring a technology partner that provides free consultation and can help in planning & implementing your strategy, training your employee, and providing maintenance for your strategy on a subscription basis(just like netflix) can work wonders for the budget of your company.