Why You Need to Digitize Your Business
on May 9
Digitization is a popular term in business that equally excites and scares lots of people. Society already moved towards the digital age with smartphones, social media, and media streaming, and businesses need to catch up or will fall behind the times. It isn’t just about upgrading all your tools to the latest and greatest gadgets, but how businesses can implement these technologies to work together better and faster to complete tasks and company goals. Many businesses digitized their systems and seen benefits including more brand awareness, better communication with customers, and improved employee satisfaction. So what does this digital transformation mean for your business? How will it benefit your customers and employees? Let’s break down the process below.
What is Digital Transformation?
Before we dive deep into the process, it’s important to note that digitization and digitalization are very different terms but both are important for the digital transformation of businesses.
Digitization is converting traditional analog information into a digital format. People experience this process all the time whether it’s reading an electronic book, retrieving PDF documents on an online storage service, or streaming music from the latest app. For businesses, the process involves converting all of their paper processes into an available and accessible digital format such as customer databases, employee paperwork, and messages for communication.
When digitization is complete, businesses transition into digitalization - the process of how these digital formats will improve existing work. The end results of digital conversion and how it changes business operations leads to digital transformation.
A perfect example is how the internet has created a digital transformation for the marketing industry. Businesses relied on traditional methods of direct mail, print advertisements, outdoor billboards, television, and radio, but their success rate was difficult to measure. The internet opened a new world for businesses to convert their sales messages to a digital format with e-mail marketing, social media marketing, and display ads. Digital marketing is now an important asset for companies that reduces costs, provides accurate metrics, and attracts more customers through targeted and personal messages on various channels. Sounds exciting, right? It sure is, but the road towards digital transformation is never easy with its own challenges.
Challenges for Businesses
Employees Don't Want to Change
No matter the change, people like their routines. They make us feel comfortable - that’s why we have comfort zones. Any change in routine leads to uncertainty for most people, especially with digital transformation. Employees see it as a threat to their role or identity and wonder why fix something that was never broken in the first place. It’s a very stressful process for lots of people, but not changing is much riskier than adapting with the times. Digital transformation is key for any company to succeed in today's world, and management needs to be transparent with employees about the process. Be open to listening to employee concerns and create an environment that helps them grow throughout the transformation. This communication won’t eliminate all their doubts but will certainly alleviate them and empower employees to be a part of the process. On the other hand, none of this is possible without creating a convincing strategy.
Lack of Strategy
Businesses get excited for digitalization but don’t have a clear strategy for how it will address customers and employees. Not having a strategy is just like going on a road trip with no destination. The chance for a positive outcome is slim when you don't have a clear set of directions. Businesses could spend too much time and money on unnecessary tools and not add any value to their customers or goals. Good news is that businesses can create an effective strategy by following these steps:
Gather and verify all the stakeholders and assets for your organization
Look at the market to see your customer’s needs and what your competitors are doing. Also look at your employee’s needs.
- Evaluate your business’s strengths and weaknesses and see what digital technology trends can address them.
Establish multiphase system of processes that incorporates the digitization of tools that address your customers' and employees' needs.
Some businesses task the digital transformation strategy to a specific individual or department, but it’s important they involve the entire company in the process and work together towards a common goal.
Now you have a strategy, wouldn’t it be nice to have unlimited finances? Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for any business. Just like any other project, budget constraints can strictly limit the digital transformation process. The process involves new and major investments in your stakeholders, so prepare for budget issues that limit what areas you could accomplish. While budgets could be a hindrance, they also serve as an indicator for how much a business can handle at one time. Combat this obstacle with a multi-step plan that is long term and doesn’t break the budget.
Every business needs to prepare and tackle for these challenges, but embracing this mindset of innovation and improvement in digital transformation will lead to countless benefits in no time.
Benefits of Digital Transformation
New Customer Relationships
Digital transformation has changed the focus of businesses from achieving sales to enhancing the customer experience. New tools such as social media and e-mail marketing campaigns enable businesses to capture more information, and see what their customers have to say by turning their responses into meaningful insights. Businesses can analyze these insights to figure out what customers want and provide them with better promotions, services, and products. Businesses can now offer customers an easier way to share their opinion on an entirely digital platform. They can provide customer support in new areas such as social media channels and assure customers are being heard with fast response time.
Valuable Metrics for Better Business
One of the greatest benefits with digitalization is the ability to track valuable metrics from any marketing campaign. Companies can gather insights from web, email, and social media campaigns and integrate into business planning and help make better decisions. These data-driven insights can help create strategies that reduce costs and enable customer personalization, feedback and relevancy that will contribute to a higher ROI.
Fosters Employee Collaboration
Digital transformation is seen as an unwelcome change but provides the perfect opportunity for businesses to come together and foster a culture of conversation and learning across all areas. Strong communication is key for this process, and businesses have to tear down the walls of traditional department silos to complete the transition. Employees, regardless of role, have to communicate with each other and work together to solve problems and achieve goals. The emergence of digital applications eliminates the need for a physical meeting and everything involved - checking everyone’s calendar for availability and finding a meeting space. Employees can communicate with each other anytime regardless of location and share ideas that benefit the company.
Enhances Productivity and Innovation
Manual procedures such as data entry slow down business and require too much time and bottlenecks to pass through multiple stages. Digitalization eliminates these issues with instant access to data and simplifies existing processes to support new ones that are cost-effective, efficient and easier to manage. Removing the dependence on these processes frees valuable time for businesses and builds a digital groundwork for them to adapt to current market trends. Plus, employees become more productive as they learn these new processes and build their digital skill set.
Improves Employee Satisfaction
Gone are the days of the traditional office where everyone has to be physically present in an office. The newest generation of workers demand digitalization in to make their lives easier and compete with the global marketplace. Digital transformation provides the answer with a new, flexible environment where employees can work from anywhere with an internet connection. On a cloud-based system, employees can telecommute and adjust their own hours, empowering them to work smarter and not harder. These digital benefits increase employee satisfaction, reduces job turnover, and improves retention.
The Future is Already Here
In conclusion, digital transformation is no longer a choice that businesses can ignore. The digital future is already here, and businesses need to adapt their tools and strategies to meet the demands of employees, customers, and global marketplace. Digital transformation is not a simple process and businesses will encounter obstacles along the way, but those who embrace the change sooner will experience better sales, customers, and employees.
Don’t know where to begin? Start your digital transformation journey today by migrating your existing phone, internet, and network services onto service’s local cloud server. There’s no hardware to manage and no maintenance to worry about, all for a monthly fee with free 24x7x365 support from local engineers. Request a free consultation and our experts will respond to you in less than 24 hours.
Servpac is a Hawaii-based telecommunications company providing innovative and integrated telephone, internet, and cloud solutions for Hawaii businesses since 2004. The company is the largest locally based CLEC (competitive local exchange carrier) in the state and provides 24/7 local support for island businesses to help them compete in the global marketplace.