Digital Transformation: How to Future-Proof Your Business
Editors Note: This week we bring to you a guest post from our mate Mohd at Apty, who shares his knowledge about businesses adapting for the future and digital transformation. We hope you find it helpful, especially in these changing times.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin.
This quote should strike an accord with the entire global business community, as we continue with what can be described as the largest ‘Work from Home’ experiment.
Did anyone see it coming? Of course not!
Was it fatal to businesses? No. At least, not for everyone.
All the ones that made hay while the proverbial sun shone had one thing in common.
They were armed with the right technologies to keep going while economies crashed around them; organisations crumbled to the ground unable to keep up, leading to thousands losing their jobs. In other words, those that have successfully mastered the art of digital transformation seem to have got through this otherwise tumultuous time, rather seamlessly.
If you’re thinking this is an extreme anomaly and things like this will never happen again, you’re probably right – the chances of another pandemic bringing the entire world to a standstill are mighty low. But the trend to encourage telecommuting or remote working that it has set is here to stay. It is therefore extremely crucial for businesses – large and small – to adapt their digital strategy, as the workplaces of the future increasingly seem to move to the virtual world.
What is Digital Transformation?
Integrating technology into every area of business that brings about a structural change within the organisation, is what is generally referred to as digital transformation. This includes implementing new strategies or changing the existing business processes – an overall business process revamp, if you will – to make the organisation more digitally compatible.
Getting Started with Digital Transformation
As long as status quo rules supreme, progress is impossible.
And since adaptation is one of the most foolproof (and Darwin-approved!) ways to sustain businesses, technology adoption is mandatory – in times of a pandemic especially.
Not preparing for the future is a surefire way to fade out. The best way forward is to do a thorough assessment of your organisations technological maturity level; with a clear view of where you want to be in the short to medium term. Now work backwards from your ideal state and try to identify gaps between where you are and where you want to be. This requires a deep understanding of your business needs, your employees’ needs and your customers’ needs, because this trifecta is the foundation of your business. You can then identify ways to bridge these gaps by:
- Investing in tech solutions that will streamline your business processes and help you rebuild them from the ground up, effectively.
- Surveying your employees to understand what could help them be better- faster-more productive at what they do on a daily basis and invest in them.
- Identifying ways in which your customers can have a delightful experience with you; paying close attention to their user journey and technology which assists in their experience.
All of these (and more, depending on how far you are willing to go) come together to form your digital transformation journey.
NOTE: No transformation journey (digital or otherwise) has ever been easy or overnight. It is, however, a powerful process that could truly redefine your business.
Role of Digital Transformation in the Workplaces of the Future
34.4% of companies say that their CEO has appointed a Chief Digital Transformation Officer.
Enabling your workforce with the right technology is the modern-day equivalent of providing an army with the right war weapons. Having the most skilled archer means little if you cannot provide them with a bow-and-arrow that is not just functional but the right fit for them. Similarly, as important as it is that you hire the best talent in the market, it does not account for much in today’s world unless you support their skills with the right technology.
There are software solutions available to support almost every task, for every function, in any industry. The challenge is to identify where your business’ needs it most and invest accordingly. When implemented strategically, the benefits of digital transformation are innumerable to the modern-day workplace.
Benefits of Digital Transformation
Streamlined Business Processes
Streamlined processes are the difference between chaos and order. Technology has changed the way business processes work. When every function performs at its optimal best, adhering to the processes set and delivering as expected, progress is bound to follow.
Efficient Resource Management
Several solutions exist today to handle resources. By investing in the right one, depending on your business needs, you can track, measure, and streamline a number of things from inventory management, to vendor management, to HR portals, to what have you.
Better Employee Engagement
Using technology to understand your employees better and catering to them is a great way to increase employee engagement. After all, it is well established by now that happier employees are more productive! Taking frequent feedback, sending surveys to understand various aspects of their work-life can take you places.
Enhanced Customer Insights
As with employees, customer insights are also crucial to businesses. From building customer journeys, giving them a seamless experience throughout their journey, nurturing a relationship with them, asking for feedback, to making sure they are delighted, everything plays a role in understanding them and satisfying them. You should know by now that people don’t mind paying more if their experience with you is delightful! So, leverage the right technology to understand & delight your customers and they should return the favour!
Improved Experience for Employees & Customers
Happy employees equal happy customers. When employees feel engaged at work and are motivated to work for you, they will go out of their way to delight customers. Improving your experience spectrum, from your employees to your customers has nothing but benefits (read: increased profitability). Engaging them is one thing, but truly transforming their experience with you is a sure way to win their loyalty!
Reduced Business Expenses
When you don’t have to manually perform a never-ending list of tasks a day, repeatedly day after day, you end up saving a lot of time. And in business, time is money. Automation helps people focus less on mundane tasks and more on the ones that can drive change and growth. In the long-term, digital transformation saves organisations a lot of money that they can invest in more lucrative ways.
Analytics has been a game-changer for several organisations and the level of nuanced analytics that is possible today would not be possible without technology. Leaders can now rely on data to take calculated risks and make strategic business decisions. This not only minimises risk quotient but also allows them to prepare for what is to come.
When technology is implemented in an organisation across multiple teams that previously worked differently, it is natural for them to unite and collaborate with one another, beyond functionalities and teams. This helps get rid of one of the biggest culture-killer that any company can have– silos. Yes, change is not easy, but with cross-functional collaboration, employees feel less frustrated and more united in their efforts to adapt.
Promotes Upskilling & Learning
Drive employee motivation and productivity by helping them upskill so they don’t let confusion or boredom get the better of them. Digital transformation helps you implement the right technology to keep a check on how employees use the software, identify potential gaps in their usage and prompt them with the required help so they can make the most of the software.
Promote Internal Efficiency by Initiating Your Digital Transformation
“The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't really even notice it, so it's part of everyday life.” – Bill Gates
Workplaces of the future are bound to be more data-driven and result-oriented. Productivity will no longer be defined by physical presence. Collaboration will not be restricted to in-person meetings. Efficiency will not be determined by how long one is in front of their machines. The future of workplaces is about working smart and not just about working hard. Because you can have all the software in the world to handle just about anything, but until it is adopted effectively, your digital transformation journey will fail.
When it comes to digital transformation, one of the smartest ways to make it happen is to invest in a Digital Adoption Tool (DAP), like Apty. It helps you tackle several challenges that come along your transformation journey – onboarding, training, support, adoption, and lots more. Having a DAP will ensure that your employee productivity and performance does not get disrupted, no matter what software or feature they use. Prepare for the future workplace by investing in a DAP that is data-driven and result-oriented.
About the Author
Mohd Azam is the Sr. Marketing Manager at Apty. When he is not busy ideating, you’ll find him playing one of these- chess, snooker, or the guitar. An ardent start-up and tech geek, Azam is a big fan of all things marketing. You can get in touch with him at email@example.com.