Why Digital Transformation is a Top Priority for Small Businesses
New technologies are opening up new opportunities for business. They’re driving a revolution known as
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, where processes are simplified, ideas are implemented, and businesses are benefiting like never before.
Discover what digital transformation is, and the possibilities that even small changes can provide to your business growth.
Digital Transformation is more than a buzzword
Digital transformation may be a buzzword thrown around by large corporations, but small businesses are quickly embracing the core ideas behind it – using technology to improve processes, innovate and expand.
It’s an umbrella term that encompasses multiple areas of business transformation, each driven by new technologies, customer behavior, market demand and external factors. Many businesses have already begun their digital transformation with cloud applications, remote working and using email for communication. When you consider you may already be halfway down the path, it’s much easier to look around and wonder what else could be improved with technology!
The Joy of Disruption
Right now, small to medium businesses across the globe are in prime position to disrupt their industries. That is, to use their inherent flexibility to do things in a new way, introduce new products and services, and generally show the old guard how things should be done.
When computers reached the point where they were widely affordable and understood, it caused a massive shift in how business was done. Ledgers became spreadsheets, letters were replaced with emails and a new normal was quickly established. It’s been this way for many years, but now companies are changing again. This isn’t for the sake of being cutting edge and looking cool, but to claim their share of real, tangible benefits.
Which opportunity will you embrace?
Quite often, decision makers hold off from worrying about how their employees will feel about the new technology. There’s concern it will make them redundant, they won’t know how to use it, or it will make their job harder. It’s worth noting that digital transformation is not only about getting clever with tech possibilities, it’s about providing a business culture where it’s clear you want to make success as easy as possible – both for your business AND your employees.
Go completely paperless
Efficiency is always the order of the day, and going paperless is one of the easiest ways to achieve this. You’ll avoid lost paperwork and illegible handwriting, and filing becomes a chore your employees will happily skip. New technology allows information to be entered directly into the system, even from remote locations and on-the-go.
You’ll save money and stakeholders throughout your business process will appreciate the speed with which things now happen. With the right applications, you’ll also have analytical data at your fingertips, automatically generated and ready for you to act on.
There’s no limit to the innovation a paperless office provides, and the technology is there to support even the wildest ideas. According to Forbes, nearly 20% of companies have implemented chatbots across roles such as diary management, customer support, and even confirming sick notes.
Say Goodbye to Old Hardware and Software
A large part of your IT budget is no doubt consumed by maintaining software you’ve been using for years. Legacy software like this, applications you’ve had for so long that it feels too costly or difficult to switch, are a common problem for small businesses. It might have been state-of-the-art 20-30 years ago, but after all those years of patching to force it to play nice with your modern business, they can actually become a productivity black hole. The same goes for older hardware, systems you’ve kept running despite the rest of your business surging ahead around it.
You might be pleasantly surprised to discover a replacement for that software or hardware has been developed in recent years, or that new advances mean you don’t even need it anymore.
Clocking into the Virtual Office
Cloud productivity solutions are becoming more common, such as Microsoft Office 365 and Slack. Applications like these allow employees to collaborate with maximum efficiency and ease of use. There’s never any lost work, ‘locked’ files and employees are able to extend themselves to showcase their skills like never before.
Cloud solutions are changing the way people work, and even how they expect to work. Confining their workday to the traditional 9-5 plus 2 hours in an exhausting commute is no longer accepted as necessary; many employees are embracing the flexibility that comes with cloud applications and choosing to work from home (or elsewhere). Around 30% of employees now work from home at least one day per week, a statistic expected to rise to 50% by 2020.
Create Room to Grow
Digital transformation isn’t just about getting rid of the old, but having room to grow into the new. You’ll be able to take on new opportunities, do more, and operate in ways you couldn’t before.
It not only benefits you as a business but your customers too. They want faster responses, faster turnarounds, and digital interactions. Whether it’s fair or not, whatever they see a competitor do, they expect you to follow suit. This might mean always available services, ever more rapid deliveries, and one-touch bookings. While your business might not be able to (or want to!) morph into a new Amazon with drone deliveries overnight, all these new technologies open a world of possibilities for your future. It’s now easier than ever to find out what your customers want, so you can leverage the right digital platforms to evolve alongside them.
These are just some options and we know every business is different. For each business, we determine what they want to achieve and work out a plan to get them there. We can analyze businesses and see exactly where improvements can be made.
If you need help with digital transformation with your business, contact us today and we will be glad to help you and your business.