We’ve long lived in a digital world. However, the pandemic further pushed us to rely on technology. With most people still stuck in their homes, businesses communicate, promote their brand, and deliver products or services online.
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology in all areas of running a business.
A business may take digital transformation for several reasons. But today, many are doing it for survival. In the wake of the pandemic, it’s important for companies to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing customer expectations and disrupting supply chains.
While it’s too early to guess which changes in consumer behavior will last after the pandemic, one thing is for sure – technology isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay, grow, and develop.
Technology isn’t perfect and it has downsides. But it’s clear that digital transformation is benefiting the industry in so many ways.
Digital transformation is tantamount to business transformation efficiency, which translates to greater productivity.
Digitization involves implementing cultural, strategic, and operational changes to achieve a good operational efficiency ratio.
Successful digital transformation allows companies to achieve standardization in practices, thereby managing every department to become more sustainable, productive, and efficient.
In human resource teams, sharing hiring and onboarding documents is made quickly and easily.
With tools that make gathering and interpreting data so much easier, you can make better decisions to improve your business process.
Data analytics refers to the extraction and interpretation of useful information.
Businesses are now using specific information and insights to understand consumer behavior. They collect data to tweak their sales and marketing strategies.
They also use data to implement changes needed to meet the future needs of customers. As the volume of the type of data that businesses collect increases each day, analyzing such data gets more complex.
Thankfully, there are digital tools that are capable of breaking down massive data and interpreting them in seconds.
What’s left for businesses to do is to glean useful insights to make decisions and drive success. Some tools even generate useful recommendations.
One of the most obvious benefits of digitization in the business world is improving workflows. Technology has revamped how teams work and how companies are being operated on a global scale.
As the pandemic forced organizations to choose between shutting down and adopting a remote work setting, businesses rushed to set up communication and collaborative tools.
Things like cloud technology, telecommuting, and digital collaboration have made it possible for teams to work together despite geographical boundaries.
Digital transformation changes everything, including how businesses interact with customers. By increasing efficiency and productivity in the workplace, organizations can free up resources so they can focus on what matters most, and that is providing an exceptional customer experience.
With the help of customer service digitization, businesses can provide an omnichannel approach to customer service.
For example, digitalization enables the creation of a centralized system that can log and save data from interaction with customers via online channels, call centers, and mobile devices.
This is a big step from traditional customer service methods that often involve complex forms, checklists, and spreadsheets.
Another way digital transformation has massively helped businesses in terms of customer service is that technology enables brands to connect with their customers on a more personal level.
Currently, companies and organizations use the following channels to connect with their audience:
Blogging. Consumers are in constant need of helpful information. Posting high-quality blog posts is a way to establish authority and expertise over your industry or niche. That said, customers are more likely to trust your business.
Social Media. Unlike email and phone calls, social media allows businesses to reach out to their customers at any moment. Social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram let you engage with customers and keep conversations going.
Using the right technology can significantly boost the overall efficiency, productivity, and communication of employees, resulting in higher engagement and morale.
Here are some ways digital transformation positively impacts employees:
Communications tools such as Slack, Trello, Skype, Zoom, and many others have played a tremendous role during the onset of the pandemic. And as we continue to battle COVID-19, many more tools have surfaced to help in-office and remote workers collaborate.
Improved Efficiency and Productivity
Technologies like innovative biometric time clocks, automated payroll processing, remote onboarding, and time-tracking devices enabled organizations to monitor employee time and attendance.
Business Process Automation
Automation for redundant tasks like setting appointments, answering emails, and inputting data has helped businesses provide speedy services and lower their overhead costs. With such technology, employees can focus on more important activities.
Training and Development
As technology grows, so does the way organizations train their employees. Even small businesses are utilizing online platforms to train and onboard new employees.
More and more companies are using technology to promote brand awareness. Nearly half of the global population uses the internet, and nearly 30% of consumers choose to interact with brands online (particularly via social channels) rather than going to a store.
Common digital marketing platforms are centered around distributing conversion-oriented messages through various digital channels. These include social media, email, and websites.
Digital marketing is on the rise and has increased the overall spend on traditional marketing for the first time since 2019.
With advancements like machine learning, AI, and data analysis, marketers are better equipped with the knowledge and tools to reach consumers on digital media just at the right moment.
Digitally transforming your entire business can be daunting, so you should start small. You can begin by transforming smaller components and embracing technology in smaller ways.
Consider these strategies to digitally transform your business:
- Switch your mindset from being product-focused to being customer-focused. Customer experience is important. Instead of focusing on the features of your products, try to understand first what your customers really need and want.
- Enable remote workforces and automation. If you’re in the retail industry, you can use automation to handle transactional tasks, such as checking inventory, purchasing from vendors, and processing payments.
- Use technology to collaborate. Whether your team is working in the office or in their homes, you can always utilize collaboration tools and platforms to improve communications inside your organization.
The pandemic was a wake-up call for businesses to embrace digital transformation. It may not be easy, but it can be done. Start small and celebrate your milestones. Embracing technology is the only way for businesses to survive, grow, and flourish.