There’s no doubt that the world of business has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. Our reliance on the digital platforms from websites and apps to pay per click advertising and social media, means that marketing to the general public is now a much more complicated affair.
Businesses have ready access to cloud IT, productivity software and a range of communication tools that, just a few years ago, would have been inconceivable to many.
What is digital transformation?
When a new digital technology comes along, you have the choice of ignoring it or using it to improve your company processes. Digital transformation generally causes some form of disruption.
Cloud services, for example, have reduced the burden of having in-house IT infrastructure. It’s given on-the-move access to important software and communication tools – staff can work remotely and have everything they need because their smart device holds the latest tools.
The disruption this form of digital transformation creates can be seen in the way many businesses are now confident employing remote/home workers to save on traditional office costs.
What does digital transformation mean for your business?
The challenge and potential of digital transformation is not so much about new software and upcoming innovations, however. It’s how your business incorporates them into its procedure, how it chooses the right tools at the right moment and how it ensures that this is all fit for purpose at both a strategic and implementation level.
Get it right and digital transformation has a number of distinct advantages:
- Staying Competitive
The vast majority of businesses do not exist in a vacuum. A new technology that comes to market and makes processes more efficient may be taken up by your nearest competitor giving them a big advantage. If they are using AI to keep customers informed and happy, for example, and you are not, they’re stealing a march because their reputation is being enhanced.
- Becoming more productive
One of the key reasons for undergoing a digital transformation is to make your business more productive. There is no advantage in reinventing the wheel but if that wheel is longer-lasting, improves fuel efficiency, and comfort, then it’s worth focusing on.
Software like Office 365, online file-sharing and collaboration apps, and bespoke CRM’s are all examples that highlight how digital transformation has streamlined work processes and allowed businesses of all types, including start-ups, to become highly efficient and competitive in the market place.
In many businesses nowadays, for example, the workforce is not contained within one office but spread throughout an area, with employees operating remotely – saving on hardware and staffing costs.
- Increased revenue
At the root of all digital transformation is increased revenue for the company concerned. Whether that’s from making processes efficient and reducing staffing costs or through improving marketing communications with customers to boost sales, the single biggest factor in making a change is that all-important bottom line.
- Better customer relations
Developments in AI in recent times have allowed businesses to reach out and communicate with existing and potential customers in new and innovative way. This is one area that will continue in the next few years. Another digital transformation is the variety of ways in which those customers can pay for products or services.
Staying on top of digital transformation in 2020
The challenge that all businesses have had is when and how to implement any relevant digital transformations. In 2020, this is set to remain a hugely important factor and one which will become increasingly difficult as technology evolves. Working closely with your IT service provider is going to be imperative and choosing the right moment to expand and implement will be vital.
Here are just a few of the ways digital transformation is going to have an impact in 2020:
- The potential of 5G
5G is finally rolling out and will take us to the next level when it comes to connectivity. Users will see faster download speeds, up to 20 times 4G. This is likely to revolutionise remote working and make it increasingly important for businesses that are trying to keep down their operational costs.
5G will also feed into areas such as AI and the Internet of Things but the full impact may not be seen in business for a few more years. What you should see, however, is an increasing number of options, so keeping up with the latest tech developments is going to be vital.
- AI and customer service
Chatbots have had mixed reviews over the past few years and not everyone is keen on them. Businesses have found, however, that a reliable AI help service will deliver answers on the most asked questions for customers and can be a powerful time-saving tool.
According to Gartner, nearly half of businesses will start to invest more in AI to streamline processes and provide a better service to customers in 2020. The good news is that those customers are also on board – we’re more focused on getting the answer we want than worrying whether we’re talking to a bot or not.
- Analytics and staying competitive
Analysing how your business is performing is key to success nowadays, especially online. One area where digital transformation has improved things over the last decade or so is with the various analytics packages available that provide telling insights into content performance and customer behaviour.
We are now in the age of big data and the information that this provides can be seriously transformational if your business is able to leverage it effectively.
- Security, privacy and transparency – your customers want it all!
With the implementation of GDPR, there is a lot more pressure on businesses to ensure they have the right security measures in place. Cyber attacks are on the increase and customers expect the companies they do business with on a daily basis to protect their data.
But customers also want your business to be open and transparent about what you do with that data. The challenges facing even small businesses nowadays means that a comprehensive cyber security and data protection policy is not simply something on a wishlist but an urgent necessity and one that is legally required.
Putting digital transformation at the heart of your business
Digital transformations are exciting and full of potential. But how do you know if the next innovation is right for your business? Is it best to implement something straight away and steal a march on your competitors or wait and see what the impact and advantages are?
It’s not easy for businesses to forge ahead with changes of this kind. Digital transformation generally needs money and time to implement, staff have to be trained, the effectiveness measured and changes made to adapt conditions to the needs of the business.
From IT transformation consultancy to robust cyber security, Cyan Solutions have the team in place who can provide a tailored approach to your next digital transformation challenge. Contact us today to find out more.