In today’s world, connecting with your consumer base online is one of the best ways to spread your net and bring in new customers. In the post-COVID-19 world, businesses have had to adapt quickly to bring remote, no-contact ways of bringing products and services into the arms of their buyers lest they be left by the wayside. After all, if you can’t bring your assets to the table they’ll very quickly become worthless, with consumers looking elsewhere for the things they would normally get from you. Even the most dedicated of customers will shop elsewhere if your doors are shut, after all.
What is Digital Transformation?
One of the ways businesses have adapted to the new market circumstances is by embracing what’s called digital transformation. Essentially, it’s the practise of adapting technology into your business practises in order to make things run more smoothly. This has been a growing trend across modern companies in the past few decades, but it exploded with the onset of the 2020 pandemic out of sheer necessity. In a lot of cases this meant businesses trying things in new and unpredictable ways, some of which were successful, some not.
Overall when a business tries new things they want to take it slowly, with caution being the wisest approach. After all, a business relies on its profits to continue and if you’re taking heavy losses it’s not the greatest sign that your newly implemented strategies are working. However, when the alternative is closing your doors for months and months on end organizations can come up with new ways of doing things in shockingly short amounts of time.
Discovery Driven Planning
When you’re in a situation where you’re forced to make a change or close up shop, that’s where discovery driven planning comes in handy. It’s an approach which isn’t usually seen in business practises and is more akin to scientific research than any usual business strategy. It’s a wait and see approach, with benchmarks being used as indicators of success rather than any overall increase in revenue or profit.
Essentially, discovery driven planning is the idea that you can factor in new information into your digital strategy as it becomes available. To do this you need to spread your feelers out and test new technologies on small scales, then invest further in the ones that work. It might seem like an obvious step to take, but a lot of business executives are trained to not make any steps where the result isn’t obviously profitable. In this approach, failures aren’t simply losses that you have to contend with but lessons that you can learn from to allow your digital assets to grow organically in a direction which will bring you the most success. It’s not an approach most businesses would take – they like to stick to established methods of success, after all – but it is one that has become increasingly necessary in recent times.
What Should You Do When Planning Digitization?
Now, it’s all well and good wanting to go about digitizing your workplace, but you need to have a co-ordinated means of doing so or your efforts will likely lead nowhere. After all, letting every single branch or team implement their own idea of how things should be done will lead to a mess of unconnected assets that don’t work together. Digital transformation is a top-down technique, being decided at the highest levels and implemented downwards.
The way you implement your digitization is known as your digital strategy. There are three rough steps which you can follow in order to make a digital strategy. First you should research your position – your current digital assets, your customer base and your competitors are good starting points. You then need to analyze your research in order to see how effective digitization might be. Once that’s done, you need to plan your vision, think about what you want to do and lay out a course which will make your vision a reality. What specific things you will want to implement depends on your business model and how you go about doing things internally but it’s always a good idea to look into smart websites and apps, as these are the most basic forms of customer contact that most of your consumer base will be familiar with.
Benefits of Digital Transformation
Now, you may be thinking that this looks like a lot of effort and that it could all just end up being a waste of time. You’re right in thinking that it’ll take a lot to implement, but the results will be worth it in the end. There are two perspectives that you can look at digitization from, an external one concerning your customers, and an internal one based around your workforce.
In today’s market consumers have seen the digital necessities that the COVID-19 pandemic created, and they’re not going to be content with organizations returning to the same old practises when digital options are both easier and simpler for them. External-based digital transformation is all about the customer, making their journeys easier and less frustrating will boost your reputation and your revenue.
From the other perspective, digitizing can have a huge impact on the productivity of your workforce. Think of all of the pages and pages of inventory logs that can now be stored in a spreadsheet, and searched with a simple Ctrl-F. The more technology you embrace, the more productive and happy your employees will be – happy employees lead to greater overall productivity, after all. Digital transformation from the perspective of the employees is all about the age-old saying, “work smarter, not harder”.
Digital transformation is a necessity, not a luxury in the current market. With so many new methods and modes of thinking pushed into the spotlight since 2020, you need to be on the ball with creating digital channels of communication and digital means of providing services lest you want to be left behind in the dust as the digital revolution rages on.
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