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Technology has had a huge effect on the way people interact, socialise and do business. Consumers are much more technically aware than they ever have been and the access to technology is wide-spread. Mobile technology gives people new avenues to buy, sell and promote all from their finger-tips; for businesses looking to capitalise on the way their customers access information and platforms it is important to stick with the times and in some cases businesses may have to digitally transform.
Digital transformation is the change associated with the application of digital technology. Digital Transformation inherently enables new types of innovation and creativity rather than just supporting traditional approaches to business.
Digital transformation will allow an organisation to improve efficiencies internally and reap the benefits. From an external point of view, a consumer or customer may benefit from improved business processes as areas such as customer service and support and an organisations website are likely to improve.
By embracing the changing customer landscape, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and reap the benefits. Understanding customer requirements in more detail and how to best engage with them, will increase efficiency, cut costs and increase profits. Digital transformation is the next step for businesses that are looking to meet key business goals.
If digital transformation becomes a project for an organisation, they must first identify the key goals and requirements for the project. Many successful digital transformations form several projects and are implemented over a period of months if not years. Some of the key business goals that can be identified are cutting cost (internally and externally), improving customer retention and increasing profits.
Cutting cost is a business goal for almost all organisations, from small charities or public-sector organisation to multi-national corporations. There are many ways that digital transformation can be done and different technologies and solutions will have different commercial benefits.
One example of how a business can cut costs through digital transformation is by using cloud based solutions and services (aaS – as a service). Many of these platforms utilise pay-as-you-go models and mean that you do not pay for something that is not being used, they are also extremely flexible.
Great service and great customer experience will keep customers more loyal to a brand, a good sign if you depend on customers returning to spend again or to keep spending on a monthly or subscription basis. Digitisation has given customers more buying options which make the market more competitive – it also gives them more avenues to launch a complaint, social media springs to mind.
Digital transformation can include the use of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. One advantage of these platforms especially Twitter, is the ability to respond to customers in a timely fashion and to give them useful, relevant advice rather than making them sit on hold on an automated customer service telephone service.
Any successful business is going to be measured on its profitability. Digital transformation is an avenue that can increase the profitability of businesses of all sizes. By increasing efficiency across different departments, the output is likely to rise and the costs associated will be relative. By effectively driving down service costs and operational expenditures, profits will ultimately rise.
Digital transformation can be a great tool for many organisations, but it may not be for all. One reason for this could be that start-ups or new businesses may already utilise some of the solutions and software’s that can be used to effectively digitally transform (they are digitised, but won’t need to transform).
A common challenge, however, is the available or additional resources that may be required. Not all organisations will be able to combine technical knowledge and resource with their projects and specific requirements. Further to this, even organisations with the correct resource may struggle due to the need to change back-end systems and long-standing processes or solutions.