Very little is certain in the business world, swayed left and right by unprecedented volatility. Pandemics, intense competition, and the era of disruptive market opportunities test us 24/7/365 – keeping us on our toes. So, suppose you are the CEO of financial services, banking, life sciences, pharma, hospitality, retail, or media & entertainment organization. In that case, it’s time to wake up to stark reality and recognize one undeniable thing:
Unless you embrace digital transformation (DT) and its vital components, your business continuity and survival are on the line.
There’s no way for a modern entity – enterprise-scale or SMB – to avoid it. Some have compared it to a happening as monumental as the industrial revolution – an online, virtual one in every sense of the word if you will.
What is Digital Transformation?
According to Salesforce, digital transformation is a broad concept that covers integrating digital technology into your business operations to impact lifestyles and community interactions for the better. Therein lies a severe misconception:
- Some CEOs believe that DT is piling more technology into the system. It’s not that at all.
- Instead, it’s all about applying technology in places it hasn’t been before to get a more penetrating result.
When you boil it down to basics, the key drivers of a growing ROI are retaining your employees and cementing customer loyalty. Unless both are top of mind, it will seriously jeopardize operational continuity on an acceptable profitability level.
“That’s obvious,” you say. Not so if you consider the number of touchpoints in employee and customer lifecycles, and what can go wrong. Indeed, it takes a single incident in an otherwise smooth journey to result in customers jumping to a competitor’s brand or valued staff members handing in their resignations. Examples are:
- For Customers – A client technical support call goes off the rails simply because something disrupted the communication in the middle of the chat, or the virtual demonstration collapsed.
- For Employees – Team members are frustrated by the inability to align with others on the project or access essential resources when they need them.
- For Both – Lack of online training demonstrations, podcasts, and YouTube videos hold back employee and customer advancement.
Some digital transformation recommendations should help you get things on track.
Working and shopping remotely is the new norm. You should be adjusting to it by now. Unless you can provide uninterrupted digital access to company networks, applications, and data from any location, you’re drifting into unnecessary difficulties. The thing to do here is let clients and employees get to the critical resources when and how they want it.
It seems straightforward but easier said than done. First, it calls for strategic thinking around industry-best digital transformation steps, like establishing a secure virtual private network (VPN) with central storage versus local devices. Then, consider allowing professional consultants like Atlas Systems to cut to the chase quickly, saving you substantial aggravation, time, and money.
Process Digitization and Security
A paperless system and automation are great in theory but not always possible. Pinpoint the activities that you can’t shift into the digital arena. Take a highly critical look from all angles, but practicality should always be your guiding light.
Once pigeonholed as manual processes, the rest are DT candidates that affordable, easy-to-use software tools can transition in the blink of an eye. Simultaneously, review all the AI options available to maximize process automation and lessen dependency on human actions. High volume, repetitive aspects of the business qualify for this channel of analytical thinking.
Never lose sight of the following digital transformation ingredients:
- Establishing online collaboration platforms to allow the right people in and keep the wrong people out. Simultaneously, you must give authentic collaborators the leverage to interact with others without restriction, creating unnecessary stop-go-stop situations that breed impatience and anger. Some popular platforms are Microsoft Teams and SharePoint that companies like Atlas Systems can connect to your network. They also understand the benefits of remote-centric file-sharing options, such as Citrix ShareFile, which provide the ability to transfer and share files in a secure environment and maintain compliance.
- Adapting the best apps for video conferencing. These make team meetings a breeze and remove training from the challenge list. Buyers love screen-sharing, virtual chats, and group interfaces at times that suit everyone – from the comfort of their homes. Applications like Outlook, GoToMeeting, and Zoom – alongside popular tools like Slack – all converge to make life in the workplace much more effortless.
- Moving services to the Cloud, where without a doubt, you need in-house or contracted IT expertise to integrate business-owned hardware with app cloud accessibility secure from hackers. Using cloud services is one thing; moving servers to the cloud, quite another. You’ll find that professional cloud service providers understand the latter better than anyone. Their entire focus is on data protection and cloud availability.
- Safeguarding your connectivity can never leave the stage. Downtime is a motivation killer, not to mention a threat to your ROI every time it occurs. Ultra-connectivity is the only option when DT is in play, so don’t stint on ensuring you have cutting-edge IT cybersecurity backup in your corner night and day.