The COVID-19 pandemic has upended countless businesses and completely change the way modern markets behave. Since then, companies have had to reconsider their operations and performances to meet the new post-pandemic demands and survive.
Digital transformation is the future and is now more important than ever for businesses of all sizes.
So what is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is viewed differently by each company, hence, it could be hard to be mutually defined. In general, Digital transformation is about adopting disruptive technologies to increase productivity, value creation, and social welfare and is driven by a flood of software technologies1.
Digital transformation also refers to a corporate entity triggering foundational changes to their business properties through a combination of information, computing, communication, and connectivity technologies2. It is expected to improve operational performances and especially their customers’ experiences3.
However, numerous companies today are yet to transform their digital landscapes. Whether due to a culture of manual work, outdated technologies, or other internal struggles, they are far from achieving a complete digital transition.
And for your business, if the following warning signs sound like the reality you are facing, then it is time for you to kick-start digital transformation.
5 signs that say it is time to digitally transform
1. Overwhelming paperwork
Doing paperwork is an indispensable part of every business. The constant pressure of labour-intensive data entry might have been plaguing your team. Extracting and reconciling data from disparate spreadsheets or databases for reporting is incredibly time-consuming, not to mention downright ineffective.
On the other hand, data transformation with technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) or automation4 can eliminate manual data input, decrease risks of human errors, and ultimately help you increase productivity while reducing the costs associated with paperwork.
2. Lost data
Besides manual data entry, data organisation is another common challenge that businesses worldwide face. Disparate systems make it extremely difficult to collaborate. For example, your accounting software may not be able to extract data from new fields you recently added to your CRM. Or orders that have been picked up at the warehouse may not reflect the inventory levels on the e-commerce site.
Solutions like scientific data management systems (SDMS), cloud computing, or informatics can help transform your business model from a manual to a data-driven one.
Take SDMS solutions as an example. SDMS offers a centralised database for data collection, organisation, and storage4. With its ability to audit logs and diligent report generation, SDMS is essential for quality control, maintaining data integrity, and thus compliance with regulatory guidelines.
3. Increasing customer problems
Are your customer support processes considered ‘old-fashioned'? Are phone calls still your primary source of customer service?
Having inventory data stored separately from order and customer data can cause problems with customers and make operations less efficient. Accurate forecasts must be made to ensure adequate inventory is on hand to meet customer demand, which is critical but not enough.
Why not leverage state-of-the-art options, including chatbots and automated customer support portals, to alleviate some workload for your customer service teams?
Customer satisfaction will always be one of the top priorities and key business drivers. Digitally transforming customer service processes can help increase more than just customer loyalty.
4. Unexpected downtime
Most businesses want to rapidly expand their operations, product/ service lines, or footprints internationally. Under these circumstances, your systems may not be capable of adapting to changes in multi-currency accounting, international taxation, or new regulatory requirements.
By digitally transforming, your business leverage modern solutions, for instance, enterprise asset management, to estimate the downtime of any equipment and predict the next maintenance to maximise the asset and elongate its life cycle.
5. Mobile-first experience
Though not new, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the mobile-first movement. Modern customers nowadays favour online shopping, money transfers, virtual learning and working, digital entertainment, food ordering, and more—all through the little smartphone devices that fit right in the palm of their hands5 6.
This requires a detailed plan for various always-on activities, including rethinking mobile interfaces, designing mobile apps, and elevating user experiences. Mobile-first is extremely important for businesses that have an e-commerce element in their operations. Moreover, the mobile device should not be disconnected from remaining business IT ecosystems or you risk losing valuable data and insights to make informed, timely decisions.
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