Doing business in the 21st century means that businesses have to take advantage of technology to the fullest. In fact, industry experts simply put it this way- keep up or fall out.
Understanding the role of digital transformation in any business requires that the business takes an audit of its technology, identifies what this technology can do for it, and try and adapt to the technology demands of its customers.
In this article we are going to try and understand what the drivers of digital transformation are and how can businesses benefit from digital transformation. Simply put, why digital transformation.
Digitalization and digital transformation today are largely necessitated by the changing demands and expectations of customers. For any business to thrive, it has to keep its customers happy.
The expectations of today’s modern customers are largely driven by digital technology and innovations. The modern-day customer is always connected and looking for new possibilities. Whenever they see new possibilities elsewhere, they require it from your business to enjoy the same customer experience.
And if for whatever reason you cannot deliver the customer expectations, they will simply move on and do comparisons with some of your competitors with very minimal effort.
The digital transformation wave has spared no industry. That means that whatever business you run, digital innovations can transform your business from all angles, starting with production, distribution, and customer service.
Irrespective of the nature of your business, your customer could be a business-to-business client or a consumer. and if they are a consumer, your employees form part of this consumer group. They evaluate their own consumer experiences and expect that these experiences are met by the companies that they work for.
The digital era of today has created empowered and connected customers. They are connected 24/7 and are increasingly demanding the same of companies that they get services or products from. This change in consumer behavior is largely contributed by mobile devices and social media.
In a recent report released by Salesforce dubbed “State of the Connected Customer,” over 50% of the customers surveyed stated that technology has changed the way they expect companies should interact with them.
In another release by Harvard Business Review, more than 73% of customers would rather do business with brands that personalize their shopping experience and thereby meet their customer expectations.
In the same report by Salesforce, more than 57% of consumers insisted that it is extremely critical for businesses that they buy from to be innovative and consider new ways of delivering their services.
The report continues to say that over 70% of the customers admit that new technologies make it easier for them to buy from other businesses that consider their expectations and drop those that fail to meet customer expectations.
The Apple iPhone is often mentioned as the pioneer in their adoption of consumer technology in the workplace. In the old days, the iPhone wasn’t marketed to businesses, but this changed so quickly that it became popular even with corporate IT departments.
Most IT departments have been forced to accommodate employees who prefer to use iPhones to other devices. As soon as a few big employers accepted this move, iPhones became a darling to the enterprise world.
This is a direct disruption to the status quo for technology adoption in the workplace. Today you will find IT leaders yielding to the request of employees who wish to use iPhones and not the other way round, where IT department leaders dictated what devices are accepted at the workplace.
Today you will not be shocked to find ‘consumer-grade technologies’ in the workplace as a result of employees demanding more customized products they enjoy.
In fact, even enterprise software is borrowing design and functionality ideas from what consumers believe is easy to use and fit for their needs.
The largest subset of the workforce who are proponents of the digital-first mentality are the millennials. Having experienced, powerful, and easy-to-use digital tools on consumer electronics, PCs. And in phone apps, millennials are expecting the same experience in the rest of their lives including their workplace.
Digital transformation empowers all your employees by applying this concept of the digital-first state of mind. Just like consumers are looking for businesses that are ready and willing to connect with them on social media and other channels 24/7, today’s employees work best in environments that make it easy for them to access information, collaborate, and work anywhere, anytime.
As such, digital transformation is proving to be a powerful ally of the empowered employee in any workspace.
For businesses that are starting up or are struggling to expand, building digital businesses can be a game-changer. Digitalization is proving to be the key ingredient to meeting customer expectations and empowering employees while at the same time, building capacity for small businesses to do more with less.
For example, to free up small teams so that they can win and keep new customers, you need to leverage customer data to create personalized messaging and service strategies as well as enable employees to have connectivity from mobile devices. This, of course, is on top of having one comprehensive database that is shared across your entire business, accessible to all that need it in real-time.
In fact, businesses that build digitally from the beginning have an easier time scaling systems even during periods of slow growth.
If you thought that only employees would benefit from having information in the workplace in a manner that is easy to use and always on access mode, then you are wrong. Machines have this appetite too and have become very smart.
Digital transformation through Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and sensors of all capabilities and sizes are transforming the way manufacturing, production, and research are being done. In essence, every facet of business across all industries is being transformed through digital transformation.
The benefits of digital transformation are never-ending in industries. Today, with digital innovations like IoT and AI, advancements in the production of consumer goods, trucks, cars, etc. are at an all-time high.
A common phrase- digital transformation is business transformation, is more practical today than ever. The transformation we are witnessing today is out of a desire to make work better for everyone, including employees and customers.
The drivers of digital transformation that we just discussed are some of the reasons why businesses are making massive changes to compete fairly and deliver goods that are matched to consumer expectations.
If you are in an industry where your competitors are leveraging digital transformation to expand their distribution channels, streamline production, improve overall customer experience and build a better workplace, this is the best time for you to start.
Plumlogix is your partner for digital transformation anytime and into the future. Talk to us today and find out how we can help your business leverage the power of digital transformation in this era to compete now and into the future.