As a business owner, you most probably keep up with the news about your industry. With the recent events about the pandemic and the ongoing health crisis around the world, many businesses are trying to adapt as best as they can to survive these trying times. The term “digital transformation” may have been one of those terms you’ve recently come across.

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What is Digital Transformation?

In this article, let’s try to define digital transformation and what it means for your business. All over the web, there are many articles already that discuss answers to the question, “what does digital transformation really mean?”

Digital transformation may refer to customers and users who consume products or services. It is a term that describes how these users are being brought into the “digital” consumption experience

A good example here is a newspaper that also offers digital versions of its content. Such content can then be read through computers, tablets, or smartphones. This means that a reader of that newspaper does not need to buy the print version to access information. 

Another meaning of digital transformation involves a company and how it operates. When a company integrates new technologies that are “digital” to make its structure more efficient, then it’s undergoing digital transformation. Such changes may impact communication, human resources, and other aspects of operations. 

For example, a company may develop a certain digital training program that aims to improve the performance of employees. Digital transformation is only possible when there is a digital transition.

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What Challenges do Companies Face with these Changes?

A business that wants to survive and thrive will need to have a digital transformation strategy. It has to be unique, updated, and well-adapted to provide the best experience for its customers. 

By now, you may have already experienced digital transformation as a consumer. You may have an app that can give you access to a good number of magazines, newspapers, and books, so you don’t have to buy the print version. 

When was the last time you went to the physical store of your favourite brands to buy clothes or shoes? Shopping has become more convenient when done online. The same goes for groceries because you can simply use your smartphone to order goods and have them delivered to your home.

Team discussing digital transformation strategies.

While digital transformation has provided us with many benefits, businesses face multiple challenges. Here are some of them, how to:

  • Improve the brand image of the company so that it remains dynamic, current, and relevant. 
  • Gain market share over competitors who have not implemented a digital transformation roadmap. 
  • Keep existing customers by providing practical and convenient digital services.

Consumption habits that people have today are different from a few years ago. That’s why digital transformation is important for businesses because the competition is tighter than ever. New companies that have emerged in this digital era need to integrate digital transformation strategies into their development.

Stages of Digital Transformation: How to Improve Your Business

Why are businesses experiencing a digital transformation? This question could be one that you have in mind right now. As with most things, industries, technologies, and consumer behaviours change. They are continually evolving; that’s why businesses also need to adapt to continue to be relevant to the consumers. 

As a business owner, the first question that you need to ask yourself is “does my company need a digital transformation?” If the answer is yes, then you also have to determine the scale at which you will implement the changes. 

At this age, it has become necessary for companies to offer a digital experience to its customers. People are doing most things online, from communication to consumption. Where the consumers are, the businesses should make it a point to be there as well. 

With today’s situation where the pandemic is limiting the movement of people all over the world, most transactions are being done online. That’s another major reason for companies to adapt and go through digital transformation. 

Schools and tutorial centres are now offering online courses through apps like Skype and Zoom. They also offer tutorial videos that students can access at their convenience. The same goes for grocery stores, shops, and other businesses. 

If you think that your business needs to undergo a digital transformation, here are the steps that you can follow to make it happen:

Assess Your Business as well as Your Competitors

Before making any changes to your business structure, you first need to make an assessment of your business and your competitors. Look at where your business is right now. Evaluate your structure and business model. Include also who your current customers are and their behaviours when it comes to the consumption of your products or services. 

As for your competitors, look into how they work. Take note of their strengths and weaknesses in terms of providing a digital experience to their customers. This way, you can see what works well for them and how you can improve on it so that you can offer something better.

Analysing competitors’ performance.

Define You Objectives in Digital Transformation

With the digital trends that are emerging today, it may become confusing how to go about implementing the change in your business. Before any of those things, you need to have clear objectives for the changes that you want to make. 

Define how your customers’ experience can be improved through digital transformation. Ask yourself how you can increase your company’s sales by going digital. How can you provide better products or services than your competition? And how can the customer experience be improved through these changes?

Integrate Digital Transformation Into Your Business Structure

When your services have undergone digital transformation, you need to update a number of things in your business, such as the technology you’re using and the skills of your employees, among others. 

You may want to have your own mobile app, for example, but you will first need to develop the necessary software for this to happen. You have the option to build your own in-house team who can create it, or you can outsource it to an app development agency. 

The advantage of outsourcing is that such agencies already have experts in their team. You no longer have to go through the trouble of looking for experienced professionals to fill the roles. They are also equipped with the latest technologies to provide you with the product that you need like a mobile app for your business

Your company needs to integrate these new technologies into its operation. Digital transformation can make things easier for your employees to collaborate through platforms like Trello or Slack, for example.

Inform Your Employees of the Company’s New Direction

For this step in digital transformation, human resources will play a major role. Your employees will be the main players of this transformation, so they have to be informed of the direction that the company is taking. 

It is vital for employees to know the challenges they may phase when adjusting to the changes, and what they can do to successfully adapt to them. Also, make them understand that there are many benefits to digital transformation. They can learn new skills and grow professionally as well. 

Another important part of this step is to provide training on how to use the new tools. The training sessions ought to be included in the timetable of the employees. The company may even set up an e-learning platform so that employees can learn at their convenience and obtain certifications. 

Many employees will feel intimidated by these changes in the company. But the best way to combat these fears is through training them and making sure that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to be effective employees. 

Lastly, employees need to be supported through this digital revolution that’s happening in your company. They ought to feel free to ask questions whenever they encounter any difficulties. And of course, such questions should be sufficiently answered so that everything will be clear to them and they can perform the new tasks effectively.

Launch the New Services and Ask for Feedback from Customers

When the employees have been trained and are ready to take on new tasks, then the digital services that your business can offer can be developed. This step will meet the objectives that you have defined in the first step. 

Once the digital services are ready, then they can be made available to your customers. At this point, a digital communications campaign should be developed strategically. This way, you can ask feedback from your customers who have used the new services. 

Such feedbacks are crucial in making sure that you are giving customers an awesome experience. You can also use them to improve the services that you are offering. The opinions of your customers are highly valuable, so it’s important to learn what you can from them.

People using gadgets to access digital services.

Analyse the Effects of Digital Transformation in Your Business

After you’ve launched your new services, the next step is to evaluate its impact on your business. Observe the behaviour of your customers and take into account their opinions about the digital services that you offer. 

Use the information that you have collected to make decisions on how you can make adjustments on the current services as well as how to create new ones. Regularly update your services so that they stay relevant to what your customers need.

Takeaway

When you’re ready to make changes and introduce improvements to your business, then you can tap digital transformation consultants who can help you. These experts can answer important questions such as “what is a digital transformation strategy and how to create one?”

The consultants will be able to support you every step of the way until you have succeeded in achieving the objective you have set for your business. 

Get in touch with us today so you can start the digital transformation journey of your company.