Whether you know it or not, digital transformation is the focal point for businesses in the 21st century, in which the pandemic highlighted the need and urgency for change for many SME businesses on a global scale. In an increasingly digital world, businesses are constantly looking for ways to evolve, to keep up with competitors, and to find new ways to stay relevant. Hence the increasing use of studies and leaders of the world using the term ‘digital transformation’ as a stepping point into rethinking your business model.
However, the term ‘digital transformation’ has become skewed in the eyes of many leaders, with some saying that the term has become so widely used, so broad, that it has become unhelpful. So, what does ‘digital transformation’ really mean?
What is digital transformation?
In layman’s terms, digital transformation is the use of technology to help improve your business. The key point of the term is that digital transformation is any sort of technology that enables your business and allows you to be more productive, more efficient, and more effective.
Even with a definition, everyone has a different viewpoint on what digital transformation means, and although that can be seen as a hindrance in progression, it is true that digital transformation applies differently to every business. There is simply not a “one-size-fits-all” model.
Digital transformation will have a different meaning and outcome depending on your business, the size of your company, and the industry that you are in.
For example, in a smaller manufacturing company, their digital transformation could be more about implementing digital communication between suppliers and customers more regularly, more efficiently, and more effectively.
For a larger manufacturing company, it could be that they wish to expand on their automation and robotics. This will require the use of more data and intelligence, implementing the use of collaborative robots, additive manufacturing, and advanced tracking within their supply chain management.
Essentially, the integration of digital technology into a business will result in fundamental changes to how a business operates and how they deliver value to customers.
What drives digital transformation?
Undergoing a digital transformation can be complex and time-consuming (without the correct advice, knowledge, and expertise), but organisations still push ahead with these changes. The reasoning behind this isn’t necessarily about the technology; it is about solving a problem, providing a clear opportunity, or achieving your business’ goal.
Some reasons why a business might introduce digital change are:
- Improve customer experience
- Increase productivity in the workplace
- Elevate profitability
- Exceed competitor standings.
Or simply put, an organisation may be in a predicament which requires certain technologies to survive.
How COVID-19 had an Impact on Digital Transformation
According to a survey by German software firm Software AG, 97% of IT directors said that their companies have undergone some level of digital transformation in 2020, in which the COVID-19 pandemic was a major driver of these changes.
The pandemic has shown how unforeseen events, impacting on a global scale, can turn business models upside down, forcing the hand of organisations to adapt to new solutions and technologies to adapt to the current climate and situation.
With businesses moving to remote working, employees had to adapt to using technologies to continue their day-to-day work tasks. One of the most successful areas through the pandemic is communications and video conferencing. In fact, as of October 2020, Microsoft Teams recorded 115 million daily active users worldwide, rising from 32 million prior to the pandemic.
Similarly, software solutions such as CRM technologies have seen an overall usage increase from 56% to 74% in 2020, with 74% of users saying that CRM software has improved their access to customer data.
But it wasn’t all sunshine without the rain…
Whilst the pandemic has been the driving force for digital change, many UK companies have struggled to adopt certain technologies due to the lockdown. With nearly 9 million people furloughed at the peak in May 2020, there was an opportunity for employees to train and upskill their staff, which was sadly missed.
Due to the laws in place with the furlough scheme, many business owners felt that the furlough lacked the flexibility to enable training required when implementing new technologies. Because of this, there were missed opportunities to implement digital technologies during lockdown due to the costs and the inability to train employees with these new technologies, ready to be fully utilised upon returning to work.
However, as we head towards the end of furlough and as employers begin to welcome back their staff, now is the perfect time to start thinking about your digital transformation and how to further progress your company.
The Future of Digital Transformation
In a study carried out by Gartner in November 2020, it was forecasted that enterprise software would see a 6.1% increase in growth in 2021, along with desktop-as-a-service platforms spending achieving a steep increase of 60%. These are only a small glimpse of the type of digital technology transformations that are expected within 2021.
With many companies making the necessary steps to advance their digital technologies, the fight for competitive advantage will be fiercer than ever.
So, what are your next steps? How can you stay ahead of the competition?
As a business owner, you should start to ask yourself what are the weakest areas within your business, which processes could be improved, and what is your company missing out on?
When reviewing your business model, ask yourself:
- Do we have a clear and coherent digital strategy that addresses the key elements of my company’s digital transformation?
- Have we looked at our employees and planned where our skills will come from?
- What have we done to strengthen the innovative and collaborative culture of our organisation?
- How can customers and users be a part of our digital transformation?
- Are the existing processes in our organisation suitable to procure digital solutions?
Start your Digital Transformation today
Synergy Technology has been helping businesses to transform their business technology for over 20 years, focusing less on the technology and more on the people. Technology is forever changing at a rapid pace, hence why Synergy Technology is here to help businesses take your business needs forward.
The initial step is to review the pains your business is experiencing holistically, the requirements, and the situation. Once we understand the ‘situation analysis’ we then do a fit-gap review for the right software solution(s) for your business. This can be anything from ERP to CRM consultancy right through to hosting, licensing, and enabling solutions to your exacting requirements. It’s all about what is right for your business to meet the outcomes you are looking for. What does good look like? That’s what we enable that through technology.
We have developed a culture of people working together, and that is the culture we follow today, keeping in mind that business is all about the people. With our software solutions, we can help to transform your digital environment, whilst our consultants advise you on the best way to efficiently and effectively grow your business through the use of technology.
If you are interested in finding out more, then contact us and one of our consultants will be in touch shortly. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us via email or telephone.
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