Today, business is no longer about just producing and selling. Although these two remain important business functions, even industry-leading businesses and brands have to work hard on multiple fronts like innovation, technology, agility, and compliance, among others.
The advent and widespread availability of digital technology has led to massive opportunities for businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to enterprises. Organizations that adopt a customer-driven, technology-based, data-led approach to the way they source, produce, distribute, and promote are the ones that will survive in the coming days. Digital transformation has rapidly become a must-have for organizations.
What is digital transformation
Digital transformation is the strategic integration of digital technologies in order to improve processes, enhance stakeholder experience, and create value. This definition of digital transformation also acknowledges that it is all about adapting to change and being business-ready all the time.
The positive impact of the adoption of digital technology is nearly all-encompassing. From more efficient inventory to better financial controls, from cost-effective production to stellar customer experience, you’ll find digital transformation behind all this. Trends in digital transformation clearly show it has proved to be a massive enabler by creating opportunities.
The recent Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of using technology that can make your business more resilient, more capable to face any unprecedented situation. At the end of the day, it is not just about using one tool in place of another, it’s about adopting something that’s clearly faster, more efficient, and responsive.
Functions benefited by digital transformation solutions
Businesses today, no matter what size, are process-driven. Each business function relies on processes to be increasingly efficient, consistent, and dependable. With every passing day, you want more out of your processes, because your customers want more.
Your modern-day customers want things to be simple, personalized, and prompt. And to meet their expectations, you’ll need to move to systems that are underpinned by strong, scalable technologies. Every touchpoint in the journey of your stakeholders, be them customers, employees, or suppliers, needs to be swift, frictionless and pleasant.
Operations, marketing, sales, procurement, supply chain, finance … every single business function stands to derive huge, future-proof benefits from digital technologies. For a compact understanding, however, we shall look at how four principal business functions are positively impacted by digital business transformation:
Supply chain management
The bigger your business, the more responsibility you have towards your buyers, customers and business partners. It’s no longer enough to say you’ve shipped the consignment. Whether you are an ecommerce entity delivering hundreds of items to different locations daily, a not-for-profit helping distribute pandemic relief supplies to myriad locations, or a paints company aiming to fulfil orders for three diverse projects, if there’s one thing you need, it’s data-visibility.
Your digital transformation strategy can help build data-efficient networks that can easily collaborate with other entities in the chain. While there’s always a lot of data available out there, your system would be able to aggregate that data, process it reliably into meaningful insights and provide you with all the information you need – all at the right time, at the right pace.
With a true digital solution in place, you’ll be able to track everything, without interruptions, without downtimes. You’ll be in absolute control because you’ll have the latest information on every element in your supply chain, from raw material procurement to successful delivery.
Human resources teams
Few people outside business organizations understand the complexities of human resources teams. As a human resource professional, you know what overwhelming challenges you face.
As the Human Resources head, or its senior decision-maker, two of your key priorities include making sure you hire the right people at the right pace and using data points to ensure current teams perform at their optimum levels. And reliable, efficient processes are the center of successful outcomes of both.
Digital transformation tools score well over your legacy applications when you try to stay on top of the classic HR triad of attracting, training, and nurturing talent. For example, are you all set to deliver a great candidate experience? Because even the candidates that you ultimately do not select contribute to employer branding. The better the experience you’ve delivered, the stronger your employer branding becomes, which, in turn makes it easier to attract better talent.
How much security can you wrap around your processes without impacting either their agility or security? Can you make things easier for your banking customers without crossing any compliance boundaries? Or will it be possible for your finance teams to close the quarter-end accounts without having to worry about it all through the quarter?
While computing technology has been assisting banking and finance for a long time – after all, computing is about numbers – digital transformation in finance has brought sweeping improvements in the workflow and work productivity for them. It has brought in transparency and predictability, two important pillars of resource management.
Finance is the custodian of the most important data – your financial health – so you want really robust, yet agile answers to the relevancy challenge.Sure, legacy systems did have solutions, but they were never able to give one composite view of the situation. Modern digital transformation services have been able to provide end-to-end solutions that give you a strategic, bird’s eye view just as easily as they can provide an operational, day-to-day ground-level view.
Sales and marketing
The first challenge in the modern world of intense business competition is finding customers. As if that were not enough, there’s a subsequent challenge: keeping customers happy profitably. Which is why all major businesses, from those selling expensive equipment to those selling inexpensive burgers rely on data to keep growing their number of customers.
Consider the way your customers interact with your products. A mother visiting a supermarket may look at six different breakfast cereals for her kids before she settles on one. Is your brand the chosen one? Did you have enough market intel on how to place your brand to improve visibility? Was your brand able to convey all the nutritional benefits (and taste) so that the mother would be persuaded enough to choose your brand over the others?
All this, and more, is possible if your digital transformation framework has ticked the right boxes. Right from enabling your frontline field staff with the correct software in their handheld devices to improving the massive number-crunching required before you give the go-ahead to the new multi-million dollar marketing campaign, everything pivots around how you’ve leveraged digital technology.
The transformational technologies behind digital transformation
Digital transformation, thankfully, isn’t one single monolithic technology that requires you to change anything and everything in your business overnight. Instead, it comprises a number of technologies, each of which can be independently deployed.
However, businesses will derive the maximum benefits by deploying the right technology. As an example, if your current business model doesn’t have ample scope for IoT right away, there’s no point chasing internet of things today. You can take it up all in good time, but today, you’ll want to focus on things you can really impact.
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