How Digital Transformation Can Give You A Competitive Edge

Posted by Jacob Goodwin in Insights - Last updated

Digital Transformation can open the door to prosperity.

By embracing technology before our competition; we can seize the initiative and maintain an edge.

More so than ever before, building a robust digital offering is vital.

Now as we pass the 12 month milestone on which our collective world was turned upside down, it’s only natural to reflect on whether our technology worked appropriately.

We’re all asking ourselves the same questions…

Could we have done anything differently?

Would things be different if we’d undertaken a process review prior to shifting to remote first?

Were we destined to be caught wrong footed by the drastic moving of the goalposts no matter what?

In a recent discussion, Sales and Marketing guru Seth Godin raised these issues, asking “is being nimble a good thing”?

The consensus was…

“In consistent times, there’s a lot to be said for investing in the status quo.

But when we’re unsure about where the next shift is going to come from, investing in flexibility is preferable”.

SETH GODIN

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Could anyone have predicted the events of 2020? Probably not.

Could we have been better prepared through investing in flexible operations? Probably yes.

But rather than being overly critical in our self-reflection, we should look forwards and focus on what we can do here and now.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Thinking about your own organisation, are you stuck in situ, following a process first outlined 20 years ago?

Or are you making a conscious shift toward flexibility? Encouraging preparation to avoid being derailed by future events outside your control?

Hopefully the latter.

Through embracing change you can revolutionise your customer experience and use Digital Transformation to give yourself a competitive edge.

By definition, Digital Transformation is…

“The adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses.

It is often attained through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology.”

COLIN LANKSHEAR

In the wake of Covid-19, an organisation’s ability to adapt quickly to supply chain disruptions, navigate time to market pressures and stay ahead of rapidly changing customer expectations has become critical.

Swiftly evolving organisations must match the pace of change. Fall behind, or lead the pack.

Building your 21st-century business on scraps of paper, outdated excel files or handwritten notes simply isn’t sustainable.

Thinking, planning, and building digitally sets you up for growth.

Do I Need To Transform?

There are a multitude of motivations for initiating change; many of which you may not have even considered.

Jay Ferro, a leading exponent of Digital Transformation, recently explained

“The “why” of your organisation’s Digital Transformation might be around improving customer experience, reducing friction, increasing productivity, or elevating profitability.

Or, if it’s an aspirational statement, it might revolve around becoming the absolute best to do business with, utilising digital technologies that were unavailable years ago.”

JAY FERRO

We would all be hard pressed to find a company that wouldn’t benefit from Digital Transformation.

No matter your size, industry or location, solutions have emerged that will allow you to improve efficiency, drive innovation and generate creativity.

An old pair of shoes may feel comfy and familiar, but that doesn’t mean they’re still the best shoe for the job.

At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that undergoing change can be daunting.

Yet recent experience proves we need to put our businesses in a position to tackle any issue; foreseen or not.

Top Tips For An Effective Digital Transformation

Start small.

Identify one area that could benefit from undergoing a transformation. Perhaps a step in the customer journey that has proved a major challenge of late.

It can be overwhelming to try and do everything at once and whilst it’s important to think “big picture”, making too many changes at once is too tumultuous.

It will only lead to more confusion and a detrimental knock-on effect to customer experience.

Break the transformation down and consider how each separate process can be improved.

Above all, we must remember that throughout a Digital Transformation, we must never lose sight of the customer.

Every alteration must always be made with them at the core of consideration. Think how will this change better service my customer’s needs?

So how can you make sure your Digital Transformation goes smoothly and sets you ahead of the pack?

Remember these 7 key points:

Align all Objectives with overarching Business Goals.

There’s no gain in change for the sake of change. Every implemented shift must tie into your organisational aims.

If increased efficiency is the target, don’t alter the process to include surplus steps. If improved visibility is the aim, introduce a single source of truth rather than add more systems to an already cluttered software stack.

Be Bold when setting the Scope.

Think big! It may require baby steps to get there but if you’re overhauling your business process, make it worthwhile.

Work with Expert Providers.

Leverage those around you. Best of breed technology, developed by in field specialists, will facilitate your change more than a half baked internal effort.

Encourage Cooperation across the Company.

Without buy in, adoption will be low. Any change will actually be to the detriment of the company as those required to adopt a new process have no desire to do so.

Showcase how the transformed approach will positively impact upon everyone to encourage an embracing of change.

Challenge yourself to Trailblaze.

The best Digital Transformations require proactivity, not reactivity. Set your own course.

Identify what has worked for those you admire or these you compete with and improve upon it.

Consider what will be a problem down the line and proactively account for it; don’t be dictated by change, trailblaze the change for yourself.

Leverage the Data.

Only you know what is right for your business; the answers are in your figures.

Evaluate your information for process gaps or common causes of delay; these are the starting points where improvements will have most immediate impact.

Develop Leaders and Champions.

Accountability is key; mould internal champions from each department to drive change and promote cooperation from the whole company.

If colleagues explain how it will make your life better, you’re more likely to change than listen to a disconnected communication from on high.

Make It Count

Digital Transformation is imperative for all businesses. From the small to the enterprise, the single store to the multinational.

If you’ve been spending 80% of the your technology budget operating legacy systems, there’s not much left to seize new opportunities and drive the business forward.

By evolving you free up resources and become more adaptable; the short term learning curve will lead to long term gain.

And remember, Digital Transformation adds value to every customer interaction.

So don’t be the dinosaur in your sector.

Engage in Digital Transformation, improve your digital process and delight your customers.


Intrigued to learn more? Check out our Insights Hub to keep your business at the cutting edge.


Jacob Goodwin -

Tags:

See how Anthill will reshape your business for the better

Master your processes, improve customer service & make more money!