It’s safe to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed customer expectations and business operations for good. Weekly department meetings in the office, print advertising, and large-scale conferences at convention centres have become things of the past. Customers demand ever more efficient customer service and product delivery, hence the new need for businesses to improvise. The pandemic has made inevitable the next stage of the Information Age: the digitalisation of business. The good news is that digitalisation is not as esoteric as it sounds, and you will only do better by embracing it.
Digital transformation is the replacement of legacy systems; existing processes are revamped with digital technologies to enhance customer service experience, improve overall business operations, and maximise output efficiency.
What is digitalisation?
Digitalisation is the implementation of digital technologies on business processes to improve efficiency. When you use cloud storage, for example, you do more than store files; you can also share them with collaborators who can access them from anywhere in the world at any time.
This term is often confused with digitisation, which refers to the process of converting physical data to digital format. Digitisation is a key component of digitalisation.
Why is digitalisation important?
Digitalisation streamlines workflow resulting in improved products and reduced operational costs. For example, the online sourcing of quality materials from a wholesale vendor 100 miles away costs less than paying retail price to the local vendor.
Businesses that adopt this digital transformation strategy have improved data analytics, which translates to seamless project management. When your business can provide customer-centric services at half the speed of your competitors, you will gain higher customer satisfaction and increased returning customers.
Companies that embrace digitalisation are reported to have seen increased revenue. They retain their existing customers and gain a larger pool of prospects constantly because brand communication and awareness are only a click away.
If you need a more evident indicator of the way forward: even the education sector has joined the digitalisation movement to meet the evolving needs of the industry. To provide personalised learning experiences and tap into the global upskilling and training market, education providers are now turning traditional courses into micro-credentials on e-learning platforms.
So how do you even begin?
Five steps to digitalise your business
1. Identify a strategy before execution
You first need to re-evaluate your long-term goals and the business processes that can be leveraged by technology. Only then can you identify strategies congruent with your objectives and limitations, such as lofty dreams and a bloated budget.
2. Listen to your customers/ consumers
This is a key – if not the – factor. As customers want everything, including ads, personalised, it may be prudent to leverage on machine learning and artificial intelligence. It’s how you transform the buy-in into a stay-in.
3. Engage and train the right people
The value of delegation cannot be overstated. You can hire a chief digital officer to serve as a digital visionary, strategist, and executive.
Existing employees need professional development programmes and workplace upskilling. It’s not just about getting them up to speed with changes in operations. Things like digital literacy and soft skill training can raise their morale and make many a disconnected employee an enthusiastic teammate. Through these programs, even the most experienced employees can gain skill sets to boost their productivity.
Learn from your employees. Different strokes of different folks can enlarge your big picture. Their collective exposure to digital tools is greater than yours.
4. Invest in the right resources
Make your money work for you, as they say. If your budget planning is up to scratch, you should have some capital set aside for online learning and employee upskilling, research and development, digital infrastructure, marketing and branding, and solution providers.
5. Adopt flexible policies
Make room for even more changes. Everything from technology to troubles will evolve. Your transformation journey will not always be smooth sailing. A flexible attitude facilitates a smooth transformation and resilience.
Digital transformation is now a permanent organisational need, like HR. Instant data syncing, remote online learning, cloud computing, etc., may sound like a lot of work. But if you are not exploring the best options for your organisation, your competitors probably already have. The pandemic has accelerated change in nearly every industry, propelling more organisations into improving their operational efficiencies through digitalisation.
It’s easier to foster change with the right tools and technology. OpenLearning is a comprehensive e-learning platform with LMS features for education providers and enterprises. We enable you to deliver high-quality online courses, micro-credentials, upskilling programs, employee onboarding, workplace training and more. Get in touch with us to gain an advantage.