Digital Transformation: Make 2021 The Year Your Business Gets Up to Date

December 4, 2020

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Digital technology has changed the world massively. Almost every area of life – from food shopping to finding love – has been revolutionised by technological advances. And the business world – especially business communications – is no exception. New technologies enable businesses to significantly improve internal and external processes – resulting in higher productivity, happier staff and, ultimately, increased profits.

 

 

Short-term change can seem overwhelming, with the prospect of disrupting established systems and processes seeming intimidating. Long term, however, the gains brought about by embracing new, high-quality technologies greatly outweigh any short-term disruption.

In this article, we’re going to look at what digital transformation is, how Manx businesses can embrace it and the benefits that digital transformation can bring to your business.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation refers to the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, overhauling existing processes to optimise business operations and improve customer experience. Part of office life has always been embracing changes in technology. For example, the fax machine has largely been replaced by email, printed documents have been replaced by digital files and traditional PSTN telephony is being replaced by VoIP. These are all components of digitalisation, but it’s how this technology works together that truly defines ‘digital transformation’.

Confusingly, when people talk about Digital Transformation, they often use two very similar words with quite distinct meanings. These are:

Digitisation – Or the conversion of analogue information into digital form such as converting a vinyl recording into an MP3.

Digitalisation ­­– Includes the use of digital technologies to change organisational structures and systems. For example, if you implement a paperless office, you are engaged in digitalisation.

For Isle of Man businesses, this is a fantastic strategy. Yet despite the fact that the Isle of Man is fast becoming a global tech centre, many Island businesses are yet to embrace the latest innovations.

Indeed, successful digital transformation not only involves embracing the latest technology, it also involves a cultural shift and a fundamental challenge of your current business processes. The only reason any new technology is created is to make people’s lives easier. Whether or not this is true depends on how good the technology is. Luckily, the tech marketplace is very competitive, which has led to a proliferation of high-quality products and services. In other words, it’s a buyer’s market.

This, combined with the fact we’re more technologically advanced than ever before, means now is a great time to fully immerse your Isle of Man business in the technological transformation. However, embracing change is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, research suggests that around 70 percent of change and transformation projects fail.

Thankfully, there are several effective strategies you can follow to help guarantee your digital transformation is a success:

 

Explain and Explain Again

One of the greatest challenges facing your digital transformation is getting employees onboard. As such, you need to tell them how the change will be good for them. Start by assuming employees have no knowledge of the technology you’re looking to introduce, before giving them a complete explanation of exactly what it is and what it can do.

Alleviate Fear

Change can often lead to fear. In terms of digital transformation, employees may feel that they won’t understand or be able to use the new technology. Ease these concerns by showing them case studies of previous change projects or of similar changes in other businesses- this will demonstrate that a digital transformation is entirely feasible, and that embracing new technology and processes will help them succeed.

Encourage Participation

Nothing beats hands-on experience and active contribution when it comes to getting people used to new technology. Most good sellers will offer demonstrations and seminars to introduce staff to their products. By getting your employees acquainted with a new technology before using it, you help to ensure a smooth transition to digital processes.

Keep Staff Up-To-Date

Any project is subject to change. That’s why it’s vital that you are as transparent as possible about your change project, updating staff of anything new as and when it happens. Doing this will help you decrease confusion and improve employee support- a sure-fire way to keep employees engaged in your digital transformation.

Lead By Example and Support New Processes

The technology you want to introduce will replace or expand existing processes. Make sure you persuade employees to adopt these changes by welcoming them yourself. If you continue to use outdated technology, your staff are likely to do so too. Leading by example will make employees more likely to get behind the new ways of working across the business.

 

Benefits of Embracing Digital Transformation

After a difficult year for businesses, initiating a complete overhaul of your business processes can seem daunting and expensive. Yet there are many business benefits to embracing digital transformation:

Improved Productivity

Embracing digital transformation allows you to increase productivity levels across your business. Digitalisation lends itself to the automation and integration of previously manual and inefficient processes, helping your employees work with greater efficiency and increased productivity. At a time when businesses need to get the most out of their business operations, eliminating process inefficiencies has never been more important.

Increased Profitability

According to a study carried out by the SAP Center for Business Insights and Oxford Economics, 80% of organisations that have completed digital transformation have experienced an overall increase in profits. While successful digital transformation requires long-term investment in digital technology, companies that achieve complete digitalisation can save money on traditional paper-based processes and increased company productivity.

Improve customer experience

One of the key benefits of going digital is the ability to improve customer experience and communication. Digital technology is powering a greater understanding of customers and clients; companies now have access to data and information that allows them to offer a tailored, personalised service. When it comes to communication, integrating AI technology in the form of a ‘chatbot’, for example, allows businesses to provide automated responses to customer enquiries, keeping customers happy with targeted, instant responses.

 Increased agility

In a fast-paced, corporate environment, the ability to react quickly and adapt to market changes has never been more important. Embracing digitalisation at all levels of your business builds agility into your processes, meaning you can quickly adapt to any changes or developments that occur in your industry or market, overcoming them with ease while your competitors remain held back by outdated technology

Future-proof your business

A study by Harvard Business found that 80% of business leaders believe that their industry will be disrupted by digital. Digital technology is evolving at an exponential rate, and if your business doesn’t keep up, it’s bound to get left behind. Take the Blockbuster-Netflix example. Blockbuster failed to innovate when it had the chance, and subsequently went out of business with the advent of digital streaming. The lesson here? Innovation is vital to business survival. In many ways, COVID-19 has only accelerated this inevitable need for digital transformation; there’s never been a better time to invest in your business’s digital maturity.

 

Elite Group IOM is one of the island’s leading IT and unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and telecoms services to organisations seeking Connectivity, UC & Voice, Cloud Service, IT Software and Security solutions.

For more information on how Elite Group IOM can help your business flourish through technology, contact us today.