It must seem, to the average business owner or operator, like every day there is some new and amazing innovation that will help provide value to the business and improve operations. Some of these things even come with a staggering array of benefits, even if these benefits don't exactly stand up to much more than a cursory examination. The benefits of digital transformation, however, have substantial positive outcomes that have already been proven across a range of use cases.
A Closer Look at the Benefits of Digital Transformation
The benefits of digital transformation cover a lot of ground and range from operational benefits to direct bottom-line savings.
Improved customer experience. Improving customer service comes with a range of benefits, but easily the biggest is a direct bottom-line improvement. One study found that 86% of customers will actually pay more for what they consider a better customer experience. Naturally, there's a lot of variance in a figure like that; some businesses may see a decreased likelihood of improvement while the exact definition of "more" will vary from customer to customer. With digital transformation, you can take a better approach to achieve an “omnichannel” customer experience, making sure that you're available everywhere your customers want you to be. This improves the speed of your response, makes you more agile as a company, and allows your customers to better get the results they desire.
Better chance to open new markets. If you're looking to expand the reach of your market, digital transformation helps deliver that. By being more available online, you effectively expand your market reach without having to open new physical stores or offices. It's a benefit that's been part of the profile since the dawn of the World Wide Web, but with digital transformation, businesses are more well-positioned to take advantage of that promise accordingly.
Expanded hiring pool. One of the great advantages of digital transformation is its internal benefits. By converting your systems to digital operations, you're better equipped to hire remotely and allow for remote work. This lets you expand your total hiring pool out to remote workers, which means you have the best chance to find the best employees. You're no longer limited to whoever can show up for work, but rather, you can extend your search to anyone who can actually do the work, regardless of physical location.
Improved internal communications. Some might question the need for improving internal communications in an office environment. After all, everyone's in the same building already; how much more improvement can there be? For anyone who's tried to schedule a meeting with people in the same building, the answer to the preceding question will be clear. When meetings can be conducted from workers' desks — or even from workers' laptops while working remotely — communications improve.
Improved external communications. If a tool can be used to improve internal communications among employees, then that same tool can be used to improve external communications as well. Whether it's improving communications with fellow employees working remotely or at branch offices, or with dealing with customers and vendors, digital transformation can drive better communication by requiring less structure, less infrastructure, and the ability to rapidly connect.
Better access to analytics. The field of analytics, or Big Data as some call it, is changing the corporate landscape all over. It's allowing companies to take the data they have — and they likely gather a lot more data than they realize — and analyze that data for patterns that can be put to use. Analytics requires two key points to work, however: a large amount of data and the facilities to analyze it. A digital transformation requires some substantial infrastructure changes or some significant cloud migration. In carrying out either or both of these, companies set themselves up to better take advantage of analytics by having the data available in a digital format and having the infrastructure to store and transfer it as needed.
Business intelligence tools also aid in leveraging analytics. BI tools used to be outside of a mid-market business's access because of cost. But innovators such as Microsoft have created tools like Power BI to grant mid-market businesses access to those valuable tools. Learn more in this blog.
Improved range of skills. A digital transformation requires companies to understand the technology they're intending to use. This can cover a wide range of possibilities, ranging from cloud computing to machine learning to, again, analytics. Much of your staff may not know these things even exist, let alone how to put them to work. By putting digital transformation in place, however, your employees must learn many of these new technologies in order to make the most of that digital transformation, and that means an opportunity to not only learn, but also practice.
How Do I Take Advantage of the Benefits of Digital Transformation?
In order to take advantage of the benefits of digital transformation, you have to start with a service provider that offers a sufficiently wide range of options that you can adapt your current systems to automation or online services. Start by talking to us at UTG; we have a full lineup of managed IT services as well as backup and disaster recovery mechanisms that will help you push forward with digital transformation. Once you have the tools in place, you too can start putting the benefits of digital transformation to work for you.