3 Transformative Digital Strategies to Take Your Business to the Next Level in 2021
Business transformation is a necessity if a business intends to thrive now and in the future, but it must be done just right for maximal benefits.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Change is constant in all facets of life, and business is certainly not an exception. As circumstances change, businesses must adapt to the new state of affairs in order to continue operating in an efficient and profitable manner. The process of planning and implementing those major paradigm shifts that typically take place over the course of many years is what is referred to as business transformation.
In the past year, it has become clear that for businesses in most industries, business simply won't be able to go on as usual. Digitization, advanced technologies and other forms of tech-enabled disruption have changed the game permanently. The new normal is no longer new, but it's not old either. Most businesses will have to transform several areas of their operations simultaneously to be able to compete successfully, and those that fail to do so will be left behind very quickly. The ones that will be in the best position to adapt will be those with an agile structure, a culture of continuous iteration, which is Lean Six Sigma in a nutshell. For those companies that make the necessary changes in time, the benefits will be huge, enabling them to leave their competitors in the dust and dominate their industries over time.
Most businesses had already started the process of shifting some of their business processes to the cloud, but it's now an essential task that must be done as quickly as possible. The recent lockdowns around the world proved that having data accessible to employees, wherever they are in the world, ensures that business is able to continue in the event of any disruption.
Moreover, businesses are moving toward having fully or partially remote teams, and setting smooth communication and collaboration systems in place will be a key component of any successful remote-working strategy. Cloud computing solutions offer those features in a highly scalable structure that has been used successfully by companies ranging from small startups to giant companies like Amazon. Businesses must prioritize cybersecurity, however, to avoid unauthorized access to sensitive information or a ransomware attack, as well as other dangers.
Artificial intelligence and automation
New grounds are constantly being broken in the field of artificial intelligence — from mobile devices to vehicle- and home-automation tools that make even the most non-technical people able to perform advanced tech tasks, as highlighted in this case study by Akveo.
There's simply no better time than now for businesses to adopt the technology to supercharge various aspects of their operations. Digitalization is essential, and product-development companies facilitate its adoption for businesses across various industries.
Choosing the aspects to transform is a very crucial task that business leaders will have to tackle after extensive strategizing because the needs of each role and the peculiarities of the business and its industry can often make automation a bad idea. For instance, for one company, a website chatbot might be a good idea to respond to routine questions and customers, and it will save the company a lot of money. For another business, chatbots can be seen as poor customer service and erode customers' confidence in the brand. Other services from marketing (email sequences, SMS notifications, etc.) and accounting (real-time computation) to human resources (automated resume review and applicant tracking systems) can also be automated to boost efficiency and reduce costs.
Businesses have always relied on data to make decisions, guide their strategy and design their business process to minimize costs and maximize profits. While that has worked to different degrees throughout history, it has never been as easy as it is today to collect huge amounts of data on all aspects of a business and apply powerful data-analysis software to go through the data and derive valuable insights. The insights derived can range from large-scale information like how many customers a store gets during different seasons, for example, to granular ones like what customers of certain demographics tend to buy, even down to the preferences of individual customers.
The analytics do not only extend to the past. They can also be used to make predictions at a level of accuracy that human analysts could not begin to approach. For instance, a store could rely on analytics software to guide its purchasing decisions when it comes to individual items, ensuring that there's just enough, bringing the risk of spoilage to the barest minimum.
Just as businesses that dallied too long before moving into the era of computing lost ground and eventually faded away, companies that delay in adopting the technologies of the future will find it impossible to keep up with those that take the necessary steps quickly. By evaluating a company's strategy and choosing the right technologies to implement, and training employees to use them effectively, companies can easily get a head start on the competition, maximize efficiency and boost profits for the long term.