At the onset of the pandemic, when lockdown restrictions were put in place to help prevent the spread of the virus, businesses had to halt operations for awhile; but what was supposed to be a weeks-long arrangement turned out to be longer than anyone expected. And with this came the realization that digital technology had to be fully integrated into business operations if companies were to survive the pandemic.
What is digital transformation?
In a nutshell, digital transformation is adopting various digital technologies to streamline processes and improve overall operations. While digital technology was developed to help businesses with their operations, not many took advantage of it. This is precisely the reason why a lot of businesses, especially small and medium enterprises struggled to remain operational when lockdown restrictions were imposed. Their knowledge of digital technology was very basic.
Admittedly, digital transformation isn’t something that can be accomplished in a matter of days. There are several steps that businesses need to take first. Here are the initial steps you can look into as you begin your transformation to digital technology:
1. Develop a business strategy
Before you can move forward with your digital transformation, you must first understand why you’re doing it, which will then help you develop a business strategy that addresses not only the “why” but also the “who,” “what,” and “how.” Your business strategy will be focused on your immediate and long-term goals, and these will in turn help you identify the specific digital technologies that you need to achieve both within the determined timeframe.
2. Identify digital technologies to adopt
As mentioned above, you need to identify the digital technologies you will be using to help you achieve your goals. In order to truly identify exactly what you need, you need to identify the parts of operations that need improving, and also those that you wish to enhance. In general, digital transformation technologies focus on real-time data analysis, customer experience, processes, sales, and marketing. Your choice of digital technologies to adopt will depend on your organization’s needs, its size, and how you want to conduct business moving forward.
3. Transition at a steady pace
The key to a smooth digital transformation is time; that is, taking the time to apply the technology, test it, and tweak as necessary. Rushing into it, no matter how dire the need, could result in costly errors, so transition at a steady pace.
Also, seek out external help when needed so as not to overwhelm your staff with learning about the new technologies while also juggling their regular workload. Consider a virtual front desk assistant that can take your calls, or a virtual team to take orders.