The hot topic at the moment is digital transformation. Many people have changed their ways of communicating with each other and moved online. But digital transformation is more than just hopping onto a video call with your teammates.
Digital transformation is essentially the use of rapidly changing technology to solve business problems. This means using technology to reimagine manual business processes and operations, and changing the way that customers receive value.
It was the advent of cloud computing in 2006 that accelerated the digital age. Organisations embraced digital transformation by adapting their business models and cultures to operate in this new age. And the innovators disrupted the laggards, giving their customers a complete digital experience.
Just take banking for example. Over the last few years digital banks have popped up everywhere. Built in the cloud without any branches, new customers can sign up and transact via their phones in minutes. There are no more lengthy application forms to fill in, or documents to scan. These days you don’t even need a bank card to make payments and can simply tap your watch or phone instead. You don’t need to deal with complex foreign exchange transactions either, and simply load different currencies into your digital wallet. These banks are disrupting the traditional banking model, and importantly, they are innovating quickly. Check out the recent Wired UK article on Monzo to learn more about digital banking.
However, outside of these digital innovators and large organizations, there is a large group of small businesses in our economy that have yet to embrace digital transformation and are struggling to grasp the concept of going digital.
The Digital Transformation Challenge
Many small businesses are unfamiliar with terms such as:
- Value driven transformation
- The Re-mapping of customer journeys
- Digitising assets
- BI, AI and analytics
- Optimising web content for search engines.
The list goes on and small businesses can quickly become overwhelmed. Many of them end up investing in shiny new technology that is hard to adopt and delivers no immediate benefit to them or their customers.
Before considering a digital transformation strategy, small businesses need to first ask themselves the following questions:
- Can I deliver my product or service in a better way to my customers (cheaper, faster, more value)?
- Will my existing investments (assets) integrate easily into this new delivery mechanism or will they need to be replaced?
- Does our organisational structure and culture enable us to go digital?
Let’s order a pizza
To help explain digital transformation let’s look at a process that we are familiar with such as ordering a pizza. Not being able to eat out during Covid19 had led many of us to takeaway services for our weekly treat and by now it’s likely we have downloaded our favourite takeaway-ordering app. Have you noticed how ordering a pizza via an app has completely changed your interaction with your local pizza place?
Take a look at the table below to walk through the pizza ordering process before and after a digital transformation. The last column outlines new added value benefits.
In the example above the new digital ordering process saves the customer up to eight minutes per order and the restaurant up to five minutes per order as well as delivering tangible added value ultimately delighting the customer. The pizza ordering process has been digitally transformed.
It’s inevitable that all businesses will need to embrace digital transformation. Businesses will therefore need to learn to survive in this Internet age where everyone has a high tech connected device on them at all times. And for many companies, taking a look at the pizza-ordering example is a good place to start.
Whether you run a laundry, or a garden service, or any business where you regularly deliver products and services to your customers, you need to be starting your digital journey. So explore how you can deliver your services more conveniently by using technology and you will end up delighting your customers.
If you need help designing or implementing a digital transformation strategy then why not book a complementary discovery session with Saltwater Consulting. We’ll help your business navigate this digital change.
If you liked this article than check out my post on the rule of 3 and 10, explaining how you need to adapt your business processes as you scale.