According to the well-known rule - in business the only constant thing is change. We have been aware for years that digitization is an inevitable process, but quite expensive and requires significant changes in the mental sphere of society. This process is non-linear, and the COVID-19 virus was the factor behind the revolutionary growth in early 2020. It has changed both our everyday life and the functioning of many companies and public organizations. According to the Yellowbrick report, about 96% of IT specialists believe that the current situation has changed their way of thinking not only in terms of technology. All these changes contributed to a rapid e-revolution, the essence of which may be digital transformation.
During the pandemic, there were numerous restrictions. The necessity of social distancing caused that remote work, e-learning, e-services, e-commerce, e-administration, videoconferencing, contactless payments, and digital advertising became a part of everyday life. To ensure business continuity, many companies had to provide electronic data exchange tools or technological solutions ensuring remote, effective contact with the client in a very short time. All these activities were a kind of line of business’ defense against a sudden change in business conditions. At the same time, they have become one of the most effective strategies to protect the revenues and the company’s functioning.
COVID-19 has changed our daily routine and our way of thinking. There is no doubt about it. New habits are already taking shape, both in business, public administration, and in private life. These changes force us to think about a new future and take further steps.
Digital transformation is a way to ensure stability
Digitalization is not a technology in itself, but a new way of looking at processes, both business and everyday life. Simply put, it is about using digital technologies to improve our life. It is a comprehensive process that covers all areas, starting from the business model, through the internal functioning of the company, ending with cooperation with customers. It can be said that its essence is to follow the expectations of the modern world, i.e. even faster and easier access to the information and services, which we need.
In the face of dynamic changes and the uncertainty of a new tomorrow, digital transformation is the way to sustainability and keep business. Assuming that not everyone will equally benefit from its opportunities, it can also be a tool for building a competitive business.
Digital transformation areas
Digital transformation encourages to reconsider the entire functioning of the enterprise. It is worth "breakdown business into pieces" and analyzing each of them. The main goal is to ask yourself what to do to work more efficiently. The sum of all these small improvements can result in significant savings and improved business efficiency.
Looking from the perspective of the company, which develops and consult IT projects, we can define a few key points that are most often digitized in companies. It is worth paying attention to them carefully.
Now, more than ever, the right information is one of the key factors to aim for success in an organization. Importantly, it is not just having them, but their skillful use and analysis. Above all, information should be organized and consistent, everyone should have easy access to them and the ability to use them. It is also important that information need to interpenetrate and complement each other. If we add to this the ease of editing and expansion we will receive an image of an organization that can share knowledge and builds its competitive advantage on it.
Information management systems, such as electronic document workflow systems, ERP, CRM, and their integration, come to the rescue. Artificial intelligence algorithms and big data are very important in this case.
The pandemic has shown that we need efficient solutions. It is therefore the best time to think about tools to improve communication and remote cooperation. The connection between the ‘real’ and the online world is possible with numerous solutions. Task management systems (remote work), working time tracking, intranet platforms, online learning and training, videoconferences, and electronic customer service offices (eCSC) are gaining in importance.
All systems and tools that contribute to the elimination of direct contact are highly desirable today. They allow not only to increase the safety of employees and customers but also to significantly reduce operating costs. The last few months have proved, for example, that not all meetings have to be held face to face. By replacing them with a "remote" form, we save not only time (needed to travel to the meeting place) but also costs related to transport. The potential for this type of savings is much greater.
One of the goals of digital transformation is to increase the efficiency of the organization. We can achieve it, among others, thanks to the processes’ automation. New technologies and digitization are particularly helpful in this regard. Automating and transferring to machines the obligation to carry out simple, repetitive activities can significantly relieve employees. This allows them to focus on handling more difficult and more demanding tasks.
Automation brings one more significant benefit. It allows for a more accurate measurement of all processes, which is just a short way to improve their quality. If these processes directly affect customers, then even the slightest improvement will improve the company image. In the long term, this strengthens loyalty and translates into a higher turnover.
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Running a business requires flexibility. COVID-19 caused many changes but has also shown that pushing the digital boundary is not as difficult as it may have seemed before.
In the center of ongoing changes, it is worth thinking about using digital transformation in your organization. It will help ensure the stability of the company and allow you to build a competitive advantage for years.
Marcin Wojtoń, Commercial Director, Ideo
Publication: LinkedIn Pulse, 23/06/2020