2021 – The Year Of Digital

2020 showed us how important digital is to our businesses, allowing us to pivot, adapt and find new ways to keep going when everything we knew changed.

We believe that 2021 will be ‘The Year Of Digital’. The pandemic has provided a catalyst for digital transformation. Some organisations have accelerated the implementation of new digital solutions, technology, and services. Some have added to those already in place, to allow them to thrive, grow, future proof, collaborate, reduce costs and offer a fantastic customer experience across multiple channels. Some organisations got this right in 2020 (for example Harvey Nichols and Three both use HERO®, a virtual shopping app, to connect their working-from-home staff with online customers, so they can chat through their purchases just like they would in-store) and some got it very wrong.

“…what it boils down to is changing how a business interacts with customers and employees using technology; and also using technology to significantly improve internal processes, by making them more efficient.”

Nick Ismail, Editor, Information Age

Embracing technology
As solutions become more accessible via cloud and SaaS, embracing digital helps to level the playing field. It’s no longer just for big businesses with big budgets – SMEs can find it easier to implement, becoming more agile and proactive, as they have fewer people involved in the decision making.

With so many tech solutions on the market promising to solve your business problems, the best approach is to work with a company that delivers and supports a range of integrated solutions. Work with them to review what currently works well, and what doesn’t, to see where you can make improvements and cost savings. They understand that every business is different with its own challenges and will help you determine what kind of approach, systems, and technologies will be right for your business, tailoring a solution that works exactly as you need it.

Real-time decision making
When it comes to ensuring growth and success, access to real-time data and analytics is essential. In a rapidly changing business landscape, organisations need the ability to act quickly on insights regarding all aspects of the business’s performance. Advanced software such as Business Intelligence (BI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help companies spot trends and patterns, and predict behaviours to enhance decision-making, forecasting and planning, and inform strategy.

Digital Transformation is about People
A successful digital transformation is as much about people as it is about technology. Don’t underestimate the importance of getting your team on board with any new digital solutions – after all; they’ll be the ones using them every day. Make sure they understand why change is necessary and how it will affect them and their job. New technology and new ways of working need to become part of a culture change throughout the organisation.

New technology should enhance their skills, make their lives easier, and positively impact mental health. If your team don’t feel confident in what they are doing, they won’t get the most out of new technology, productivity will be impacted, adoption rates will be low, and the business won’t reap the benefits. Look for a company who can provide comprehensive training for your team to ensure they have everything they need to hit the ground running.

Giving your team the right tools for the jobs has a positive impact on customer service. Your staff can engage with more customers on more channels, respond to queries more quickly, offer help and advice, all of which will strengthen your relationship with your customers leading to increased loyalty, a growing customer base and greater revenue.

Setting realistic expectations
Digital Transformation is a journey, not a destination. Before you can begin your digital transformation, you should:

  1. Define a clear strategy based on the specific need for change, and the role technology will play in your transformation.
  2. Don’t just focus on technology. Think about how people and processes fit into your transformation.
  3. Everyone involved (staff, technology partners, stakeholders, customers) should clearly understand the timeline, budget and available resources.
  4. Set achievable goals/targets and decide how you will measure them.

New technology isn’t a quick fix but a set of ‘tools’ that allow your business to save time, money and operate in a more agile way, freeing up time and resources so you can plan for and take advantage of new opportunities.

Those who don’t go digital will get left behind.
Digital Transformation isn’t a question of IF; it’s WHEN. The challenges of 2020 highlighted the businesses that didn’t have the right technology in place and couldn’t adapt to the rapidly changing landscape. Unfortunately, some of them haven’t made it to 2021. Companies that find tools that transform the way they do business will have a lasting advantage – reducing costs, improving productivity, improving customer experience, maximising opportunities and staying ahead of the competition.

If you’re ready to get started on your Digital Transformation journey, get in touch with Jack Wright on 01285 810606 or email jack.wright@yourdms.net and find out how YourDMS can help.

Let’s talk.