A Case for Digital Transformation
Digital technology is not something new. It has been a major part of our lives and businesses for the last 50 years. There has been an emergence of social media and internet, which has made information widely accessible. Alongside this, we have seen development in technology of SAAS software solutions, web-based application and cloud applications. Digital adoption is a necessity for businesses to remain competitive.
Information is easily accessible and people prefer to stay connected by social media and digital means. Because of this, they demand the same from businesses too. They expect the businesses to provide core services via digital methods, such as online booking. Those businesses that are not embracing the technological changes are losing out.
It was not so long ago, a receptionist in every business, used to take phone calls to book clients’ appointments manually. Now, most businesses offer a digital facility to schedule appointments online. The client can go onto the business website and book appointment online based on business availability which suits them. It also helps businesses to be accessible 24/7 and invest time in serving clients rather than being consumed with administrative tasks that can be avoided.
Digital technology has transformed rules of business. A whole new market place has emerged on internet for both B2B and B2C. The businesses which are offering online shopping experiences to customers are experiencing profound increase in sales and penetrating their share in the market.
Change in businesses is not a new phenomenon. There are well practised business models such as the kaizen approach, which enables business to change its business functions and operations gradually. However, the pace at which digital transformation is happening is rapid and is faster than the pace of business transformation.
Digital transformations offer immense benefits to businesses immediately, in the form of increased productivity, efficiency and reduction in cost.
The public sector is also embracing digital technology. There are some countries that are setting precedent in offering e-government services. UAE is replacing its visa stickers on passport with e-system which will reduce paper use, The UK government has outlined a digital transformation plan, which aims to provide all essential services online.
Businesses can adopt different methods to embrace digital change. They can begin by transforming following areas of their business:
- Business Core Functions: The operations of running day to day business in marketing, operations, human resources, administration, customer service department etc.
- Business Processes: A connection of linked tasks which are required to meet the end delivery of product/service. Business process optimisation is fundamental in digital transformation and in some industries and cases is essentially customer-facing today, whereas in others internal goals come first in initial stages.
- Business Models: how your businesses functions, from product fit to go-to-market approach and targeting market segmentation. The value proposition to make monetary gains and how to operate your business in the sector
- Business Asset Management: Asset management traditionally meant managing something which is tangible. However, for a service-based business non-tangible asset such as information, data and customer experience is a leading goal of many digital transformation “projects”. The information is the lifeblood of business, technological evolutions and of any human relationship). Both customers and information need to be treated as real assets.
- Customer, Worker and Partner Approaches. Digital transformation puts people and strategy before technology. You can put systems and processes in place to ensure communication and interaction between the 3 is streamlined and easily accessible.
Digital transformation consists of many things ranging from IoT (Internet of Things) to web portal and mobile applications. The easiest and cost-effective way is your digital journey with cloud solutions. The business would witness immediate benefits ranging from reduction in:
- Capital expenditure
- Server cost
- Lack of productivity
- Update for system/software
Cloud Stem has helped many businesses with digital transformation as well as moving to the cloud. Cloud Stem has helped both B2B and B2C businesses in real estate, government, health, finance and in the education sector.
Cloud solutions helps your business to be ready to adopt to modern work practises. There is a growing trend of people working remotely. Having your business using the cloud/ cloud apps enables your employees to benefit from working anywhere. One key benefit of cloud technology is it can be accessed from anywhere, anytime and anyplace.
Other benefits of the cloud for CIO and IT directors to consider are:
The flexibility cloud services offer is ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your demand increases it’s simple and easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the services’ remote servers. Similarly, if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is there to bring it down. This level of agility can give small and medium businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors.
Data is blood life for every business and even the thought of losing it is scary. Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery systems. But for smaller businesses that lack the required cash and expertise, is a barrier to invest in this important element. Cloud is now helping more organisations with disaster recovery and is a lot more cost effective than paying for expensive servers.
Automatic software updates
The benefit of cloud here is that the servers and updates are not your concern. Suppliers take care of them for you and roll out regular software updates; This includes cyber and security updates, removing you from the worry about maintaining the system yourself. This leaves you time to focus on the things that matter, like growing your business.
As mentioned above, cloud solutions can be accessed anytime, from anywhere and on any device. The staff can work together and do it better. The cloud-based workflow and file sharing/receiving apps help staff members make updates in real time and give them full visibility of the data.
The more employees and partners collaborate on documents, the greater the need for watertight document control. Before the cloud, workers had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time. Sooner or later – usually sooner – you end up with a mess of conflicting file content, formats and titles.
As even the smallest companies become more global, the scope for complication rises. According to one study, “73% of knowledge workers collaborate with people in different time zones and regions at least monthly”.
When you make the move to cloud computing, all files are stored centrally and everyone sees one version of the truth. Greater visibility means improved collaboration, which ultimately means better work and a healthier bottom line. If you’re still relying on the old way, it could be time to try something a little more streamlined.
Presently businesses which install security protection softwares on laptops are always at risk of losing out if a laptop is damaged or stolen. They lose money on loss of an expensive piece of kit and license fee paid for the software. But more importantly they also lose data stored on the system. Digital technology and Cloud solutions give you greater security when this happens. Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it regardless of what happens to your device.
Every business is looking for new strategies and ways to remain competitive. The challenge is even greater for a small medium sized business where cash flow is tight and strict budgets give less to spend on services, which are deemed as non-essential.
By moving to the cloud it gives access to enterprise-class technology, for everyone. It provides a level playing field and allows smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors.
Pay-as-you-go and SAAS (software as a service) cloud business applications mean small businesses can run with the big boys and disrupt the market, while remaining lean and nimble. It gives you a greater advantage in capital expenditure for the IT department, which can be reinvested in other functions of the business.
Digital transformation is a win situation for a business. Data migration can easily take place with the help of CSV file formats. The cost of deployment is next to nothing as hours required to install servers and desktop applications is thing of a past in cloud solutions.