Article

How Digital Transformation Can Help Your Business Thrive in 2021

by Ryan Prindiville
January 21, 2021

As companies work to rebuild in today’s dynamic markets, digital transformation initiatives offer a path to help them position themselves for sustained growth and improved performance by enhancing their processes and deploying technology more effectively.

The concept of “digital transformation” is broadening beyond a traditional focus on updating technology to address a variety of ways companies can serve customers more effectively and improve operations by supporting workers with better tools and information.

Start With Your Processes

An important shift as business leaders think about digital transformation is understanding that making effective changes requires examining your processes at least as closely as your technology. Reviewing the routine activities your teams carry out, such as invoicing customers manually or reformatting data from multiple sources to generate reports, can identify areas for improvement as well as processes that are suitable for automation.

Depending on the company and its operations, that can mean making it easier for customers to do business with you by enabling self-service tools, as well as helping team members by enabling them to work remotely and streamlining internal operations.

Understand Your Needs

Building a digital transformation strategy can help organizations address different situations. For instance, the COVID pandemic has created strong demand and attractive opportunities in some industries, but many companies were unable to take advantage of those opportunities because they were hampered by outdated processes and systems that hindered their ability to scale up quickly.

Similarly, digital transformation can help struggling companies reduce costs and increase their flexibility by enabling them to add new services and improve their ability to do more with less by automating basic customer interactions and non-essential functions.

In either case, digital transformation can enhance processes and operational capabilities to help companies position themselves for short-term stability as well as future growth. A relatively small investment in automating a process, for instance, can enable an organization to improve its operational efficiency or pursue a new business activity.

And because even minor changes can lead to improvements, the ROI of a digital transformation investment is usually more compelling than relying on your existing processes and tools as markets shift. The cost of using technology as a catalyst for change has decreased significantly, while the chance that competitors are at least exploring transformation efforts of their own has increased.

The Risk of Delay

While some companies may have thought they didn’t have a compelling use case for building a digital transformation strategy, the pandemic’s ongoing effects have changed that thinking for a growing number of organizations. For many in the C-suite, the question has shifted from investing in a transformation initiative to understanding the medium- and long-term costs of ignoring the opportunity.

For instance, companies that weren’t set up to enable their staff to work remotely lost considerable advantages to competitors that had created remote work capabilities beforehand, and wasted valuable time trying to catch up. Enabling remote work, and the sudden need to make other operational changes, demonstrated the importance of reviewing your processes on an ongoing basis and establishing the agility to anticipate market changes and take advantage of potential efficiencies.

Once these changes are embraced, their benefits can continue beyond an immediate need. Companies that adopted remote working, for instance, have a new option to expand their distributed workforces and recruit talent beyond their traditional geographic limits.

Embracing Change

With volatility and uncertainty remaining constant in the business environment, it’s important for company leaders to understand the value of thinking about technology and process improvement as a catalyst to drive flexibility within the organization, improve collaboration, enable new business models, and prepare for the next big event or market shift.

Enhancing agility and responsiveness will play an ever-increasing role in establishing or maintaining a company’s profitability and valuation. To take advantage of those opportunities, take a detailed look at your processes and technology infrastructure, and explore ways that enhancing both can unlock additional value for your organization.

For more information on building the right digital transformation strategy for your business, reach out to our experts.


January 21, 2021

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