If you’re interested in the world of IT, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard the words “digital transformation” a few times in the last year or so. While there’s nothing particularly new about digital transformation, it’s safe to say that it’s one of the most significant buzzwords around today for growing companies that want to stay ahead of the competition, satisfy their customers, and keep employees happy all at the same time.

Of course, just because plenty of people have encountered “digital transformation” in their lifetime, doesn’t necessarily mean that they understand how important it is to their company, or even what it can do for them.

So, what is digital transformation, and why does it matter to you?

Defining Digital Transformation: What it Means to your Business

According to experts in the IT industry, digital transformation is the methodology used to help companies transform and adapt their business models using digital technologies. Importantly, it doesn’t mean simply trying to adopt as many new pieces of tech in your workforce as possible. Instead, it’s about finding the ways in which technology can make your company more efficient and productive.

While the concept of digital transformation might seem more relevant to modern companies and online organizations than traditional businesses, the truth is that 85% of enterprise decision makers feel that they have a maximum of two years to make significant changes to their digital strategies, or else they could risk falling behind the competition.

Simply put, digital transformation is crucial for all companies, and it encourages us to use and adopt new business models to improve the experiences of everyone from partners and stakeholders, to customers and employees through technology. It’s about bringing people together to create value for customers in a competitive way. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners are still painfully slow when it comes to adopting new technology.

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Making the Most of Digital Transformation

So, why are businesses not jumping onto the digital transformation bandwagon as quickly as they should be? The simple answer is that many are still concerned about things like process costs and short-term revenue. However, the trouble is that many of the concerns holding companies back are short-sighted since many experts believe that digital transformation is key to future success. In fact, 87% of organizations say that digital transformation is the best way to stay ahead of the competition.

When executed properly, the benefits of a digital transformation strategy are difficult to overstate. The changes you make in your organization can dramatically increase productivity, and deliver the competitive advantage you need to make real profits in the year ahead.

Here are just some of the biggest benefits of adopting a digital transformation framework.

1.    Digitally Empowered Employees Work Better

If you can use technology to make your employees faster, stronger and more productive, then you can tap into the true potential of your business. Ultimately, any worker is only as good as the resources he or she has available to them. By adopting innovative solutions with a digital transformation strategy, you can make it easier for your employees to communicate, collaborate, and work together on projects without restrictions.

For instance, solutions for cloud collaboration like Slack, Microsoft Office, and others can help your staff to perform at their best without wasting time. Using services like these, your team communicate quickly with the right people at the right time, using a range of features like email, video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing.

As the workforce becomes increasingly dispersed, it seems that collaboration technology over the cloud could help to deliver the collaboration that companies so desperately need to stay ahead of the competition.

2.    Technology Can Enhance the Customer Experience

It’s fair to say that customer satisfaction and retention have always been crucial to good business. After all, it’s hard to run a successful business if you haven’t got customers that will stick with you through thick and thin. However, recently, as modern marketplaces become increasingly competitive, experts believe that experience could be the only true differentiating factor that separates one business from another.

If you want to survive in the current environment, you need to spend more time figuring out how to interact with your customers in the right places, at the right times. Using technology, you can begin to learn more about the way your customers interact with your business. Once you know more about their behaviors and journeys, then you’ll be able to create a plan that helps you to access the right technology at the right times to manage consumer relationships.

For instance, if you know that your customers often have the same frequent questions to ask before they contact a customer service representative, you could introduce chat-bot technology onto your website, along with an instant-messaging option. This could help to deliver the choice that your customers want while giving them a self-service strategy that frees your agents up to work on more complex problems.

3.    Technology Can Protect your Business

Today, many companies are making the switch to the cloud in an effort to make their data more secure. With cloud technology, you can instantly back-up some of your most critical files, minimizing downtime and keeping your data protected at the essential times. If your business is thinking of making the move to the cloud, you can implement a security policy into your digital transformation plan.

For instance, your data security policy can help you to define the methods that are most appropriate to use when you’re sharing or transferring data securely. What’s more, the more you understand about the security needs of your specific business, the more you can begin to make changes to your overall protection strategy. For instance, you might want to think about whether cloud security is enough of you need alternative backup options too.

Consider the regulations and legislation in your industry that helps to dictate how information should be stored and managed. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to evaluate the technology available that could be the most successful at protecting and enhancing your business operations.

Digital Transformation Keeps You Competitive

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember about digital transformation is that it’s not something any company can afford to overlook. Just as it did back when the internet was first introduced, digital transformation is once again changing the world we live in, and learning how to adapt is a mandatory part of being a competitive company. If you want to survive in this new digitally-connected environment, then you need to build a business that has the right technology strategies ready.

The key is to assess what your company, employees, and companies need first before you begin to explore the technology that’s out there. This will help you to look for solutions and opportunities that allow you to overcome your existing problems, rather than simply investing in any technology that might look novel or interesting.

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