By Mark Engelberg, TimeLinx Software –
Technology has advanced exponentially over the last few decades. 100 years ago, we were still using the horse as our main means of transport, something that had been done for thousands of years. Two or so decades after that, we had invented the combustion engine, and taken to the skies for the first time. 60 years after that we were in space, and another 60 after that we are about to reach Mars. The point is, technology is a massive part of today’s life and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
What does that mean for your business? Mostly, it means that you absolutely have to be digital. If your business is still running in the dark ages on spreadsheets and sticky notes, you very definitely need to reassess your company practices and implement digital transformation. Digital transformation is when a company remakes existing processes using digital technologies in order to boost efficiency and effectiveness.
Digital Companies in a Digital Age
Communication is possible today on a scale completely unimagined previously. Smartphones, the Internet of Things, and cloud computing link us on a social and professional level that is absolutely essential to any form of success in today’s economic market. Today’s age is almost totally digital, and, if your company hasn’t transformed, it will need to soon. Of course, digitization needs to be implemented across all of your company processes. It’s not good enough to simply be connected these days, you need to really integrate it into every aspect of your business core. For a services business, project and service management solutions are a great way to begin the process in a single yet impactful portion of a business, especially if the idea of changing other major company structures seems overwhelming.
How To Develop A Digital Transformation Strategy
Determining your company’s digital transformation strategy need not be a nightmare. Yes, it absolutely HAS to be done, and the longer you wait the longer your productivity will suffer, but if you follow these five actionable steps, you will be well on your way.
- Set Your Goals. As with any project, defining the goals is always the first step. Gone are the days when you simply needed to open an IT department. Now, you need to transform every aspect of your company, from finance to project management. How digitized is your company already? Do you have an integrated accounting solution? Do you have an integrated PSM solution? Lay out the main areas that need to be digitized, and consider both your long-term and short-term digitization goals.
- Prep your Staff. As with any big transformation, you can’t just spring it on everyone. An early step is to prepare your employees for the change, as well as look at employing or contracting with a qualified Chief Digital Officer (CDO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO). Preparing your staff for what is coming will define how strongly they embrace the changes when they happen.
- Analyze. Analyze everything. From your competition to the best possible digital solutions for your company. A few years ago, Uber took the world by storm, and yellow cab companies fell apart due to its superior technology and practices. Rapid industry changes, as well as unforeseen competitive technologies, have been many small businesses’ downfall. When you plan to digitize, do so armed with every shred of knowledge that you can possibly attain, both about current trends and future ones.
- Assess. Once you have set your goals and analyzed the best potential solutions for your company, you need to now assess where you stand digitally. How many of your company’s processes need to be digitized, and how urgent are they? If your accounting system is not yet modernized, that is always a good place to start.
- Customer Research. So far, your first three steps will have set you on your roadmap to digital transformation. In this step, you need to take a deep dive into what your customers want and expect from your company. How will your digital solution choices affect how you serve them, and what will the best solutions be to meet their needs?
Why Digital Transformation Will Benefit You
The benefits of digitization drastically outweigh the hassle of implementing it. If you still aren’t convinced, here are seven reasons you should look into how you can streamline your business:
- Improving your customer experience by streamlining processes.
- Upgrades your employee’s skill sets, making them ultimately more valuable and capable of earning higher salaries.
- Encourages innovation by creating a digital culture.
- Enhances data collection and analysis leading to better client experiences.
- Enables digitization of your company’s products or services.
- Vastly increases profitability.
- Keeps your company relevant and maybe even an acquisition target.
In today’s world, if you don’t digitize, you will fossilize. Keeping your company relevant in the face of competitors, upgrading and constantly innovating need not be a nightmare. To begin with, you simply need to implement modern solutions to streamline processes. From there, the cloud is the limit!
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.