Approach your Smart Digital Strategy
We are living in a time where digital transformation couldn’t be more important for companies to adopt in order to stay on top of their game, integrate changes and to improve business performance.
The recent impact of the lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic left companies that have not yet adopted a digital strategy at the very real risk for failure. This has forced them to spend an enormous amount of valuable time to roll out new changes. The result is unfortunately leading to painful disruptions within the business and to the productivity of its people.
Many see it as a dark cloud hovering over them, requiring complex considerations and significant financial investment. Others embrace change and partner with trusted providers able to guide them through this change to avoid the snags of embracing technology to quickly and save some on the way.
It all starts with a plan.
It is vital to use the tools that are available to your business. This reduces the time faffing about the stuff that technology can do for you and your business. Imagine working ON the business and not IN it! You can indeed free up and focus, when you take full advantage of what technology has to offer.
Before rolling out the digital strategy, we recommend putting these steps in place:
Analyse the needs of the company in order to do a risk assessment of how well new technology will settle within the company. This must be the driver of the digital strategy in order to secure employee buy-in, not the other way around.
The vision and fundamentals of the business should be clear. Focus on the end goal. Assess the overall impact of technology on these goals in order to identify gaps. Optimise this demand to the advantage of the business.
Employees should clearly understand that digital transformation doesn’t mean that jobs will be replaced. Identify and address the fears and any possible resistance from employees and ensure that this is included in the strategy. Ensure that administrative tasks are minimised, and tools are provided to empower employees to dream, create, innovate and engage in business processes.
Everybody should take part in the digital strategy process and frequent communication is very important. Lead by example. Make your employees feel at ease, value their opinions and embrace their mistakes.
During the roll-out process, we recommend paying close attention to the following:
Listen to employees. They are the people that know your business. Their feedback are gold and transformation success are heavily dependent on the collaboration from them. You will be amazed at what they have to offer.
Listen to your customers and pay special attention to their needs. Building the customer experience into the strategy will have far-reaching consequences on your business.
Having a tech-savvy leader at the helm is vital in the creation of a digital strategy and this doesn’t mean it should be you. Don’t be in it alone. Partner with the right people that will keep you on track.
The effectiveness of the strategy will heavily rely on the agility thereof. The speed with which technology changes is fast. Digital strategies should be sustainable in the long run and flexible enough to adapt to newer technology as it becomes available. Focus on building capabilities for your future workforce.
Practical examples of digital transformation in a business include the migration from traditional stand-alone accounting software to cloud accounting software like Xero, which is easier than you think. You can be up and running in no time at all, while having a real-time picture of the business performance. You can also adopt point-of-sale (POS) systems, inventory management systems or reporting systems that seamlessly integrate with your cloud accounting software.
In a highly competitive world, your reasons for adopting a digital strategy should not be to keep with competitors or that you are being tech-savvy, but rather to identify business opportunities, streamline business processes and using available technology effectively towards your business’ advantage. Rome wasn’t built in a day! There is an abundance of low-hanging fruit that is in reach, which will add value to your business and help achieve desired goals.