The era of the digital economy is causing transformation everywhere – smartphones, mobile shopping, online communities creating grass roots change – it’s inescapable.
Digital transformation can help businesses improve revenue, streamline workflows and create better customer experiences. Working in such a way can be daunting, especially if it’s new for your organisation. But it’s inevitable that processes and practices we follow now, will all become digitised in the near future. It’s the SMEs who can keep up, or pioneer the way forward, that will be tomorrow’s success stories.
Be (absolutely) ready for big changes across your entire organisation
Don’t find yourself crawling behind while your competitors take flight.
Metamorphosis is scary but necessary.
Embrace and transform with the changes – whatever they might be. It won’t be enough to just have a digital strategy, you will need to revolutionise the way you work and interact with your customers. And it needs to be more than just lip service – underneath the fancy customer touch points, your business needs to perform like a well-oiled machine. Or your competition will take over.
Digital transformation isn’t just another thing on your executive board’s to do list – it needs to be embedded into your organisation’s culture – from the top down.
This could look like:
- Connecting with customers in new ways across all digital channels (omnichannel was a buzzword in 2015, omnipresence might take over in 2016)
- Upsizing productivity while keeping expenditure/capacity the same or lower (think optimisation on a whole new scale)
- Looking at your brand to determine what you could become to your customers this year above and beyond a product/service provider
In fact, act yesterday! Putting off digital transformation is, quite frankly, a coward’s game. What are you waiting for? It’s not a chore, just a sensible way of working in the 21st century. Plus, by starting early, you’re probably ahead of some of your competition – make that gap even bigger by being the bold leaders.
Do it by:
- Getting everyone involved, irrelevant of generation, job level or pay grade – some of the most innovative ideas might come from the younger workers so actively encourage their input
- Assigning timeframes for milestones to be achieved and make everyone accountable for a successful outcome
- Asking for expert help if you’re at a loss (Singapore-based SMEs have access to numerous grants and incentives so there really is no excuse!)
Have the right people on your digital journey. Or be ready to find them.
Unfortunately, not everyone will be equipped for your digital transformation. Whether it’s the right skills or the right attitude they lack, they won’t be on board with some of the changes.
Having the right people means:
- Those who know what it means to work with empowered customers and can anticipate and meet their needs
- Having people who are not scared of change – constant change is a vital component of digital transformation
- Having an engaged workforce – a collective responsibility for the success of your organisation
Become hyper connected
Person to person, person to machine, machine to machine – this is what the future looks like. In fact, it’s what the current situation looks like for many firms and you need to get in on the fun.
More recently we have seen the rise of other ‘machine’ elements such as sensors, applications, devices and RFID tags. We already live in a world where we can ask our watch for tomorrow’s weather forecast, a robot can manage your floor inventory, and you can track your pizza delivery as soon as you have ordered.
So, what’s next? Business data and analytics will continue to open up many more avenues for transformation – both inside your organisation and to connect with your customers.
How your enterprise data can help you to become even more connected:
- Discover what your customers are wanting (often before they know themselves)
- Develop a complete supply chain where the stock levels are accurate, even up to the latest in-app purchase
- Wearable technology to constantly feed the Big Data loop into your analytics dashboard
Are you ready to embrace digital? Not sure where you should begin? Luckily Blue Ocean Systems has a team of experts who know how daunting it can be to look beneath the enterprise data surface – let’s work together today and leave the competition behind.
Ready for digital transformation, but want to learn more first?
Check out this video and sign up for SAP’s free online course below!
Note: This story has also been adapted for publication in Steemit.