Ten years ago, I couldn’t have cared less if the new burger joint downtown had a website. Now I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t. When your company is online, you are part of the digital transformation. But these days it is no longer enough to just “be online”. Companies that will thrive and operate online in 2021 – and the COVID-19 pandemic has proven it.
Consumer buying behavior has changed dramatically – today most consumers buy products online, including nearly 70% of millennials. In 2019, almost two-thirds of companies (64%) had a website. If you don’t have one, you could fall behind your online competition.
While having a website and a Facebook Page is a big step, the transformation involves more than just an online presence – technology should be ubiquitous in all of your business operations. This article examines digital transformation, why companies are coming on board, and outlines the roadmap for implementing one for your business. We’ll also share some real-world success stories from companies that have chosen to go digital.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is a term used to describe the change that companies have seen and experienced in relation to the integration of technology into all aspects of their business, from the customer experience to in-store self-checkout. This transformation is not changing what companies do, but how companies do what they do.
Essentially, a digital transformation is fundamentally changing how companies offer their customers added value and how they streamline their processes. It’s a reminder that materials and processes your business uses in day-to-day operations, no matter how large or small, may need a new medium – technology. Let’s take a look at why this transformation exists in the first place, with particular reference to the current pandemic.
Why are companies going through a digital transformation?
Put simply, things are often easier when they are online. New technologies are making website building more accessible and giving companies more opportunities to connect with their audiences. A digital shift also saves time. You may already be using some digital strategy methods such as: B. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), social media planning tools and instant messaging apps. These are all examples of small digital transformations that replace paper instructions, outbound marketing, and an extra trip to your manager’s desk.
The switch to digital processes also makes it easier to carry out general large-scale business tasks. For example, online databases that sort and catalog customer information and automation tools that take over day-to-day activities and allow employees to focus on more pressing tasks.
Customers also expect the companies they interact with to have a digital presence, be it a streamlined Google My Business profile for easy access to assignment instructions or an automated chatbot that can answer their questions via Facebook Messenger.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated and accelerated the need for businesses to embrace digital transformation. With companies around the world forced to offer services online or at some distance from their customers, having digital tools was and is vital.
Many companies introduced various online practices during the pandemic, such as providing digital customer service. It is likely that due to the pandemic and general trends, customers will expect to be able to do business online with their favorite brands.
70% of companies today believe that digital transformation is worth it, and these companies either have a digital strategy or are seriously working towards one.
Overall, 70% of companies today are of the opinion that digital change is worthwhile. These companies either have a digital strategy or are seriously working towards one. Whether you already belong to these companies or are ready to start your journey, we’ll go over three key questions you can use as a roadmap for executing your strategy.
Strategy for the digital transformation
Business leaders face a variety of options for implementing digital transformation. As the technology spreads, there are numerous tools to choose from. While it can be exciting (and overwhelming) to imagine all the possible upgrades you can make to your business, a digital transformation strategy will help you focus better.
This strategy is essentially a structured way to move through the process as you get from point A (pre-transformation) to point B (post-transformation). Let’s go through some key questions and additional requirements in order to develop a viable strategy for digital transformation.
1. Why do we need a transformation?
As with any plan and strategy you’ve created for your business, designing your roadmap begins with identifying your purpose. You can start this process by uncovering the challenges your business is facing that have significantly impacted its success, or processes that you believe technology will make easier. This can be anything from everyday automation tasks like sending out email newsletters to more important business needs like data collection and storage.
You may also be hoping to tackle multiple challenges at once. For example, suppose your company has problems handling customer service requests because you use different platforms to store customer data and communicate with customers. Employees may have difficulty accessing a customer’s history with your company as they have to search through other records and switch between platforms to find the information they need. This takes time, and customers may be frustrated with how long it takes to resolve their issues.
In this case, the answer to why we need a transformation? is that your customer service team is struggling to deliver the customer experience they want due to long waiting times and a disorganized data storage system. Whatever your reasons, identifying the challenges that highlight the need for digital transformation makes it easier to create more goals and metrics that will determine the success of your process.
2. What do I have to achieve in order to transform myself?
As mentioned above, the challenges and weaknesses you have identified answer why you need to transform. Once you have this why, it will be easier for you to figure out what to do and what steps to take to overcome the challenges you have described.
The goal is to develop metrics or goals that will help you and your teams guide you through this process, including workflows, identifying key stakeholders, and assigning critical tasks. If you have multiple pain points, come up with at least one goal for each of them.
As you identify these goals, you will set a timeframe in which they should be achieved in order to be successful in your transformation. If you continue with the previous example, your challenge is that reps don’t have access to a summary of customer history. Your goal may be that over the year you want a streamlined process for entering and cataloging customer information, and waiting less than a minute to access customer records during service interactions. With that in mind, you know what it takes to say that you have changed your process. This will make it easier to identify the tools that will assist you along the way.
3. What do I have to change in order to achieve these goals?
The final question involves researching and identifying the technology you need to transform successfully. Some of these might be tools to help you achieve your end goal while others might be the permanent solution that you implement and use forever.
Using the same example as before, you want to know what tools to start with in order to transfer the data you already have into the tool that will allow your reps to access customer data within the timeframe you specify. This can mean that your first tool is a simple data integration platform that you use to merge existing data from your various sources. After that, you may need a sorting tool that will catalog and organize data into business-relevant categories. This data is also integrated into a Customer Relationship Platform (CRM), which all of your employees can access during customer interaction.
4. Get a company-wide buy-in.
A digital transformation affects all areas of your company. With that in mind, it’s important that you get an enterprise-wide buy-in from packaging and fulfillment to C-suite executives. You can’t just say, “Okay, we’ll do this!” however, expect a seamless process. For this reason, this principle follows the first three key questions: Inspire the buy-in based on the previously collected knowledge.
One of the first things you should do is present the teams with a clear why statement that explains the reasons your company needs to go through a digital transformation. Along with the why statement, present a value proposition to explain the benefits the company (and employees) will derive from this transformation. Perhaps you can share sample projections that you created or a case study that you created based on market research and competitive analysis (which we will cover below).
Lastly, you should let them know that this is an involved process. You’re not asking them to come on board and take care of it – you want them to be part of the process. They can ask questions, make suggestions, or just ask about their new responsibilities.
5. Research industry and market competitors.
As with most new projects, understanding what your competitors are doing is important. Conducting a competitive analysis can help you with this as it will give you a complete picture of performance.
The results of your research will likely give you an understanding of how they run their business once they have implemented digital transformation and been successful, and uncover potential areas where your company can outperform them. It’s also important to do some general market research to understand what trends are emerging in your industry, to understand how to compare, or to get inspiration to steer your process further.
6. Create a budget.
Digital transformation is an expensive process, especially if it involves a complete overhaul of your current methods. Once you understand your purpose and how to make changes, create a budget. This budget should take into account all possible costs that are incurred throughout the process: software costs for transitional and permanent tools, costs for hiring new talent, training employees for new processes, and allocating funds for unexpected costs.
The unexpected cost area of your budget may be the most important as digital transformation is based on change. These changes are likely new. Therefore, you should be prepared if problems arise due to adjustment difficulties.
7. Create a roadmap for digital transformation.
Once you have all the information you need, the next step is to implement your strategy. As mentioned above, how to get from point A to point B. A roadmap for digital transformation is the way to do this and we will outline the steps below.
Roadmap for the digital transformation
After you’ve created your strategy, a detailed plan will guide you through implementing it. HubSpot offers a free template that you can use to plan and work through a digital transformation roadmap, broken down into seven weeks.
First, this template includes a checklist that you can fill in with the information you gathered while creating your strategy. You can input benefits, what you need to achieve to transform, the tools you need to transform, and key stakeholders for your business. Having all the information in one place makes it easier for you to refer to a common document as you navigate your process.
The first week is about collecting existing sales and marketing materials on paper, while the second week is about broadcasting your business online and so on. These small steps will fit into your busy schedule and will help you stay organized as you transition.
Week two is all about data migration. With a free CRM like HubSpot, you can enter business data and customer profiles into an easily accessible database.
By weeks three and four, you should have a working website and marketing resources that can help you learn more about your visitors and their behavior.
The second half of the weekly schedule increases your online presence. This template allows you to organize your new digital move by area to avoid running a big push and confusing employees at the same time.
If you blog by week five, you can find your target audience online. Posts should be related to your target market (if you’re a tech marketing company, posts should focus on the interface between the two) to demonstrate your expertise. This strengthens your reputation as a thought leader in your industry.
By week six, you should set up a sales flow that digitizes your sales process. With online sales tools, you can keep track of all of your contacts, log your conversations, and keep track of preparedness plans and upcoming meetings.
Email and paid ads should rock by week seven. The email software you choose will help you send automated emails to subscribers and will allow you to try paid advertising software.
In a month and a half, most of your business processes will be digital.
Best of all, this template can be tailored to meet the unique needs of your business, giving you room for expansion as your business continues to scale. However, as a starting point, you’ll be ready to go.
Once you have your digital roadmap in place, it will make it easier for you to deepen your processes and make a definitive list of the technologies you need to transform successfully. Below are some popular digital transformation tools that should be considered.
Tools for digital transformation
Depending on your overall transformation goals, there are several platforms available to help you be successful and achieve your goals. However, there are several multi-purpose tools that can benefit all types of businesses and we will cover a few of them below.
1. Instant messaging
Instead of having a meeting or long email thread for a quick message, consider using an enterprise instant messaging tool for quick and easy communication. Some instant messaging services are designed for company settings like Slack or Flock.
These services allow you to share files, send direct messages, and create channels for teams to collaborate and discuss projects. Think of it as the office water cooler – online only.
2. Application tools
Are you looking for new talent? The best candidates (especially those who prefer to work digitally) are online. For example, LinkedIn, a professional networking website, is a great resource for recruiting candidates:
You can publish an entry using the LinkedIn template. You can use LinkedIn’s industry function to ensure that it gets approved for relevant candidates. LinkedIn will notify you of new entries and send you their applications, making the selection process a breeze. This is an alternative to collecting application materials via email, which can make it difficult to structure, organize, and compile applications.
3. Sales management
The software allows you to manage many facets of your business, including sales. This software allows you to manage calls, pipelines, reports and follow-up resources to aid a smooth online migration of your process.
For example, as shown above, HubSpots Sales Hub can be used to organize all of your sales materials online. Within the platform, you can use a dashboard to manage transactions, filter contacts and create various tasks to keep track of your sales processes.
4. Standard operating procedures (SOPs)
When you have certain aspects of your daily life that require multiple steps that are usually written on paper, broadcast them online. This reduces the paper path and makes the processes shared and accessible for all employees.
The online SOP software makes it easy to list procedures and job functions, which can be beneficial for onboarding and training employees. To ensure a smooth transition to your new digital tool, talk to employees and ask them to contribute and work with you. The following image is an example of a digital SOP workflow management tool from Process.st.
5. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
A CRM will be your best friend when you move to an all-digital company. Regardless of whether you want to change the customer experience, optimize sales or digitize your marketing process, CRM makes these processes easier and even automates repetitive tasks. HubSpot’s free CRM offers three hubs that give you an all-in-one business platform for scalable growth.
HubSpot’s free CRM offers three hubs that give you a comprehensive business platform. From customer service reps to sales managers and business owners with this free CRM, you can move your business completely online and drive growth.
6. Video chat software
Is your team out of town but need to schedule a meeting? Are your representatives switching to a remote work-from-home model, but still want to maintain a collaborative environment? Use video chat software to virtually meet and maintain staff connections.
Software like Skype for Business and Zoom offer free web chat services for professional use.
Skype has automatic subtitle settings and 1: 1 functions, as well as the option to host multiple people at the same time for calls. Most programs also have mobile applications to ensure that you can be reached and meet at any time during the work day.
While these tools are designed to make your life easier, you may be confused about how they can be applied to your business. Fortunately, many companies are joining the digital revolution because they have similar needs. Below are trends in digital transformation that will help you control your process further and understand how to use the tools to meet your business needs.
Digital transformation trends
As the digital world grows, many companies jump on the transformation trend. Whether you already have your own plan or want some inspiration for a future transformation, let’s examine the trends in digital transformation in 2021.
Rapid introduction of a digital operating model
With COVID-19, companies had to quickly adapt to online models. Because the pandemic could not be predicted, many companies had to scale their processes personally, and local business models became uncertain. Most industries had to adapt to the occasion, unless they simply couldn’t adapt to a work-from-home or work-from-online model.
For example, customer service companies have had to integrate online processes in order to successfully meet customer requirements, e.g. B. Chatbots to answer routine and simple questions. Restaurants and grocery stores offering grocery services have had to adapt to online grocery and grocery delivery options in order to continue to securely deliver groceries to customers.
When COVID-19-related outbreaks are controlled, the need for adaptation does not die out, it becomes a requirement. Organizations must continue to use the new tools they have customized or have detailed plans for future unforeseen circumstances that may force them to adapt quickly.
AI and machine learning
Today more than ever, consumers expect personalized experiences. Personalized experiences are also a driver of customer loyalty, as 41% of customers reported switching companies due to a lack of personalization. This doesn’t just mean that customers want you to address them by name when they call you on the phone. You want your company to know what they want before they know they want it.
For this reason, the adoption of AI and machine learning tools is a popular transformation trend that contributes to personalized and customized experiences. A typical example of this are the algorithms on Netflix. It analyzes your previous watch history, likes and dislikes, and content ratings to find out what you’re most likely to like and recommend new content. This process works because roughly 80% of the TV shows watched on Netflix are discovered through referrals.
Aside from offering different experiences to your customers, AI and machine learning can also include optimizing processes that your employees perform themselves, such as: B. cleaning up and organizing your data or using a social media planning tool to post and analyze your social profiles. McKinsey predicted that this type of automation could increase productivity across the board by 14% annually.
Location adaptable technology
Also influenced by COVID-19, in 2020 companies realized the importance of having an arsenal of tools available that their employees can use to work remotely when needed. Some of these tools are well known options like Google Suite, Microsoft Office Teams, and Trello, but additional tools have gained popularity over the course of 2020.
Ring Central is one of those tools because calls to your business area can be routed to cell phones or remote workers. This is extremely beneficial for businesses that focus on the customer experience. Zoom is another tool that has become a communications powerhouse in the past few months. It’s an easy-to-use desktop platform for scheduling, hosting, and recording corporate meetings.
All in all, COVID-19 has shown that working from home is a valuable model for businesses to consider both during and after the pandemic. Some companies have already committed to continuing this practice over time. For example, Google has postponed scheduled return dates for the office to September 2021 and announced that the company will be testing a flexible work week model, where employees can split their work week between working from home and attending office collaboration days.
Application Programming Interface (API) security
As processes go digital, it becomes even more important to protect the private, confidential information that you store on your company platforms. In light of this, a current trend towards digital transformation is an increased need for API security.
In short, the APIs that you use are the products that you have implemented based on your digital transformation strategy, such as: B. Slack. Slack is a tool that can accommodate business communication between internal teams and business employees. You likely use Slack to send business-related private information. But how can you ensure that this data is not being used by API security?
API security includes security measures that ensure that your sensitive information is protected from hackers or external threats such as encryption services and two-factor authentication. While these measures are essential for your business information, API security is also important for consumers.
For them, it means that the information you collect from them is safe and also protected from external threats. This means that when they enter banking information on your website to make a purchase, they want that information to be protected from malware. If you have an app that they downloaded onto their phone, they want to know that the app is safe and that no third party has access to that information. 84% of customers are more loyal to companies with robust security. It is therefore worthwhile to adapt these processes.
Examples of digital transformation
- Museo National Thyssen-Bornemisza
Angesichts der oben genannten Trends ist es klar, dass Sie sich auf die digitale Transformation für 2021 konzentrieren sollten, wenn Sie den Prozess für Ihr Unternehmen noch nicht begonnen haben. Wenn ja, hoffen Sie vielleicht, eine andere geschäftliche Herausforderung anzugehen und einen neuen Prozess vollständig zu starten. Was auch immer Ihre Wünsche sind, lassen Sie uns vier Beispiele aus der Praxis von Marken betrachten, die auf bemerkenswerte Weise digitalisiert wurden.
Nike, ein Sportbekleidungsunternehmen, hat seine Strategie zur digitalen Transformation auf mobile Geräte konzentriert. Anstatt ein Geschäft besuchen und sich mit einem persönlichen Mitarbeiter beraten zu müssen, verwendet ihre mobile Anwendung maschinelles Lernen und KI-Algorithmen, um Kundenpräferenzen und frühere Einkäufe zu untersuchen und Produkte zu empfehlen, die ihnen gefallen könnten.
Das Unternehmen hat außerdem ein Scan-Tool entwickelt, mit dem Kunden ihre Füße scannen können. Die KI verwendet 13 Datenpunkte, um das beste Paar Schuhe zu empfehlen. Durch diese Automatisierung müssen keine Empfehlungen von einem Mitarbeiter im Geschäft eingeholt werden, sodass Benutzer zu Hause Entscheidungen treffen und weniger Zeit in Geschäften verbringen können, da sie bereits wissen, was sie möchten.
Während der Pandemie ist dieses Tool besonders nützlich geworden, da Kunden Schuhempfehlungen erhalten und online einkaufen können, um die Sicherheit der internen Mitarbeiter und anderer Besucher zu gewährleisten.
Wepow ist ein Technologieunternehmen für die Personalabteilung. Sie haben eine digitale Transformation durchgeführt, um den Bewerbungs- und Einstellungsprozess zu digitalisieren. Wie Nike hat das Unternehmen KI und maschinelles Lernen zur Analyse von Daten verwendet, um Arbeitgebern und Anwendungen die digitale Verbindung über Online-Videointerviews und Online-Anwendungen zu erleichtern.
Während der Pandemie sind Unternehmen wie dieses zu einer nützlichen Ressource als Alternative zu persönlichen Befragungen geworden, da Fernarbeit und Sicherheitsanforderungen keine internen Befragungen zulassen.
Target, ein in den USA ansässiges Kaufhaus, hat in den letzten acht Jahren eine digitale Transformation durchgeführt, die die Lücke zwischen persönlichem und E-Commerce-Einkauf schließt.
Viele ihrer Geschäfte wurden umgebaut und mit neuen Technologien wie Self-Checkout-Kiosken und In-Store-Scannern ausgestattet, um Informationen über Produkte zu erhalten, an denen sie interessiert sind, anstatt einen Verkäufer um Hilfe zu bitten. Infolgedessen verbringen Mitarbeiter weniger Zeit mit roten Prozessen und konzentrieren sich auf Kundendienstanforderungen, die mit einem digitalen Tool nicht gelöst werden können.
Eine Transformation, die während COVID-19 immer vorteilhafter geworden ist, ist die Option zum Online-Einkauf und zur Abholung am Straßenrand. Auch wenn Kunden sich davor scheuen, ein Geschäft zu besuchen, möchten sie möglicherweise nicht darauf warten, dass ein versendeter Artikel in ihrem Haus ankommt. Mit der Abholung am Straßenrand können sie alles, was sie benötigen, online bestellen und ihre Artikel nahtlos an einem physischen Zielort abholen, ohne das Auto verlassen und ein Geschäft betreten zu müssen.
4. Museo Nacional Thyssen-Borenmisza
Ein Teil der Faszination eines Museumsbesuchs ist die Fähigkeit, ziellos durch Exponate zu gehen und den Überblick über die Zeit zu verlieren. Dieser Wunsch hat sich nicht geändert, aber leider haben die Gesundheits- und Sicherheitsbestimmungen die Möglichkeit, Ihre Lieblingsgalerien sicher zu durchsuchen, eingeschränkt oder aufgehoben.
Das Museo Nacional Thyssen-Borenmisza, ein Kunstmuseum in Madrid, hat sich dieser Gelegenheit angenommen und eine digitale Transformation durchlaufen, die es Kunstbegeisterten ermöglicht, das Angebot des Museums weiterhin bequem von zu Hause aus zu genießen. Sie haben einige ihrer beliebtesten Galerien digitalisiert und eine Online-exemplarische Vorgehensweise für Museen erstellt, damit interessierte Besucher die Kunst erkunden und in sie eintauchen können.
Machen Sie mit bei der digitalen Transformation
Die digitale Transformation ist digital, da Technologie verwendet wird, um traditionelle Geschäftsprobleme zu lösen und das Kundenerlebnis zu verbessern. Für die meisten Unternehmen war eine Art digitale Präsenz schon immer unerlässlich. Die jüngsten Gesundheits- und Sicherheitsanforderungen haben jedoch gezeigt, dass Unternehmen mehr denn je in der Lage sein müssen, sich dem Anlass zu stellen und Kunden online zu treffen.
Um sicherzustellen, dass Sie eines dieser Unternehmen sind, nehmen Sie sich Zeit, um eine Roadmap für die digitale Transformation zu erstellen, die erforderlichen Tools zu recherchieren und die Trends zu verstehen, die andere Unternehmen zu Veränderungen inspiriert haben. Wenn Sie jetzt vorbereitet sind, sind Sie für den Erfolg gerüstet, unabhängig davon, was die Zukunft bringt.