By Phillip Kamungoma, Digital Specialist
The Global pandemic has highlighted the duality of the digital age. I’m sure you, as a business owner, have noted how some businesses have experienced growth while many struggle to keep the lights on. As many rush to digitize their processes amid this digital Darwinism, the most prevalent benefit of digital transformation is SURVIVAL.
To remain relevant in the face of a highly competitive environment, it is necessary to digitize certain functions and processes. Hold on a sec…. digitize? Digital transformation…?
Digitization refers to the process of converting analog information into a computer-readable format so that computers can store, process, and transmit such information.
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technologies into all areas of business operations, resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers.
The integration of these technologies not only provides flexible working environments by allowing online collaboration & work from home policies (leveraging tools such as Zoom, hangouts & Microsoft teams) but also helps deliver a better customer experience, encouraging client loyalty. The beneficial nature of digitization is evident, that being said, here’s a description of a few.
- Keeping up with customer demands
Advancements in mobile technology have changed customer expectations, Customers now expect to have what they want, when they want it, with supreme value from any device. Leveraging technology makes this possible, using eCommerce platforms and management of data, businesses can create a more optimized user journey & experience, improving customer loyalty & fulfillment of customer needs. A Case in point, being how Takealot has surpassed Makro in the local markets.
- Decision making & Data analysis
Data analytics tools have made the collection, monitoring, & analysis of consumer data more accessible. This in turn promotes the ability to make data-driven decisions, enhancing business strategies by monitoring consumer habits, market trends, and more to optimize offerings and maximize profitability.
Modern BI tools allow access to real-time analytics, providing insights that allow faster reaction & accuracy by business leaders who may now make more data-driven decisions instead of relying on intuition alone.
- Strengthening the bones: Collaboration & Digital culture
A company is as good as its people, hence global leaders rely on recruiting & keeping the best talent in their respective fields. As companies adopt new technologies, employees will be required to update their skills to meet the changing technological environment. Collaborative tools help break down barriers between departments, empowering colleagues to share ideas & ask questions, breaking down the hierarchal ‘silo’ mentality. A digital environment encourages continuous learning amongst the employees & as a digital culture develops, so does employee creativity, which leads to innovation. With an increased skillset of the company’s employees, it creates agility and better communication among all the departments in the company.
- Costs, competitors & Coin
By automating various processes, digitization not only improves efficiency but reduces operational cost by up to 20% by providing more control of production & sales processes. This increased efficiency helps maintain a competitive edge because competitors ARE & will continue leveraging technology. With the prevalent world of digitization and continuous transformation of the business environment, the competition will continue to grow & the right tech will allow your business to remain relevant.
Finally, we look at the impact on your bottom line. Because digital transformation enables you to work more efficiently, make better decisions, and improve your customer’s perception of your business, it has a positive effect on profitability.
Digital transformation is not just a mere provision of tools and technologies, but it translates into a profound change in the way companies do, see, and think, which require new ways of approaching the market and the customer, new organizational and managerial structures in the production chain or in the offer of service, and new ways of managing employees. Ultimately, it is about making your business not just profitable, but sustainable.