Making a digital transformation results in a business being more aligned with customer demands and resilient in the fast-moving digital future. It doesn’t matter whether the company sells software or stones: Digital transformation is for everyone.

IDC forecasts worldwide spending on technologies and services that enable digital transformation will reach $1.97 trillion in 2022. Source: (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide. Driving this growth is the opportunity for businesses to realize a strong return on investment, through improving efficiency, gaining a competitive advantage, and providing a better customer experience.

How digital transformation applies to Small to Mid-size businesses

Digital Transformation is the process of making changes to take advantage of information presented in a digital format. These changes include automating processes and collecting/understanding data. As a result, new products and services are made possible because digital technology helps enable a business to adapt successfully to customer expectations. Digital transformation varies widely based on organization’s specific challenges and demands. However, there are a few common themes that all business should consider as they embark on digital transformation.  

Common digital transformation themes include:

  • Leadership commitment with desire to build a stronger company culture
  • Seeking an improved customer experience
  • Companywide operational agility
  • Workforce empowerment
  • Digital technology integration

Leadership

The most successful digital transformations occur when the organization is supportive and fully onboard with the effort. Leadership needs to be motivated to help the organization understand why and the benefits of what is being accomplished.

Three groups of employees may require special attention and motivation to embrace a digital transformation: old-timers, by-the-book players, and lone wolves. Businesses should consider both digital experience and behavioral preferences of each employee group and accommodate different starting points and realistic end points that fit different groups.

Keep it simple with focus

  1. Confront employees’ concerns head-on.

Most employees are set in their ways: In a SMB Group study, 27 percent of leaders cited their team’s resistance to change as a top challenge. To make the change go as smoothly as possible, talk to employees about why the company is moving in a digital direction.

Some employees worry that digital transformation will eventually cost them their jobs. Business Wire reports 35 percent of millennials share that concern. Show employees how new tools (such as electronic document capture and management) will make their jobs easier but not redundant. Lastly, make sure to offer training to employees for any new technologies.

  1. Plan a strategy that provides a return on investment (ROI).

Pennies saved are pennies earned, even for companies with growth goals. Before taking on heavy debt to tackle grand opportunities, consider how digital transformation could make existing processes cheaper and easier. For example, implementing an electronic document management system will bring value to unstructured hidden data in paper documents, and workflow automation to existing processes. The result is fewer errors, improved efficiency, and a better customer experience.

  1. Work with someone who has been there, done that.

The SMB Group reports over 75 percent of SMBs view digital transformation with optimism or excitement. Don’t wait for the competition to make the first move — find a technology partner with experience in the right areas.

By outsourcing, SMBs can maximize their resource pools and only pay for the aspects of digital transformation offering the greatest impact.

A good technology partner will recommend in-budget solutions that are compatible with a business’s infrastructure and goals.

Time to get started

Customer experience is quickly overtaking price and product as the key brand differentiator. Customers are the backbone of any organization, so how you engage them has a massive impact on your business. That’s why, when aiming for a digital transformation, you should focus on customer engagement and empowerment. Additional benefits of improving customer relationships include:

  • Improved revenue growth: Engaged customers result in repeat business
  • Positive brand image: Positive customer experiences lead to brand boosting word-of-mouth promotion
  • Better customer retention and acquisition: Happy customers remain loyal and help you acquire new customers

The next step

Contact eBizDocs to discuss your digital transformation goals and challenges. We will help build the digital transformation framework that’s right for you.