It is 2017 and if you have not considered digital transformation yet, what are you waiting for? We are in the middle of a technological revolution unlike any other. Storage costs are dropping, broadband speeds are increasing and Moore’s law has been left behind. Change is in the air and if you are not nimble enough to adapt to digital technologies, you will be left behind in this race to the top.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is adapting existing business models, processes and activities to fully utilize digital technology across the board. It involves properly utilizing  digital technologies such as social media, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) in transforming existing activities.

It also involves planning for the future and taking into account future changes in processes/activities that may need to be implemented by your business down the line. The Internet of Things (also known as IoT) as well as cryptocurrencies may sound like buzzwords to you but the fact is that progressive businesses are already leveraging these new technologies to gain a competitive edge.

How to go ahead with digital transformation today?

Any change can be potentially disruptive if not planned properly. That is why you need to take a top down approach to digital transformation, which means that everyone in the company should be involved – from senior management to employees to customer service reps and even your customers.

The first rule of the digital era is to be where your customers are! That makes social media the most obvious place to get started with. It also happens to be the most potent tool in your digital tool kit. Not everyone may know what analytics or the cloud is but almost everyone, without exception, knows what Facebook is. Use these social media platforms to engage with your consumers. Try and forge an emotional connect with your customers. Take sufficient feedback from existing customers to find out exactly how can you improve their overall customer experience. Think of using predictive analytics and use the data you get to sit down and plan better. The more responsive you are to your customer’s demands, the better it will be for your company’s future.

Ensure you are ready for an enterprise wide change

Digital transformation should mean a seamless integration of IT systems and your business goals. This is something a lot of businesses are not able to accomplish, mainly due to systems (and employees) operating in silos. Lack of clear communication between managers and employees who use disparate systems is a major issue in such cases. In case managers and employees still use individual excel workbooks to enter and track data, there will be a chance of miscommunication. Uniform IT systems should be implemented across the company both in customer facing functions and back-end processes. This will allow every individual from the CEO to the Sales Rep get a clear view of any issues which need to be addressed.

Proper implementation of Cyber Security

Going digital also means you need to be careful about cyber security issues. Just having an anti-virus/firewall is not sufficient to protect you today. Take the advice of technical experts to pen down a companywide cyber security policy. Have dedicated system admins to audit whether the cyber security policy has been implemented properly. If needed, modify your current business model to ensure that your company’s intellectual property is protected under all circumstances. Have a proper backup strategy in place to ensure that you can recover your mission critical data in case of a cyber-attack.

Training your employees

Just putting new systems and processes in place will not help you reap the benefits of digital transformation. You need to have proper training plans for all your employees to ensure that they are up to speed with the new ways of doing business. In case you are addressing customer concerns on social media, be sure to train your employees what to say and what not to do. After all, they are representing your organization and you don’t want them to inadvertently say something that you may regret in the future.

Partner with SourceEdge to help with your digital transformation:

Digital transformation can be a tumultuous journey. While you may consider doing it in-house, we would strongly suggest that you use experts to help you with the entire process. Doing so will ensure that you have somebody to call in case you face any issues. SourceEdge has helped many companies of all sizes through their digital transformation efforts. What’s more, being a Microsoft Partner, we follow Microsoft’s best practices to ensure that you are able to digitally transform your business without any disruption. We will work with you at every step to help you put a proper digital transformation strategy in place before implementing any changes.

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