As we pass the halfway mark of this series it is a good time to ask the question about when and how?
If you have read the previous parts of the series, I hope you agree by now that digital transformation is inevitable and necessary, but you may be unsure of the urgency. Maybe sales are strong, your customers are happy, your employees are productive, and now doesn’t seem like the time to embark on a resource-intensive project that will shake up your operations.
There are a few reasons to embrace the digital future sooner rather than later.
- Engaged employees. Disengaged employees costs world wide economies trillions of rands each year. Digital businesses empower employees through transparency, learning opportunities, and open communication. By providing employees with data (something 90% of employees want, according to a recent survey in the MIT Sloan Management Review), businesses can track and improve their performance. It has been proven that engaged employees have a direct impact on your revenue. If you are in business to make money, surely you would want to increase your revenue right? Start with your employee engagement.
- Increased profits. Businesses can expect to grow revenues by 23% as a result of adopting digital strategies like using data to make smart decisions and training employees in emerging technologies. Not only are you driving revenue up, but also driving costs down by digitising processes, operational automation, data driven decisions and the list just goes on.
- Greater resilience. New technologies will continue to shake up customer expectations and processes. A digital business builds resilience by replacing rigid structures and inflexible processes with a workplace culture and infrastructure that can respond and adapt to new demands. This is especially true if you are a B2C business. Customer expectations are growing as fast as technology. In fact I will go so far and say that in some cases consumer expectations grow faster than technology which is the very reason for the technology growth in the first place. Technology growth exists to satisfy the crazy fast growing needs of the consumer.
- Avoiding the competency trap. Many companies assume that their current success (and the methods that enable it) will continue indefinitely. Then they end up scrambling to adapt when it stops working. You’ll have to change eventually, and waiting until you have to, means you’ll be making decisions for short-term survival rather than long-term growth. You will be playing catch up for a while, that will change to hanging on for dear life and soon the crash will hit you like a fast moving train. You could have been on the train had you acted early enough.