For the last number of years –decades – the world has slowly been moving towards the digital sphere. We saw ‘slowly’ because it has been slow. What we mean by this is that only a few people have decided to adopt digital. For example, eCommerce stores were the exception rather than the rule. People preferred to set up a bricks-and-mortar shop as opposed to an online one as they felt that the physical store was more prestigious than the online one.
Fast-forward to 2020 when Covid-19 put an end to people wandering around malls and gathering in large groups of people. Business faced a stark reality: they needed to take their business online or close their doors. It was that simple.
However, the challenge was that they weren’t able just to put their offline policies, processes and procedures online. They had to create an experience for their customers which was that same as what they would expect in offline. Rather than digitisation, businesses had to undergo a process of phygitalisation. The divide that exists between the digital and physical worlds needed to be bridged.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is all about integrating technology into all parts of your business. This integration of technology fundamentally changes how to operate and deliver value to your customers. Note that digital transformation is not about changing what your business does. It’s about changing how your business does what it does.
To illustrate, take Uber. It changed how the taxi market operates by providing drivers with a platform through which they could acquire customers to give lifts to. This is as opposed to you calling a taxi company’s switchboard and them radioing out of all of their taxi drivers to see who was in the areas.
The output of the business is the same – people who need lifts get to where they want to go. Thus, one can say that Uber is a digitally transformed business.
Tech For A Digitally Transformed Business
There is so much phenomenal technology out there that it is hard to keep up and very easy to buy something that you don’t need. So before you make any purchases, you need to go back to the core of what your business does:
- What is your vision?
- What is your mission?
- What are your deliverables?
Then see how you can offer your deliverables to customers in a digital world. Change the processes but don’t change the outputs. For example, if you’re a clothing store and you relied on foot traffic for the majority of your sales, set up an app and an eCommerce store so that you can market your goods through this. Get customers’ orders delivered to them quickly so that they have the same instant gratification experience of deciding to buy clothes and being able to walk out of the shop with them.
Even after Covid-19 has de-escalated from pandemic status, many companies have said that they are going to keep with a hybrid business model. While people will be slowly trickling back to the office, there will still be a large component of business that is conducted online as people have come to prefer this method of doing business. For starters, it’s much cheaper as people don’t have to travel to meet with one another.
So take some time to see how you can digitally transform your business as it’s the way that the world has gone.