The process of digitisation is fast becoming an essential part of business in the modern world. New businesses that are just starting are assuming digitisation as a key business process from day one. However, many existing businesses face a challenge because they have become used to doing things the way they have always been done and updating their process involves disturbance and a degree of risk. In this modern fast paced world businesses must adapt to stay competitive in the market. Moving to digital is one of the main ways businesses must adapt.
What does it actually mean to take your business to digital?
Moving to digital basically means moving your business information from a hard copy to digital format. It also means that in the future the storage, retrieval and distribution of information is done digitally. The ultimate goal of this process is the paperless office.
Initially it is the process of moving paper records, bookkeeping, invoicing etc. from a mostly manual paper based system to streamlined computer based systems. This can also open up other options to drastically improve your businesses internal operations and customer service.
Increasingly we are seeing that digitisation also means moving some of these processes online. The use of the cloud means that documents can be stored securely and accessed by authorised personnel easily from any device in any location at any time. This also opens the door for online collaboration, improved customer service and less time spent on outdated processes.
Difficulties when transitioning to a digital model
The main difficulty when taking the leap into a digital model is briefly mentioned above, for a business that has been in operation for a long time can have a massive backlog of paper records. Digitising these records can be really time consuming.
This process should be planned and not rushed to reduce the chance of making mistakes that could mean loss of important data.
On top of the extensive amount of work that may need to be done, some employees may resent the changes because either they are stuck in their ways or that they think these changes may leave them without any work to do and ultimately their job will become redundant.
Sometimes the fear that the employees role may disappear is justified as improving business processes can lead to lower the need for human resources. Redundancies may occur unless employees are able to bring value in a different role inside of the business. One of the great improvements in transitioning from a paper based system to a digital system is that processes are streamlined and tasks such as moving paper around the office or going to file storage is no longer necessary.
Improved customer service
If your business has customers or clients(which less face it we all have them even if they are other businesses), transitioning to digital will improve the service level you can offer your customers. Today’s customers expect to be able to get information instantly and interact with businesses online. Anything from shopping, banking or just getting answers to questions are being done though the internet nowadays.
The easier you can make it for your customers to interact with your business the better. Equally digitisation means that you can access information for your customers in an instant, whether it is looking up past purchases or if you have an item in stock is just a keystroke away when your business is running digitally. The smoother you can make the interactions between your business and your customers the more likely they are to either purchase from you again or keep your services on retention.
On top of making the purchasing process easier for the customer digitising information makes it a lot easier to gather and store information about your customers, this information can then be used to better understand your what your customers’ needs are. This information can then be used to better service your customers and grow your market share by understanding your target market.