Applying a digital transformation strategy to internal processes can have a significant impact on a business, greatly improving efficiency and performance, resulting in a reduction in costs and an increase in profitability.
The key aspect here is the management and manipulation of business data. Each department and employee needs to have access to real-time, relevant data to achieve this. However, far too many businesses have department or system silos with data stored on various databases contained within a wide range of business systems – accounting, CRM, ERP, HR, product development.
These systems often lack the integration required to share and use the data to best advantage. Organisations therefore don’t benefit from the business intelligence and strategic insight available that can help drive the organisation forward.Embracing system and data integration will enable business to bridge the gap between systems and applications, providing an environment in which they can talk to each other. This will help reduce process bottlenecks and remove repetitive data entry tasks, thus having a significant impact on efficiency.
The benefits of automation
Automating processes in daily operations such as order management, fulfilment, invoicing, cash collection and expense approvals enables businesses to eliminate manual data inputting and each system can utilise real-time data.
This will boost the capacity of a business, as staff and business processes become quicker and more efficient. It will also enable businesses to redeploy staff to higher-value activities to help the business innovate and grow and help avoid new hires that would otherwise be required to manage these processes.
With full integration between systems, every department will have access to the most up-to-date information, which will enable them to perform their jobs better as well as explore new growth opportunities and improvements to procedures.
This is particularly relevant for the marketing department which will be able to analyse all the data available in order to deliver effective campaigns and content that customers are looking for. Much of this can also be automated, thus improving response times and making sure that the message is timely and relevant.
To achieve this, however, organisations need to understand the habits of consumers and deliver the information via the channels that they are using – which, as we know, is now mostly digital: apps, online eCommerce stores, social media, etc. Even email is still a useful and effective medium.
Digital technology provides organisations with the platform for innovation and the ability to explore new opportunities. Application development is becoming much easier with platforms available to quickly and easily develop apps, system extensions and web portals with little or no code at all. This flexibility ensures that businesses can react quickly to changes and allows them the scalability that is required during growth periods.
The mobile future
With remote working becoming more commonplace, and sales and field workers requiring instant access to data and information wherever they are located, digital transformation has become essential. Mobiles, laptops and tablet devices all need to be connected to a central server and provide access to relevant information.
In fact, mobile devices are becoming more widely used within an organisation itself, whether this is by the sales team, in the warehouse or at companies who adopt a hot desk philosophy. Collaboration and networking tools have also started to become essential within this environment, as it allows salespeople and frontline staff to identify experts and get questions answered in real time.
There are many avenues that organisations can explore and experiment with digital transformation. Whether it is the way internal business processes are implemented, the way people work and collaborate, or the way in which you communicate and serve customers, there are huge benefits to be gained. Ultimately though, any strategy needs a strong vision, complete buy-in from the entire organisation and the leadership to carry it through.