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The way we live, work and do business is changing due to rapid developments in science and technology. Digital technologies will almost certainly drive productivity, innovation and competition.
Digitalisation is when digital technologies are used to boost revenue and growth by changing a business model - people often confuse this with digitisation, which is the process of converting an object, data or image into an electronic format.
Currently, digitalisation is the focal point in the business community as companies increasingly rank it as their number one priority. It is no longer a matter of whether a business should digitalise, but it is a matter of when. Those companies that don’t digitalise will struggle surviving another five years.
Most businesses understand that there is a world of opportunity to automate their business. However, many don’t know how to do this – digital automation is the key.
First, take time to review your business plan and take advice from professionals and those that have digitised their business. Look at how digitisation can not only improve customer engagement, but also production, marketing and sales. Ask yourself: Who is our client? Who is our competition? What do they think of the paper processes in place? Is it irritating for them to read and fill out? Is it time-consuming for our staff to develop those documents? Only then can you consider who can assist you in digitising your business.
The apparent long-term plan is to operate your business with the least expense and effort. In the short term, it will involve expenditure. You might need to pay for new technology or even train your team on these new systems and processes and it can be costly if you consider recruiting in-house experts. A very simple cost-analysis will allow you to justify your purchases and determine whether the costs outweigh the long-term benefits.
Always communicate with those around you in the workplace when implementing change. Informing employees that the business is converting to cloud-based computing because it will bring a host of opportunities, allowing for greater collaboration and flexibility will allay the fear of change. After all, digitalisation is not a destination. It is a journey.
Digital transformation is revolutionising every industry. Initially, the legal sector was slow to adopt digital transformation as they handle highly confidential information. With new and improved cloud security, most law firms have learnt to embraced digital technologies due to the tremendous time and cost savings. Document automation tools have allowed them to create wills, NDAs and privacy policies just by clicking a few buttons, for instance.
Financial industries have digitalised in many ways. Digital tools are more efficient and are essentially immune from errors and more importantly, they don't sleep. RPA (robotic process automation) drastically reduces manual work and rework. Consequently, the reduction of staff deducts the cost. Furthermore, Digital technologies enhance decision making. Access to better and more current information means that financial teams can analyse data more effectively and issues such as fraud and non-payment can be easily identified. Prior to going digital, fraud would have to be identified using labour-intensive methods such as manually looking up addresses and calling customers.
Other sectors such as mining and healthcare have also digitalised their services. Harnessing technology is central to improve health and safety. Autonomous equipment is used in these fields to identify problems that cannot be seen by the human eye. Furthermore, having up-to-date information at your fingertips is invaluable as it drives decision making, resulting in fast execution.
Digital technologies have undoubtedly transformed industries immensely.