Things have changed. Some have changed for good, and there’s no going back. The post-pandemic world has shown that some businesses can thrive and grow while others will do well just to survive. As disruptive technologies and companies compete for and raise customer expectations, there’s never been a more relevant time to consider digital transformation benefits.
So What is Digital Transformation, and Why?
At its core, we’re talking about digital business transformation. It means connecting more effectively with your digital customers by transforming your business for the digital age (not just technological change for change’s sake).
Adopting a digital-first approach has speed and nimbleness, and using new technology will create lean operations, leaving people free to do more complex tasks. However, it won’t look the same for every business.
Adopting a digital transformation strategy is a wide net. It is often the realignment of business practices to include new technology, models and processes, which includes both customers and employees. It’s a shift in the organisational approach of a business providing more value to the business model and a better experience for your customer.
The New Normal Speeds up Digitisation
The pandemic managed to fundamentally change everything, practically overnight. Face-to-face were replaced by Zoom, Teams meetings, and Social Media. Reliance on footfall pivoted as the likes of McDonald’s increased their association with food delivery operators to release their products.
With the world working remotely, it also meant a collective shift in how marketing, sales and customer interaction took place within the business and the service industry. This has meant serious structural changes to operations. Internal responsibilities and roles changed, some were lost, and others created.
As the markets changed rapidly. The retail environment shifted to online almost immediately, and those that were not ready paid the price, for instance, Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group. On the flip side, those who had invested in automated warehousing, like Amazon, were quick to step into the vacuum left behind by the collective echo of high street shops all locking up at once.
Benefits of Digital Transformation
Combine a shift in consumer habits and customer experience with disruptive digital technology like Uber, and it produces a fundamental change in the way entire sectors operate from taxis, scooter hire, ride-sharing to car rental services. It feels like we have gone past the point of returning to what was normal before.
Transitioning from outdated processes to enable new technology can help expand the service offering of any business in any sector. But the benefits go deeper:
- Enables organisations to counter potential competition from disruptive technology startups
- Investment focus from existing IT to new projects/innovation
- Digitisation enables trackable metrics and data analysis to improve marketing efforts
- Digital transformation strategies enhance the consumer experience
- Ensures business stays nimble, lean and reactive to changing market conditions.
What Business Issues are you Going to Face?
Some of the biggest business issues have been put into the spotlight because of the pandemic:
According to the World Economic Forum, the key to recovery is business growth. The EU is investing €827 billion in rebuilding business infrastructure to reignite and modernise the European economy. At the forefront of this investment is digitisation, with the EU estimating it will add up to €2.5 trillion to the European economy in 2025.
Your customer’s behaviour has changed. Face the facts. But the key question is likely ‘what behaviours have changed for good and which ones are likely to revert to pre-pandemic norms?’ COVID-19 proved that business needs to think on its feet and react quickly. The future came early, and it was not happy.
[A report from the McKinsey Global Institute offers a “stickiness” index of shifting behaviours from 2020.]
Since the EU lockdown measures, it was widely estimated there had been a 57% decline in daily carbon emissions. With this shift to remote working, it has meant savings in facilities management and reduced travel, helping to produce a cleaner environment. Aligning any potential new green policies with a more streamlined digital strategy is key to ensuring international and national environmental targets are met.
Whether this is automation processes in the workplace like employee analytics and hiring processes or batch automation for production in manufacturing, digitisation is at its heart. In the construction industry, it is now possible to deliver large structural elements in one piece.
Using pre-digitisation to produce precision assembly on-site, automation processes are capable of tracking large construction elements. This involves specification, design, procurement, assembly, quality control and finally, handover. All of which ultimately benefits the end-user.
The pandemic meant our lifestyle and purchasing behaviours changed overnight. Post-covid business trends highlight the need for the shift to automation and digitalisation. However, a recent McKinsey report confirms that 65 percent of retailers still base their decisions on their brick-and-mortar performance.
But when consumers are choosing where to go based on digital offerings, that’s a sure-fire recipe for disaster. In light of the Arcadia downfall, digital transformation is more important than ever for market relevance.
Following several successful digital transformation initiatives conducted throughout the pandemic, the team at Alcimi are well-positioned to help you optimise your digital presence and solve your business problems with technology. Our in-depth business analysis will enable you to execute a seamless digital transformation for both your employees and technology.