How Traditional Business Practices Are Becoming Digitised

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The four technology megatrends of mobile, cloud computing, big data and social networking have each had a transformative impact on traditional business operations in recent years and have driven a new wave of digitisation for modern enterprises. Tech adoption and digital transformation strategies are enabling organisations to eschew outdated and inefficient practices in favour of intuitive and scalable digital activities. Those implementing tech effectively are now able to create innovative products, services and models faster and deliver an exceptional customer experience while optimizing and streamlining operations across the business.

Digital disruption

It is fair to say that digital has been a disruptive influence for enterprises due to the wholesale changes required to take advantage of emerging tech and connected infrastructures. A survey by Capgemini Consulting found that just seven percent of companies have become “truly” digital and that many still lack “digital dexterity”. While leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive computing, cloud services and mobile can bring huge benefits to internal operations, it is not possible to realise the full potential of these developments without establishing a tech focused culture. Capgemini’s Didier Bonnet believes the proliferation of digital will continue evolve over the years. He added: “It will require major surgery to evolve our traditional industrial organizational models into digital ones.”

Collaboration

Before the advent of the internet, collaboration across the business was laborious and time consuming. Now there is a huge variety of tools and software such as teleconferencing and messaging services empowering a new wave of communication anytime, anywhere. When combined with the emergence of mobile and bring-your-own-device initiatives, employees are now able to work seamlessly in real time on important projects. File sharing sites such as Dropbox also facilitate easy sharing of important data and information. Digital has streamlined workflows and made it much easier for employees to access and make use of the data and information they need to perform their job roles effectively. Agile working, social collaboration and enterprise collaboration are all aspects of the digital revolution.

Accounting and CRM

It is now possible for businesses to create and sign important documentation over the internet. Software tools such as invoicehome.com offer bespoke invoice template samples that can be used to bill clients quickly and efficiently. These tools are being supplemented by cloud applications and other software that can calculate tax and other important financial obligations. Digital has also transformed customer relationship management (CRM) and the ways in which brands and end users interact with each other. Starbucks was one of the first major players to launch a mobile application payment option and it is now considered just one of the key touch points brands need to drive revenue while catering for and reaching new consumers.

E-commerce

The B2C buying cycle has certainly been disrupted by the advent of digital practices. Customers now expect convenience across the entire sales funnel and require fast loading and intuitive online experiences to purchase products. More than three quarters of B2C marketers believe they lead the way when it comes to digital commerce so it is important to make online shopping easy for everyone. Traditional businesses need an online presence now and keeping pace with advances with other processes such as SEO will ensure they maximise their visibility.

Marketing

Marketing was once the realm of static billboards and offline ads but the digital age has brought a near limitless array of channels and tools to take advantage. A modern marketer must be well versed in organic and paid social media, email marketing, programmatic advertising, website testing and more. Social is one of the four megatrends and has had perhaps the biggest impact on marketing during the last decade. Enterprises are now required to manage social platforms on Facebook and Twitter to engage with customers and this requires the use of regular written and video content to broaden exposure and reach. Traditional marketing still has its place when linked effectively with digital practices but the latter is the focus for organisations targeting digital transformation.

Decision making

Digital has driven more insightful and relevant decision making following the recent rise of big data and analytics. Enterprises are now not only collecting, storing and managing their data effectively but are now using open source software frameworks such as Hadoop to analyse and make sense of it to inform critical decisions. One often cited drawback of digital is data security and the threat of attacks and hacks remains one of the biggest challenges for organisations today. Those that favour more traditional offline methods have an advantage here but they are forgoing the huge increase in computing processing power that could help to drive competitive advantage.

Traditional business practices will never be the same again and modern enterprises need to do everything they can to prioritise digital transformation to get ahead.