Digitisation: Future-Proofing for the Better
I am often asked about the key growth areas in IT at present, and one of the biggest for the last while – and not looking to go anywhere – is Digital. Depending on what angle you approach this from, and indeed what sort of business you work within, Digital could have a variety of meanings. For some it indicates marketing – how you are approaching and engaging your customers, online sales campaigns and measuring how successful these are. For those who are perhaps a little further progressed down this path, it is about how digital your business is. Are you still following the same manual business processes that have existed within the business world for the last 100+ years, or are you automating where you can? Are you looking to digital technologies that are currently emerging to see how these could enhance or benefit your current business offering in any way? Are you thinking about innovation, progress and what is coming next to future-proof your business and give you the best opportunities for success moving forwards? It is an important dialogue to have as, whether we like it or not, we live in an age where the adage holds true, if your business doesn’t exist online, does it actually exist at all?
Whilst these scenarios could come from a wide spread of organisations, at their core they are all representing the same idea. That in order to remain relevant and flourish within the current and ever-changing business landscape, all businesses regardless of industry or size, should be looking to digital technologies to improve the way in which they operate. This can mean anything from creating and maintaining active social media profiles; investing in automation software to decrease staff undertaking tedious manual processes; implementing cloud solutions to house your data and improve the speed to retrieve critical information, regardless of where in the world you may be. It may also be closing the gap between your technology team and the wider business, helping them to gain better understanding and appreciation of each other’s functions, and then thinking about how each could help the other out to improve work productivity, enhance customer services, or perhaps even improve work life balance – the list is truly endless.
You may sit there and think, well things have been going well so far, why do I need to jump on this bandwagon? And one easy to recognise example of why this is so important in our current climate is how Retail as a sector has completely changed the way they do business in response to digital technologies. They have been creating online stores in droves, along with warehousing and shipping facilities to fulfil a greater number of orders in a timely manner. Another added benefit here is the ability to provide another layer of customer interaction, support and engagement. Traditional, physical retail spend is on a downward trajectory, however online shopping continues to boom. Online is the way to engage with a much wider audience than just your local geographic area. It is also a means of trading 24/7 without needing to have a physical location open, with staffing and all other associated costs. Now this is just one example, but the implications “going Digital” can have for all businesses are so far ranging that it simply cannot be covered holistically in one blog post.
As a quick overview though, digital can and has been proven to improve work performance, quality of product, quality of customer service, and create scenarios in which more money can be made from fewer resources. Sound worth investing a few more dollars into your IT solutions?