You can’t quickly find information about the buying habits of your top customers because all your records are manual and searching them is time-consuming. You are losing orders because your customers can’t find your business online. You know business automation is the right move to make but where do you start?
First, let’s define the differences between computer technology tools that can be implemented:
- Digitization: Converting documents, ledgers, and other paperwork into digital formats by reducing paper clutter and improving efficiency making information easier to store, search, and find.
- Digitalization: Automating processes for better outcomes and greater value by reducing administrative costs, eliminating errors, and increasing speed.
- Digital Transformation: Doing different processes or doing them in fundamentally different ways through enterprise-wide automation and modernization, game-changing restructuring of balance sheets and assets, or new business models and revenue streams to produce dramatic changes in product and service offerings, competitiveness, and performance.
But how do you know which option you should consider? If you have a strategic vision of what you want your business to look like, operate like or be sometime in the future, you can take that strategy and apply technologies to achieve it. How you make capital expenditures will have a direct impact on what you can achieve.
Setting a direction for your business to pursue is great and helps you prioritize expenditures. That’s not all that’s needed to make your vision come to life. Communication to your team, correcting or changing business processes, addressing workforce skills needs, and a multitude of other actions will become part of the success of your project, regardless of which digital option you employ.
Other considerations will arise that will affect your business model, like is IT an internal staffing solution or do you take advantage of services from third parties. What impacts will the chosen digital solution have on your business continuity plan or business disaster preparedness plan? If you’re moving to new technology in your business, are there seasonal business cycles that make a “go live” decision more difficult than others?
If you are planning to implement a technology solution in your business and you don’t know where to begin, having an advocate or mentor provide guidance to the questions listed above is a good first step.
The implementation of new technology can be a substantial benefit to your business. Confirming your strategic vision and applying technology solutions to it with the help of a mentor can be the best method for getting your business on a growth trajectory and moving toward next-level sales and profits.