digitlization

It's 2019: Go Digital Or Go Home

Digital innovation is a natural growth process. You can count on the fingers of one hand the companies that have not yet embraced digital technologies in your neighborhood. However, while businesses rely on digital solutions as part of their day-to-day activities, digitalization continues to be perceived as a tool rather than a strategic goal. 

There is no denying that digital technology can not only save time and money in the long term, but it also facilitates interactions at different steps of business processes. However, failure to consider digitalization as a whole makes it difficult for companies to quantify the benefits of innovative solutions and interactive tools.

For small and medium-sized businesses, the need to digitalize processes can cast a threatening shadow over the financial growth. Indeed, enhancing your digital solutions comes at a high cost, which can be a handicap when you’re working with a limited budget. However, when digitalization becomes part of your business strategy, you can not only monitor the direct impact of your investment but also build a company that works better and harder for its customers and employees. Consequently, large-scaled digital investments are more likely to drive a rapid and significant positive ROI, as opposed to segmented and isolated digital enhancements. 

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FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS

Ultimately, today’s customers rely on the digital world to establish the first touchpoint with their trusted companies. They are not only digitally-savvy, but they are also willing to take shortcuts to get in touch with a business. With the digital universe at their fingertips, users operate cross-channels and devices in an effort to speed up their interactions. Ideally, they don’t want to waste time along the process and have no patience for companies that can’t keep up with their use of digital technology. 

Where do I click to buy? 

Cashless payments are nothing new. The rise of ecommerce businesses encourages more and more online payments. However, brick and mortar shops still have to make cashless transactions a priority. Indeed, small boutiques, craft fairs, and even food markets struggle to move away from a cash-only policy. Card payments are an integral part of your customers’ daily lives.

Additionally, more and more customers choose to manage all their transactions through their phones, relying on mobile payments such as Apple Pay or even Paypal when shops provide the option. In a day and age where most people are more likely to carry a smartphone than a wallet, it is foolish not to adapt to your customers’ preferences. 

Don’t slow down customer service

Your customers tend to turn to social media when they want to engage in a direct conversation with a brand. From responding to your posts to asking for help with a transaction issue, social media is the new customer service platform. However, if you’re going to make the most of your presence on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you want to figure out how to extract meaningful data to guide your online activities.

Vanity metrics, for instance, are a marketing obsession that fails to drive any valuable strategy. Indeed, you can use social media insights to identify customers’ issues and engagement. Online reactions and mentions can help you to identify problematic products or target groups, for instance, and to refocus your efforts. 

Keep the interaction intuitive

Videos are one of the most engaging media formats. But, if you are going to make the most of a vlog, you need to enhance the interactive features. Videos allow your brand to build a direct connection with the audience. Maintaining the relationship is crucial to immerse potential customers into a branded environment of your creation. Therefore, clickable links in the video and branching patterns can preserve the interaction. If at any point, a user has to leave the video to find out more about your products or your brand, the positive effect is likely to disappear. 

FOR YOUR TEAM

Your team works in a high-paced environment. It makes no doubt that the implementation of digital solutions in the workplace is designed to support the hectic challenges of a typical workday. Therefore, the digitalization process needs to maximize productivity by offering your employees a reliable and supportive network of technologies. The purpose is to allow everybody to move smoothly through their day-to-day tasks by eliminating friction, inaccuracy, and delays. 

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Free your database from slow processes

Your database is at the core of your business processes. Enabling not only rapid but constant access is a priority to manage your operations, in terms of online transaction processing, data warehousing, database workloads. However, when the development technology you rely on is over 30 years old, as it is the case for Oracle Forms, it’s time to consider replacement options.

If you are still debating how to proceed between safe Oracle Forms migration and total modernization, for instance, you might need to consider the impact on your team. Indeed, an automated migration platform could modernize your solution and integrate with most modern tech your company needs. On the other hand, moving away from forms means the costly conversion of applications and screens. 

Collaborate in real time

Your team needs to work collaboratively on a variety of projects. However, the most common collaboration tool used in companies remains the email message, which is costing valuable time to your employees. Instead, you need to consider tools that let you set deadlines, manage tasks, and maintain cross-team communication in one place. Cooperative interfaces, such as Slack or Asana, favorize a quick and smooth organization while embracing real-time comments. 

Click to invoice in real-time

Your customers want to click to pay. Similarly, your accounting team doesn’t want to waste precious time designing bills and keeping the team informed. Online invoicing is not a novelty, yet small businesses have been slow to adopt digital financial features. Ultimately, the processes of billing, managing your CRM data, following-up unpaid invoices, and checking your stocks don’t need to be separated. Keeping all financial information in one place gives back control to your team. 

The process of digitalization is wrongly criticized as a costly investment. However, for SMEs, digitalizing business operations and building actionable strategies for your team and customers can not only save you time and money in the long term but also gives you a competitive edge in a busy market. At a time when you can’t afford to miss an opportunity, digital technology can free up your teams to focus on what they do best.