Liberté, égalité, fraternité! The slogan of the French Revolution can be used today as a call to arms for the digital revolution too! Its time to fight for your business, fight for your freedom from the endless drudgery of 24/7 entrepreneurship, equality of resources with the biggest organisations on the planet and fraternity with others of us who have already committed to what ‘transformation’ can do for us. Time to join the digital revolution that been accelerating for the last 10 years, and supercharge what you and your business can do.
I get really frustrated sometimes when I see perfectly good, hardworking business missing out on what technology can do for them. I see people doing things on paper, or using spreadsheets, contact cards, physical files, and even now and again, believe it or not, faxes!
I see ‘systems’ that involve duplication in that there exist paper and electronic copies of records, or ‘systems’ where different stakeholders have discrete records with neither team being able to see the others work and progress. I see multiple ‘systems’ where one part of the business uses one piece of software, and another something completely different. I see ‘systems’ that are more than 10 and sometimes 20 years old. Websites that haven’t been updated for 5 or more years, data that’s being collected to no end, CRM’s that are used for the wrong thing, or only a small part of what they can do.
Worst of all, in today’s hyper-connected world, I see the potential for breach and cyber security threats as a daily occurrence. I’m not exaggerating when I say every business I’ve worked within the last 12 months has already been the victim of some form of cyber breach, usually email related and usually resulting in the company being defrauded in some way.
Its time to get with the times my friends, its time to become a ‘digital’ business in these early days of the 21st century before you run the very real risk of losing out completely, and shutting down, like so many who didn’t change before you.
What IS digital transformation? For me its simple:
- Put the customer first. Redraw your processes by looking at them from the customer’s point of view. This means looking at how easily and quickly they can get to what they need, not how easily can you rejig what you’ve always done to as close an approximation as you can!
- Get informed. Use real-time data to make real-time decisions. Stop guessing and start to research what your customers want, because today, they are surely not afraid to tell you. Either directly, through social media, or even website behaviours, the signs are there for the digital business to monitor and use to make decisions.
- Empower your business with technology. Whether its the latest cloud-based platforms, or the most recent SaaS subscriptions, there are a ton of things out there you can employ to make your life easier and faster. If you have a problem, you can bet someone out there has already fixed it and has made the solution available to everyone.
Know I know what you are thinking… This all sounds fabulously expensive, and do you know, 5 years ago you’d be right. 10 years ago business transformation probably wasn’t available for most businesses outside the elite organisations with multi-million-pound development budgets. But today, its never been cheaper to get ‘digital’. Not only can you know ‘hire’ or subscribe to cloud-based solutions for accountancy or project management or team communications, or a plethora of other clever productivity ‘hacks’, you can even ‘hire’ your infrastructure through Pass or Platform as a service.
These days there’s very few reasons why the average company cannot get a technological solution in place within a few months, that will simply revolutionise the way they do business, and maybe save them from the future.
You may now be thinking ‘where do I start?’ and that’s a great question. There are a number of lenses through which you should look at your business and these solutions that offer a streamlined and cohesive approach to transformation. A theme for transformation if you will.
Business process improvements – look at the processes you already have in the business and look to improve your efficiency and cost-effectiveness
Digital Tax – there is no need to be keeping paper records these days, or let that VAT bill build and build over the year. Quarterly online Vat and cloud-based accountancy systems will revolutionise how you invoice, get paid, and keep records, freeing time for more important things!
GDPR – there is it again, and you thought it had all gone away Looking at your data protection is an ideal way to build these systems from the ground up and has the added advantage of helping you to genuinely put the customer and their rights as they pertain to their data, and therefore how much they trust you right at the forefront of everything you do.
So please, join the fight! No longer persevere with the old an tired ways of running your business, have a look at what technology can do for you. Ask your IT company, or even your web supplier how they can help. Or even better talk to someone like me, a transformation specialist who can not only work with you to identify where you need to go but can also help you bring the rest of your business along for the ride too.