Almost a third of workers believe their company is “stuck in the past” due to using old technology, according to a poll from Virgin Media O2.
Businesses that continue to rely on outdated technology and slow processes can’t hope to match the profits and productivity of businesses that embrace new digital technologies, with 27% of companies saying digital transformation is a matter of survival, according to the Digital Marketing Institute.
If your business hasn’t made any digital improvements as of late, chances are you’re working with outdated processes and missing out on serious revenue growth.
What is a digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of replacing legacy technology with more modern, more efficient digital alternatives.
It’s a company-wide initiative that demands input and collaboration between all departments so that the progress can be accurately measured in each area the technology has an impact.
This way, issues in individual departments can be investigated and changes can be made to improve the digital transformation strategy moving forward.
Eventually, the plan is for the entire company to become a smooth-running digital operation.
How digital transformation can help businesses succeed in the digital age
Here are some specific examples of the ways new technologies adopted through digital transformation can contribute to a business’s success.
Avoid the dangers of obsolete technology
While established technology feels like a safety net when you’ve been using it for a long time, it can prove to be a danger rather than a helping hand in some cases.
This is the case for traditional phone lines. In 2025, Openreach will be switching off the analogue network British phones have been using for decades, in a move that’s being called the ‘PSTN switch-off.’
Which means people and businesses that are still using phone systems hooked up to the PSTN will need to move to digital systems, or lose connectivity with their customers and colleagues completely.
This is a clear example of where dated technology we’re too comfortable with could soon cause a nightmare.
But VOIP is a suitable solution.
VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) converts analogue voice signals into digital signals through the internet, meaning they can be easily shared and transferred.
Your business can’t hope to succeed if you’re still using the old phone lines to power your phone systems, because these lines will be utterly useless come 2025.
However, by switching to VOIP, you’d be giving your business the communication and connectivity it needs to thrive, internally and externally.
Streamline processes for more efficient work
Inefficient processes are costing businesses millions of hours of manpower globally every year.
Employees switch between different applications up to 1200 times a day, amounting to up to four hours of work lost every week, according to Harvard Business Review.
With so many methods of communication, it can be easy for work to become lost and important data being misplaced within the wrong platform.
However, businesses can avoid the rigmarole of having their employees constantly hop between platforms by investing in UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service).
UCaaS systems allow businesses to bring all of their modes of communication – voice, text, messaging, video – all under one platform that’s easily accessible by all employees.
This way, there’s no need to waste time toggling between platforms, when everything is readily available in a single app that can be opened on virtually any digital device.
The boost in productivity and the savings made as a result of UCaaS will help businesses rise above their competitors who aren’t taking advantage of the same tech.
Adapt quickly to stay on top of sudden movements
Whatever business you’re in, markets can be volatile and sudden changes in direction can leave many businesses struggling to keep up.
For example, a sudden boost in the popularity of a particular product may force a business’s hand, leaving them in desperate need of extra stock numbers.
But because they didn’t have access to suitable digital technology, they weren’t able to prepare for the move, meaning they don’t have enough stock to meet the demand.
This leaves them with a loss of profits and a lot of unhappy customers.
However, businesses that utilise data analytics don’t have this issue.
Data analytics can give you a live view of key figures in your business, like purchases and stock numbers, allowing you to take note of any unexpected turns, so you can react faster and keep your business on track.
What makes modern data analytics systems even more impressive is that they’re able to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) to offer even more accurate results.
In this case, the AI can examine previous customer data to make accurate predictions about customer activity in the future. Meaning businesses can preemptively make decisions to best serve the needs of their customers before they’ve even lifted the phone or gone on the website.
59% of companies say they’re moving forward with the use of advanced and predictive analytics, according to MicroStrategy.
So, if your business isn’t taking advantage of data analytics to boost your success, you’re in the minority and should consider how it could help your business.
Improve accessibility to data and remote working
In February 2022, 84% of workers who were forced to work from home because of the pandemic said they planned to continue with a hybrid working model, according to the Office of National Statistics.
With working from home becoming far more prevalent, many businesses have been happy to adopt home and hybrid working as a method of keeping employees satisfied, as well as raising productivity.
Those who work from home, either partly or full-time, enjoy better productivity than working in an office environment, according to a study from Ergotron. So it’s no wonder a lot of businesses are comfortable with this.
If all your company data is housed locally in your office, remote employees are confined to the information they have to hand on their laptops or mobile devices.
This limits productivity, rather than enhancing it, but cloud systems make this a non-issue.
With cloud systems, all of your business’s data and programs are stored in the cloud and are accessible easily via the internet, meaning employees can get hold of essential data from virtually anywhere, anytime.
As long as they have a suitable digital device (most laptops, phones and tablets) and a steady internet connection, they’ll be able to fulfil their functions just as well as if they were in the office.
And if the above statistics are to be believed, they may even do a better job working from home.
Cloud systems also remove the need for bulky hard drives and servers taking up space in your office, which can be an eyesore and very expensive to run and maintain.
Keep up with more demanding customer expectations
The convenience digital technology offers have given rise to a generation of customers who expect exemplary and speedy service from the beginning.
90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when dealing with customer service, according to HubSpot, so businesses can’t afford to let old technology spoil their chances of delivering great customer service in as little time as possible.
But that’s exactly what happens when customers end up on hold for long periods.
Having to wait to speak to an agent is one of the most frustrating parts of the customer service experience.
Not only do customers need to listen to terrible music on a loop, but they’re also unable to remain productive and carry on with their day-to-day tasks for fear of missing the agent when they answer.
So if your business only allows customers to reach out to you via phone, you need to explore other options.
CCaaS (Contact Centre as a Service) is a viable option.
For businesses that are still manning an old-fashioned call centre with rows of agents doing nothing but answering calls, CCaaS is a revolutionary move.
It offers businesses the specific technology they need to transform their call centres into fully operational and modern contact centres, with various communication channels customers can use to get in touch, such as voice, instant chat and more.
Customers who don’t want to pick up the phone and would prefer to “speak” with an agent from the comfort of their phone or laptop can simply join a text conversation with an agent via live chat, who can help answer their important queries.
Alternatively, automated chatbots do a great job as well.
Instead of a live agent having to deal with a customer query, automated chatbots can provide a human-like experience for the customer via text, while still being able to offer important business information like order updates and product details.
Some of the more intelligent chatbots can even fulfil full orders, too, making them a must-have for businesses that want to save time and money and boost the productivity of their contact centre workforce.
With 38% of customers willing to spend more with companies that offer live chat and chatbot options, according to Crazy Egg, onboarding these services for your customers could prove to be the difference in your future customer service efforts.
Digital transformation will indeed require some upfront investment to bring in new technology and train staff to use it effectively, transformations are intended to be a cost-saving and cash-generating measure in the long run.
56% of CEOs say digital transformation has led to revenue growth, according to Gartner, meaning businesses that successfully undergo a digital transformation will lose cash in the short term, but gain it all back and more as the transformation takes hold.
Plus, some digital transformation technologies are designed to help businesses save cash more clearly than others.
In the case of UCaaS, businesses can avoid spending hefty sums on monthly subscription services, because the service provides all the communication methods a company needs under a single banner.
So instead of having seemingly endless monthly subscriptions leaving your account, you could condense everything into a single paid plan that covers everything your business needs.
By moving to the cloud and implementing UCaaS, a business will cut IT costs by 30% to 50%, according to Understanding Ecommerce.
If your business wants to enjoy greater financial success, a digital transformation will help you get there.
Will you make the most of digital transformation to succeed?
With 89% of businesses adopting digital-first strategies, according to the same report above by Gartner, it’s clear embracing new technologies is considered by many to be an essential component in future business success.
Passionate Writer, Blogger and Amazon Affiliate Expert since 2014.