by Vlad de Ramos |
“Going digital” aren’t mere buzzwords. Instead, it’s a must for your business and a necessary upgrade in today’s fast-paced environment where companies seek out IT consulting services for assistance. Your customers and employees, individually, have gone digital themselves. These are the people that you’re trying to reach out to, and without a proper digital transformation, you’ll risk lagging behind. From social, mobile, cloud to data analytics, you want your business to be able to employ the best of digital technologies in order to remain competitive or maybe even get a leg up on the competition.
On the surface, yes, it might seem intimidating and yes, it is challenging. But as with any challenge that your business has faced through the years, measures could be taken to smoothen the process. As always, arming yourself with the proper knowledge is an important step—and you can, take that first step today with some of my tips on taking your business digital, listed below.
Step 1: Identify Digital Customers
When you started your business, you most likely mapped out the consumers and customers that you plan to reach out to. You identified them. Now, you’re going to identify them again, but this time, paying specific attention to how they make use of digital technologies, and how these digital technologies might relate to your business.
Step 2: Invest in a Digital Strategy
You can’t be half-assed. You have to dive in completely to ensure the success of your digital transformation. You have to have a general plan discussing the transition to digital from the start to a clear endpoint. How do you shape the business in such a way that it could be part of the life of a digital consumer? You’ll need to be able to sell this clear digital vision—an outline of digital tools and how these tools might enhance the business—to the higher-ups as well, and garner their support.
Step 3: Adopt New Digital Revenue Models
Your business currently have modes of income making use of traditional avenues. Now, the challenge not only stems from making a presence online; the challenge also involves how your business can open up new revenue streams using digital technologies. Be on the forefront when it comes to new payment models that your consumers are adopting.
Step 4: Identify and Embrace Risks
Just like any big business move, the shift to digital carries with it its own set of risks. Any business owner will tell you that risks are part of any sort of movement. Especially with the new equipment, manpower, and expertise that comes with a digital transformation, there are inherent “pitfalls” that come with it. The key is in assessing the risks, and knowing when to weather them or when to cut your losses and select a new, more apt digital strategy.
Step 5: Find the Right IT Partner
You’re charting new territory when undergoing a digital transformation. So it pays to have someone that could help guide you through the process. Understand that your own in-house talents can only take you so far. At one point, you’ll need expert assistance from IT consulting services to strengthen digital aspects that your company is weak at.
Step 6: Listen and Engage
Digital tools are changing all the time along with the way that people use these tools. So, even if you’ve maximize the current potential of digital offerings, you should always keep a close ear on how the digital landscape is evolving. Is there a new tool that people are using? Listen to your customers, and give them ways to engage in meaningful conversation with your business. Their comments and feedback could greatly shape your company’s digital strategy in a positive way.
Step 7: Measure
Your efforts have to be measured. How will you know if your digital transformation is headed in the right direction if you don’t have numbers to back up the improvements? Routinely collect data about your digital transformation efforts and analyze how your efforts have affected the overall business.
Step 8: Continuous Improvement on Process and People
Once you’ve reached a point that you just have to maintain your digital profiles and online portfolios, don’t rest on your laurels. As we’ve said a couple times in this write-up, digital technologies move fast. And you have to move with it. That’s why you need to have a program that’s conducive to the constant education and re-education of employees. You’ll want people to be vigilant in seeking out new ways to address potential deficiencies in your digital offerings. Keep researching and keep improving!
The transition to digital platforms could be a big, scary task. But this change must be embraced, or else you’ll lose relevance to your consumer. Dive in, know the risks, and invest in a comprehensive strategy. With the help of IT consulting services and your own dedication to digital efforts, you’ll be able to make your shift to digital worlds smoother.
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Vlad de Ramos is the General Manager – ACSI (www.aim.ph), an IT consulting firm in Makati City, Philippines.