We catch up with Matt Hunt, CEO of Apadmi Enterprise, who shares his thoughts on digital transformation in our latest guest blog.
What do we actually mean when we talk about the process of digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the adaptation of a digital strategy and ensuring the implementation of that strategy is integrated into your business. It can mean anything from establishing mobile point-of-sale payments, to creating an enterprise app that allows your employees to complete their jobs more efficiently.
It can be difficult to start a digital transformation, especially if you are an established business currently using a host of non-digital processes and tools. But it’s always worth keeping in mind that improving your mobile and tech offering can allow you to create and maintain a competitive advantage.
Overall, however, the integration of a digital strategy can renew your business’ focus on both customers and employees, and this is something that Apadmi has a rich history of with, and why I am going to be talking at this breakfast meeting organised by the Business Growth Hub.
Before then, I have outlined the key considerations any business should review before they take the plunge into full-on digital transformation.
What are the most important elements of digital transformation?
This is what most businesses are striving for when looking at developing, or implementing, new technology.
Automation can save your business a lot of money, and the realignment of employee time is something that can boost motivation, and take away the monotonous tasks so that they can be more focused on skilled work that robots can’t complete.
According to research by Accenture, published in Harvard Business Review, automation through artificial intelligence (AI) will soon free people up from the administrative tasks across a plethora of industries, including finance and retail. And in most cases, rather than lose their jobs, employees will be reassigned to more skilled roles.
The survey asked 1,770 managers in 14 different countries and eventually reached the conclusion that AI would be cheaper, more efficient and potentially more impartial in its actions than human beings.
It concluded that AI wouldn’t necessarily mean the mass loss of thousands of jobs, but the retraining of employees and their ability to undertake jobs that only a human can do.
2) Adapt to a changing digital environment
For our work with NHS Blood and Transplant, our challenge was to digitally transform a manual and laborious paper-based process for Specialist Nurses to save time, reduce errors and more importantly, allow the team to spend more time with patients and their families.
Implementing change in an organisation that has been operating since the late 1940s is not something that happens overnight. But the project was part of a wider initiative to digitally transform the way the NHS operates, and how patients interact with the organisation through new technology.
The NHS is a great example of a huge organisation that is taking the right steps in becoming a digital organisation.
Conversely, an example of a company who failed to see the need to invest in a digital transformation was Kodak. The once thriving camera and film business filed for bankruptcy in 2012 after lacking the foresight to invest in new and exciting ways to keep itself at the forefront of the minds of consumers.
For many of us in the technology sector, Kodak is synonymous with a company that didn’t adapt to the changing world around it. Kodak was a household name just five years ago, but it completely missed its opportunity for a digital transformation through disruptive technology. And that’s a poignant message for all businesses, no matter the size. You need to adapt, or risk getting swallowed up.
3) Increased efficiency
All technology, not just mobile, can make your business more efficient. Digital transformation can create a new working environment for employees, which can in turn help increase efficiency and motivation of the entire workforce.
Efficiency comes in many forms though, such as increased employee productivity and greater business flexibility when responding to new market challenges.
What’s essential to remember is that the efficiencies that technology can bring are only realised when the people using the technology have the knowledge and expertise to use it correctly. As good as any single piece of technology is, if the person using it is not using it correctly, your business is likely to incur more costs correcting mistakes than reaping the rewards of your digital innovation.
There’s no time like the present
New technology is always emerging. There will always be a ‘next big thing’ around the corner. But this shouldn’t mean you put off improving the productivity of your own business until this wondrous tech arrives on a silver platter. It never does; there’s always something better on the horizon. This means you need to work with the technology you have available now.
But remember the key rule in any tech venture – scalability. What you build now, won’t be perfect for your business in five years’ time. If you build your tech stack in the correct way though, you can always add the necessary pieces to it at a later stage, when you need them.
To discover more about digital transformation, get in touch through Enquire & Grow.