Although there are a plethora of digital possibilities now available at our fingertips, it is not always an easy passage to transition from your existing process, especially when faced with technical language, unfamiliar practices, and potentially costly expenditure.
Going digital in simple terms is the journey of recreating your business model, using digital technology to aid your everyday tasks, streamlining, and improving various aspects of your business, including:
Let us examine some of the major challenges involved in the transformation process and how to overcome these obstacles…
We are currently living in the computer age, the fortunate ones who were schooled in Information Technology are now fairly tech-savvy, those who were educated pre-I.T class are more likely to possess only basic computer skills, making the transition of your business from paper-based to digital much more complicated.
Outsourcing becomes the go-to option in most cases, however, to become holistically digital requires a full digital vision and plan, it would be a grave mistake to assign the task to an external or even internal I.T. department alone and expect the business to just work.
The ideal solution to overcome this obstacle is to implement software catered to your computer skill range, additionally, something which is primarily autonomous and reduces human interaction to prevent becoming overwhelmed. If budget allows, you can consider hiring digital specialists or outsource to consultants to support your in-house team.
As they say, failing to plan is planning to fail, and planning is a major challenge when trying to transition into an unknown capacity such as a digital business when your limited knowledge continuously creates hesitation. It is not uncommon for businesses to generate an idea, settle on a rough timeframe, and then poorly execute the partially-formed plan without a clear vision of their destination such as using their existing organisational structure which is aligned to the present workflow, eventually realising that it does not function the same way.
Your organisational structure and workflows will all require an overhaul to account for the differences digital advances will provide. It is recommended to consult a specialist in the field who has experience handling your business niche.
The process of change produces countless barriers throughout the process, many of which are overlooked or worse, disregarded. Throughout the planning stage of a business reorganisation, it is common to only account for the typical risks known for the existing process, not the proposed digital model.
Your digital plan should include a risk assessment to a digital organisation, which account for relevant dangers when transitioning to a digital formation you are not mindful of. The expertise of external risk consultants are worth investing in, it can potentially save you vast amounts of time and resources.
A big drawback during times of change is maintaining a fixed mindset, shutting down fresh ideas and suggestions. Tenacious leadership and a problematic stance will cause a hindrance to progression, especially when dealing with a field you have little experience in.
For the sake of succeeding in your endeavor, you must be open and flexible, with a clear vision of the goal to create the least resistance possible throughout the shift.
The sudden arrival of the recent pandemic made it evidently apparent, and unfortunate, that the existing management was far too rigid in times of necessary change. It is never an easy change to replace staff, especially in smaller businesses considering the service and dedication given over the years, however, a conversion from analogue to digital requires a drastic shakeup, so you need to eliminate barriers who may stubbornly be set in their ways and are not supportive in the transition for long-term success.
A similar notion applies to employees who present the human factor of reluctance, possible due to the threat of redundancy.
The ideal solution, for both small and large organisations, would be to show your loyalty by providing training and support for those who are keen and committed to the prosperity of the business, to secure their employment within the company.
Capturing customer data on paper was standard procedure for a very long time, but with the industry progressing around you with electronic data capture and cloud-based storage, you are now disadvantaged in your stagnant position. Now facing the monumental task of trying to convert your paper records into digital information.
For businesses with large volumes of hand-written data, unique organisations such as Ant.Works can digitise your documents, using cognitive machine reading to support your shift to a digital future, opening the possibility of cloud-based storage with zero physical space required and remote accessibility.
Especially a concern for smaller businesses, financial limitations cause a hindrance when trying to go digital, escalating into greater concerns when poor planning causes miscalculation and misallocation of funds.
The best approach to allocating funds is extensive research and alignment to your digitisation plan. Understanding exactly what tools and technology you intend to have, based on your individual tactics to fulfil your customer’s requirements. This action plan will identify long-term objectives to structure your transition, allowing a clear alignment of your financials.
Putting aside the daunting prospect of change, the benefits of discarding your existing legacy systems, to unlock potential advantages through an updated model relevant for today’s market warrants the journey to a digital transition. The possibilities and capabilities will expand exponentially, even if you transition at a steady pace at your comfort level. So, take some time to develop a digital plan, address the hurdles discuss, and transform your business into a competitive force for the market.
An article by Gautam Gajjar.