Technology nowadays plays a huge role in our lives. As a computer scientist from the University of Nottingham said in 2019, “the iPhone in your pocket has over 100,000 times the processing power of the computer that landed on the moon 50 years ago”.
It only makes sense to use technology to enhance your business, then.
But people are often scared to spend money on new technology and processes. It’s understandable; it’s a big investment. But to see real success, you need to take the plunge.
What is a digital transformation?
Digital transformation is a process where businesses embed technology across the organisation to drive fundamental change to realise increased efficiency, greater agility and new value for customers.
Every digital transformation journey will look different, but they always require a new mindset – it’s a chance to reimagine how the business operates.
This is in contrast to digitisation, which is the process of converting analogue information into digital form – for example, by scanning a document and storing it on a computer.
Digital transformations are also different from digitalisation, which is the use of digital technologies to change business processes – for instance, teaching an employee to use special software to help them check goods into stock.
A digital transformation may involve digitisation and digitalisation, but is about much more than just that. It’s about using technology to replace entire processes with better, more efficient ones that change the core of the business and add value to your customers.
Types of software every business needs
Cloud accounting technology like Sage or Xero should be at the heart of every digital transformation.
This will act as your hub for your financial information, as you will be able to connect it with various apps to pull all your data into one place.
This real-time financial information is essential for any digital-first business, and will significantly reduce admin time and costs.
You might also want to consider investing in project management software to help your firm organise big projects by breaking them down into individual tasks. This will keep you on track to meet your deadlines, to the delight of your customers.
Similar to that is time-tracking software – the quicker you can do something for your customers, the more value you add to your services.
Next is customer relationship management software. Every customer is different, so the more data you hold on them – even simple details like hobbies – will help you talk with them and give them a better experience with your organisation. Of course, you can only store information you need – always ask for permission to keep data on your clients.
The point is that having a centralised store of contact details, basic information and business history will help you understand your clients and their motivations.
Tips for your digital transformation
For your digital transformation to be successful, you really need to think about it as a transformation in the full sense of the word. If your employees aren’t on board, for instance, and technology isn’t being ingrained into your business’s culture, your digital transformation won’t be as successful as you hope.
Digital transformations are complex and therefore also require collaboration and partnership across your organisation. By equipping middle and front-line managers with the tools they need to communicate changes to their teams in a consistent way will help to inspire action and commitment.
Lastly, make sure your whole team is equipped with the skills and training to use the new technology. If someone is struggling, ‘bubble-wrap’ them with tech-savvy employees – but whatever you do, don’t sacrifice your business’s new technological culture for the sake of a few employees who don’t get it right now.
Talk to us about your business and the advantages of cloud accounting technology.