In a recent Deloitte survey, 47% of global respondents believed that their employers were making a significant investment in their professional development. However, only 34% were happy with their organization’s investment in improving their skills and performance.
Seeing as we live in an age where digital totally dominates, the lack of preparedness for a potential disruption is likely due to a simple lack of understanding surrounding business technology and how best to implement it in everyday practices, particularly when it comes to investing in your employees.
If your business is trying to keep up with the times but can’t quite seem to stay on top of changing hiring trends, then this is for you. Here’s what to know about digital transformation and how to future-proof your company with technology that’ll help you succeed while also helping you invest in your employees in 2022 and beyond.
What’s So Special About Digital Transformation?
Let’s start off by defining digital transformation before diving into how it relates to investing in your employees. When most businesses hear the term “digital transformation,” they usually begin to ask questions about their online presence. However, there’s more to this kind of forward-thinking business model than just a strong digital presence.
Yes, social media, a responsive website and even internet advertising are all a part of small business digital marketing. But, there’s a whole lot more to this global transformation than just a website online. More specifically, this phenomenon refers to the way in which businesses can integrate digital technologies into every single area of their business.
From chatbots and eCommerce to cloud computing, digital transformation aims to help businesses future-proof their practices and processes. The goal is to increase operational efficiency while always delivering more value to their customers. Sounds simple, right? At the core, it is. But, it requires companies to perform a near-total overhaul on most of their processes.
Business technology differs from other kinds of technologies. Rather, businesses have to learn how to harness the right technology in the right way. And, that’s why most companies seem to struggle with the transition. It’s hard to know how to create a digital business strategy and even harder to go at it alone.
Developing a Small Business Digital Strategy
One study revealed that digital transformations are usually driven by growth opportunities. As a small business, there’s no denying the fact that making a digital business transformation is an investment in the future of your company.
As new technologies emerge, you’ll find that you’re better able to adapt to them and weave them into your business practices if you have a solid strategy in place. This strategy looks different for businesses of varying sizes. It also looks different depending on the number of people you employ and what their job functions are.
As a small business, your digital strategy should begin by asking a few questions that are centered around a) your business as a whole and b) your employees:
- What are you hoping to get out of your online presence?
- What practices could be improved or changed?
- Are you currently tracking the right metrics?
- Is your company able to support this change right now?
- What kind of integrations do you think might be useful for your employees?
- Do your employees have all of the tools they need to succeed?
After answering those questions, you’ll have a better idea of where you’re at and where you’re looking to go. Then, it’ll be time to contract the services of someone who knows what they’re doing. This doesn’t always mean hiring out a third-party company, but it can.
If you’re looking to ensure you’re not wasting time or money in implementing the wrong technologies and processes, hiring a third-party consultant can help. Risk reduction, long-term cost reduction and employee training are all areas in which a consultant like this can help.
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Key Factors of a Successful Digital Business Transformation
After working to identify potential areas of improvement, you’ll be well on the path to beginning a digital business transformation. Digitising your company’s processes and inner workings requires a lot of effort. But, the successful transformations all have a few things in common.
Patience & Persistence
If you’re really looking to future-proof your company for the long-haul, you’re going to have to have lots of patience and persistence. Developing a digital marketing strategy is one thing, and it’s part of this transformation as a whole. But, this is so much more than that.
Some of the changes you might want to make might take months to actually implement. Switching over to cloud computing, for example, is a process that requires lots of research and data migration. So, be patient.
Rest assured that, as long as you’re working with the right person or team, they’ll be thinking about your business in the long-term and monitoring changes to make tweaks and alterations to the strategy.
Focus on Analytics
It’s hard to measure any business effort without first having a good idea of where you started. Focus on analytics whether you’re amping up your online social media presence or trying to see if employees are responding well to a new inner-office chat function.
Because there isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all digital transformation guide, analytics will help you understand what’s working for your business specifically. Then, you can make changes according to the needs of your customers and employees.
Ensure Employee Engagement
As you shift business practices and install new technologies into the workplace, you’ll want to focus on employee engagement. They are, after all, the people who are going to be using the technologies to make your company run day in and day out.
Be transparent in communicating your strategy with them and ensure you’re providing them with the proper kind of training they need to adapt to the new technology. Make sure they know that these changes are to benefit not only the company but them as professionals as well.
Get everybody involved and engaged! This is the best way to ensure a smooth transition. Especially as a small business, it’s crucial to ensure everybody is on the same page as you make changes and advancements.
Always Think About the Future
This one seems obvious, but it’s actually kind of hard to think about the future when you’re so unsure of what comes next. Technology changes so rapidly these days that there’s no real way to tell what’s going to happen around three to five years from now.
So, as much as you can, always think about the future. Try to avoid installing technologies or apparatus that might be out of date in a few years.
This is where a third-party consultant might help you a lot. They’ll ensure you’re not investing in already outdated software or technology that’s going to soon be obsolete.
Starting the Business Transformation
If you’re reading all of this and feel somewhat overwhelmed then just know that you’re not alone. Remember, only 44% of companies are prepared for potential digital disruption and business transformation.
To make the process easier, focus on one thing first. In fact, before even starting to think about your business transformation, focus first on ensuring that you’re able to attract and retain the kind of talent that will help carry your business through a digital transformation successfully.
How do you do that? You give them the benefits they’re looking for. In 2022, that includes the right retirement benefits. Wealth Stack has a great retirement solution for you and your employees. Not only will it help them build wealth, but together we can provide the financial counseling they need to educate themselves about all aspects of investing in their future selves!
And don't forget: our team is made up of a former hedge fund manager who is an expert at making sure accounts grow long-term.
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