GO DIGITAL OR GO DARK
GO DIGITAL OR GO DARK
If there were any doubts about the need for digital transformation to facilitate business longevity, the global pandemic has silenced them.
In a world where everyone is remote, the vast majority of interactions with customers and employees must now take place virtually. With rare exception, operating digitally, now and in the future, is the only way to stay in business while mandated shutdowns and restricted activity persist. Don’t get left behind. It’s go digital or go dark.
Over the coming weeks, Unlocking Potential will unveil a brand-new programme helping Cornish businesses harness the power of digital.
Dr Nathan Jeffery, Manager of our new programme, shares his thoughts on all things digital.
In today’s world there is a lot of talk around the ‘digital economy’ such as the internet which, in essence, is the digital vehicle for doing business.
If we were to use the analogy of building a house, then technology is the electricity. It’s the tool that is used as part of the overall business strategy (the house). But to have a digital strategy you also need leaders with a digital mindset which, when combined, result in the right digital tools or technology, and the right forms of communication.
Since the start of the pandemic, what have been the main areas of digital change?
The biggest change for most businesses has been the need to ensure their employees have access to all their resources to enable them to continue to be able to work independently. But to go a level beyond this, is to embrace collaborative tools to ensure people can still work effectively with a team.
A name most people hadn’t even heard of before the pandemic, Microsoft Teams and SharePoint and Slack with Google Docs have become the go-to apps for businesses to enable them to have remote communication channels, video conferencing and file share capabilities.
Doing business online
Those businesses that have quickly pivoted to undertaking business in the digital economy are the ones reaping rewards from the pandemic. Businesses are now blending the physical and the digital to provide their customers with the best overall customer experience possible.
If a business is thinking about adopting more digital into their business, how should they start?
Don’t just jump for the first tool that you feel will solve an issue, or unmet need. Ensure you have a structured approach to choosing, buying and implementing a solution.
Follow a set of key elements to ensure a successful digital transition or transformation.
Setting your objective – Be clear about what you want the software or technology to do and what problem you need it to fix.
Justifying your budget– Compare the overall costs of this new technology in a simple business case that outlines the benefits and return on investment.
Creating your shopping list – Drill down into the requirements that you need and start exploring potential suppliers.
Buying with confidence – Overcome the suppliers sales spin, have the right questions around, pricing, support and free trials.
Making it work for the team – Understand how you will introduce your new software or selection and a communications strategy to get people up to speed.
Getting your money’s worth – check the software is doing what you expected it to achieve.
What do you think the biggest area of digital growth will be in 2021?
I feel businesses should be thinking about operational efficiency: embracing digital technologies and tools to leverage this will help them be ‘mean and lean’ in the forthcoming years.
I’ve seen a massive upturn in the use of some emerging technologies to help overcome workflow burdens within businesses.
Using tools like IOT (The internet of things) to automate many traditionally manual processes, or machine learning and AI to automate and predict what businesses need to do automatically.