Business digitalization. Yes, it’s an old topic, but understanding what it means in reality – and what the implications are for your business – is essential to your growth. Ready to take your business to the next level? Then read on!
Digitalization is already impacting your business, whether you’re paying attention or not. A broad and complex topic, it can be tempting to “come back to it later” – but there’s no time like the present to set your business up for success.
To help you get started, this article explores what business digitalization is, the benefits of going digital, the key challenges of digitalization and their solutions.
What Is Business Digitalization?
In a business context, digitalization is the “use of digital technologies in order to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities” (Gartner 2022). Simply put, technology can be extremely effective in helping your business grow. Many companies are already using technology to improve how they work. This might involve centralizing communication, organizing projects, and keeping a clear overview of daily to-dos – but the opportunities are endless.
Digitalization: Why Now?
When it’s done properly, company digitalization simplifies complex processes, improves knowledge sharing and increases accountability. In turn, this allows your team to respond quickly and pragmatically to unexpected (and potentially stressful) situations. COVID-19 and the shift to remote working was a great example of this in action. A 2020 survey from McKinsey & Company reveals that “businesses have spent more on digital investments than on any other business continuity measures during the pandemic”. However, preparing now is better than reacting to sticky situations. If you invest now, you’ll be thanking yourself the next time you get thrown a curve-ball.
Making Business Digitalization Work
Although you’ll need the right tools for the job, ”going digital” is about more than software. Business digitalization is an evolution in how your whole team works. “Business as usual” will change forever. For your digital culture to lead to growth, there must be a shift in how you think about working with others.
When it comes to choosing software, your mindset should define your tool choices, not vice versa. there’s no point investing in a lot of different tools and expecting to see results if they don’t fit your team. At Meister, we’ve found the companies that truly excel at “going digital” are the ones which are fully open to the idea of working in a digital space.
Discover how the legendary German confectioner Ritter Sport has used MeisterTask as part of their digital transformation process.
What Are The Advantages of Business Digitalization?
Business Digitalization Saves Time and Boosts Productivity
Whether you have investors to impress or are bootstrapping your business, there will always be pressure on your team to increase productivity for better results. The good news: digitalization allows you to deliver on both fronts by helping you get twice as much done in half the time.
Task management software is a good place to start. Without a better alternative in place, we can end up relying on Excel sheets and sticky notes to record tasks. This isn’t great when teams are together in the office, and it’s even worse when they’re remote. A digital task management tool offers a way to achieve more, faster – without compromising on the quality of work or putting undue pressure on your employees.
With tasks organized, you’ll spend less time planning work and more time doing it. Your team will focus on what matters to your business, and your managers will find it easier to communicate their plans. The result: sustained growth for your business.
Digitalization Means More and Better Data
Growth depends on accurate numbers, and business digitalization can help you organize and structure your data to make key decisions. Moving data from old school systems to the cloud makes it easier to view, analyze and interpret. Processing data digitally is much faster, which means you and your team can act quickly to solve problems – or proactively prevent them.
First off, you need to decide what data you need. Google Analytics is great for tracking website KPIs such as page views, clicks, and conversions. This data can help you optimize your website to generate more leads and increase sales. If you want to see how your message comes across, MailChimp and Emarsys can generate insights to help you understand your customers’ needs.
Got the data? Use your findings to create actionable tasks for your team using MeisterTask
The Right Digital Tools Can Make Your Business More Secure
Hopefully, security is already important for your organization. However, on your digitalization journey, you’ll have to trust other companies to look after sensitive information on your behalf. So, how do you tell who the good guys are? Certification is a good place to start: cloud-based software tools which are ISO-20071:2013 approved will keep your data more secure. A secure toolbox will help you to comply with regulations and avoid data leaks and intellectual property theft.
Investing in secure digital software systems can stop data falling into the wrong hands and prevent you from losing the trust of your stakeholders and customers, which can be fatal for your business.
Take a look at this blog post to learn more about data security and how to keep your business data safe
Digitalization Strengthens Communication and Collaboration
Working with others can be tough. Scattered communication, misalignment, stressful last minute changes – there’s always something.
For better communication, you need to remove as many friction points as possible. A Kanban style project board is a good replacement for email threads and meetings: a more accessible and transparent way of communicating. Questions are clarified and feedback is shared for other stakeholders to see. As a result, collaboration is much easier, and you don’t lose precious time on calls or searching through your inbox for answers.
The exact tools you need depends on what’s holding your team back. If you know what the blockers are, you can take steps to overcome them and avoid passing your problems onto your customers.
What Are The Main Challenges of Business Digitalization?
A Lack of Expertise
A common challenge when it comes to digitalization in business is a lack of relevant knowledge and skills. You might have the vision, but without the skill set to execute the necessary changes, your business will struggle. The obvious solution is offering intensive training for existing employees, or hiring new talent with the right expertise.
That said, it can be very expensive. A cheaper way to modernize your team is to opt for digital tools which are intuitive and easy to use. More advanced tools can be perfect for larger organizations with an established digital culture. In most cases, however, they will be too complex to navigate effectively and won’t be worth the expense. User-friendliness is essential to getting your team on board.
MeisterTask doesn’t require a long onboarding process, and it’s not unnecessarily feature-heavy. This means your team is more likely to be open to using it.
Another way around resource limitations is to focus on digitalizing the areas in your business that will bring the most benefit overall. Avoid trying to do everything at once. Evaluate existing processes critically and invite input from your team to understand what to prioritize, whether it’s CRM, marketing, or HR. As your business grows and more resources become available, you can expand the digitalization process to other areas. Obviously, the path to growth is rarely linear, and getting your business where you want it to be takes time. It’s better to make gradual changes than to rush through a program your business can’t support longer-term.
Resistance To Change
Just because something has always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it should continue to be done so. When employees who feel comfortable and competent working with existing processes are reluctant to adopt new technologies, you have a problem. If you’re worried about unsettling your team, you could consider the following:
- Explain the reasons. Digitization is important for your organization: outline the benefits it brings. Share examples of success with your team.
- Document new processes so that they can be revisited at any time by your team.
- Be open and receptive to feedback and make changes where necessary.
This is easier said than done when you’re trying to push your business forward, but it’s essential to achieving the growth you need.
Digitalization: Stepping Into the Future
Going digital is a journey with many challenges. However, these can largely be overcome via an organized, communicative approach. There’s no single path to follow or a one-size-fits-all approach, but learning what works for your organization can give you a significant competitive advantage: better processes, more information, the potential to build relationships with stakeholders, and tighter security.
When you weigh everything up, investing in digitalization is a logical decision to push your business forward. Hopefully you’re now feeling informed, confident, and ready to take the next step.
What is business digitalization?
According to Gartner, “Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities”.
What are the benefits of business digitalization?
Key benefits of business digitalization include increased efficiency, greater data security, stronger and more dynamic customer relationships, and the ability to maintain a competitive edge in your industry.
What are the challenges of business digitalization?
The key challenges to digitalization that businesses face include a lack of expertise or necessary skills within the existing team, limited resources, and a resistance to change.
Which tools can be used for the digitalization of businesses?