It’s 2019 and Digital Transformation isn’t a Fad but a Necessity. Here’s why.
In a world where new technologies are disrupting the way we interact and conduct businesses, “digital transformation” is no longer a buzzword. It’s a necessity.
But what exactly is “digital transformation”? It means having an accessible online presence so people get to know who you are and what you sell at their fingertips. It means the ability to automate and simplify tasks to reduce time and labour. It means the ability to interact, communicate, store and recall information with the least resistance.
In its purest form, it is the ability to leverage evolving technologies to your advantage. According to an MCMC study in 2017, 76.9% of Malaysians are connected to the internet, with an overwhelming 89.4% of connected Malaysians being mobile-oriented. Legacy businesses suffer as they fail to keep up with younger start ups embracing change. According to Morgan Stanley, 42% of Airbnb users changed their mind from initially booking hotel rooms to renting properties on Airbnb. Uber was introduced in New York by 2011. By 2015 the number of Uber cars outnumbered taxis on the road. These disruptors saw the potential of going digital and decided to mine it.
Let’s dive deep into five reasons why digital transformation is a necessity for businesses and how to appropriate it for your organisation.
Customers Want Easy Access
In days of businesses past, it’s always about location, location, location. Today, it is all about presence, presence, presence. Your customers would rather have ease of access, above all else. If they can’t talk to you on their phones, and you can’t fulfil their needs now, they’ll go elsewhere.
Even a good reputation won’t save you from the powers of convenience. Toys R Us, once the biggest toy retailer in the world filed for bankruptcy after sustaining losses from low sales. Despite its name, customers would rather go on Amazon because it’s easy. When Toys R Us delivered the bad news, fans of the franchise were shocked. But nostalgia and positive image alone isn’t good enough to get people to go out of their way to support beloved businesses.
The power of ease of access doesn’t just apply to e-commerce. From the same MCMC study above, 77.2% of internet users look for health information over the internet. This is despite the fact going for consultation would mean getting a physical examination. Further showing how much ease of access can change even basic behaviors.
If you’re not present or accessible, then potential customers won’t talk to your business. They won’t buy what you have to offer, and by then, your competitor gains a customer while you lose yours.
But let’s assume that you still have your loyal customer base. Having an extensive online presence means being able to expand beyond where you have physical branches. This means your customer base will be bigger than it already is rather than have a potential rival reaching them first. The current generation is growing up with connected devices. This means their first instinct is to approach you online first, even if they could easily travel to a physical place. For them, ease of access is embedded in their culture.
Data Shows What Customers Want
People say that customers are king, but how do you satisfy the king, when you have no idea of the king’s desires? According to the Kleiner Perkins Internet Trends Report for 2018, Spotify’s user interface personalization based on data on personal listening data, increased daily user engagements by a whopping 44%.
Going digital means having information of what your customers want. With data analytics, you will have quick access to your demographics. Meaning who they are, where they’re from, what they are willing to spend or have spent, or any information you could collect from customers browsing your sites.
If they aren’t happy about a certain service, you will have the aggregate data on why people aren’t happy. If there are specific changes that people want, they could now tell you, and you could fix it rather than go through an unnecessary process of trial and error. When you know why people are unhappy, you’ll be able to figure out what could make them happy.
Workers Want Flexibility
In the past, working would mean following rigid schedules. It would mean having to be physically present all the time or to work in silos, expecting information would somehow translate correctly without individuals present. 51% of workers would change jobs if another company would them give flexible hours while 35% would do so if given the opportunity to work at home. With such rates, leveraging technology for flexibility would mean an easier time for everyone, and greater talent retention for companies.
When your tasks can be automated, you could move on to improve experiences instead. With the growth of AI or even basic scripting of payrolls, you’ll be able to focus on your products. The focus can be on company strategy, rather than spending too much time on operations. When all interactions and company information is online, working becomes more flexible. This means being more accommodating to the specific needs of workers. Greater accommodation leads to happier workers, greater retention rates, and greater access to talent.
Imagine departments understanding each other, planning strategy over menial tasks, and gaining autonomy over how you work.
Innovation Keeps You Ahead
Digital transformation isn’t just about catching up. It’s about thinking ahead of your rivals. Learning how to adapt also means observing old ideas with new eyes. The taxi business has been around since people needed flexible means that public transport couldn’t provide. But knowing how to list down available drivers in your area and beaming the information out to those who needs it brought us Uber. Everyone knows that there are vacant homes that sit idle in every urban area. But to compile those list of homes and capitalize it, led us to Airbnb.
Being the first to apply these ideas within a different context would mean being the first to be remembered for it. In the business world, first starters always have the advantage of kickstarting “competitors” and being embedded in users’ minds for life.
This mentality forces you to actively imagine how to change and maximize your ways of doing business. With the adequate training, and the desire to transform, soon you’ll be seeing your problems in different ways.
Malaysia is Funding a Digital Revolution
The Malaysian government sees the potential of digital transformation and according to the Malaysian Budget 2019; they’re willing to spend money on it. RM3 billion has been set aside for the Industry Digitalization Transformation Fund and RM210 million has been set for the Readiness Assessment Programme. They know that when other countries go digital, automate tasks, and expand their online presence, we as a nation will be at a disadvantage.
Question is, are you on board with the plan? Adopting new technologies means adopting new mindsets. As you take part in digital transformation, you could finally identify, and capitalize on a niche. Or you could plan to dominate your field by approaching your business with a refreshed worldview. However you would like to paint your organization’s future, digital transformation is a prerequisite.
Interested to be part of the digital revolution? Visit our calendar for our upcoming courses or tell us what your organization needs and we’ll customize the necessary training. Contact our iTrain course consultants at +603-2733 0337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.