Technology has become a critical business resource in every industry. From cloud storage to software to databases, every organization relies on business applications and digital services to connect to customers and critical partners. But often, even industry leaders rely on legacy systems and apps that are holding back their efficiency and innovation.
When trying to meet pressing project deadlines, upgrading existing resources and integrating new technology are often deprioritized. But business transformation is critical to long-term success and viability. It means more than updating your organization’s culture, technology, and business processes. (To learn more, read our recent post, What is Business Transformation?)
When implemented throughout the organization, business transformation delivers improved customer experiences, faster time to market, and more. Keep reading to learn seven key benefits of business transformation and why this is a business strategy worth investing in.
Achieve business benefits with an organization-wide strategy
When planning and executing a business transformation initiative, simply making larger technology investments isn’t enough. According to Harvard Business Review, transformation is more about talent than about the tech you have.
Any digital technology you use needs to promote:
Collaboration across business functions
Visibility across IT systems and teams
A customer-centric approach to problem-solving
To truly transform how your business operates and adjusts to changes in the market, you need to implement processes and organizational culture, supported by–not dictated by–the technology you use. When you implement a plan that way, you can achieve business transformation that delivers the seven key benefits outlined below.
1. Gaining visibility and insight with new data analytics
To transform how your business operates, brings products and services to market, and interacts with customers, first you need to know where you stand today. The best way to do that is with data and analytics tools.
Business transformation requires you to create new ways of gathering and analyzing data across the organization so that every team can contribute their perspective. This involves both technical and people-driven insights. Just as you need new ways to oversee and assess your IT systems and networks, you also need to survey your staff and customers.
This will allow you to start making data-driven decisions across your business. That can include everything from recruiting and hiring to managing and assessing your marketing campaigns, giving you visibility and insight into where you’re succeeding and where you need improvement.
2. Better managing and automate connected systems
Once you have more visibility into your systems and business processes, you can implement better management processes. This also allows you to start automating routine tasks that take up too much staff time–preventing them from moving forward on key, value-generating projects.
While automation is commonly associated with IT management and payroll, it can also apply for human resources (HR), marketing, customer relationship management, and sales. One of the benefits of digital transformation is that almost every function has a business application.
With improved data insights into how your various departments operate, your IT and development teams can integrate different databases, allowing cross-team communication and collaboration enabled by automation. And with managed services from experts at Standley Systems, you can better integrate cross-team workflows and data management.
3. Reducing operational expenses
By automating IT operations, internal communications, marketing, and other functions, your business can save time and money on operating expenses. Not only does that save on staff time, but it also gives your teams more time to understand what projects are actually driving value.
The less time they spend taking care of minor, repetitive tasks–which are often more prone to costly human error, especially in IT–the more time they have to make progress on strategic projects that improve the customer experience.
4. Improving customer experiences with new digital capabilities
Once you’ve prioritized business transformation and made efficient workflows part of your normal processes, your customers will benefit from new digital capabilities and improved products and services. According to consulting firm McKinsey Company, “A fundamental change of mindset focusing on the customer, along with operational and IT improvements, can generate a 20 to 30 percent uplift in customer satisfaction.”
With more data-driven insight into the customer experience and more time to develop innovative solutions to customer problems, your marketing, sales, and line-of-business teams can deliver digital experiences that differentiate your business and fulfill (and even exceed) customer expectations.
5. Increasing customer loyalty with responsive service
Transformative processes also allow your business to be more responsive to customer and internal feedback. Without flexible business processes, customer feedback is often filed away while overwhelmed teams wait for a spare moment to integrate that feedback to update websites, fix app bugs, change product specifications, or any other kind of improvement.
And often, the team that receives the feedback may not even have a consistent or effective way to share that information with the right people. So by the time it gets used (if it gets used at all), it will be far too late to have any meaningful impact on customer satisfaction.
Instead, with automated workflows, cross-team communication, and effective planning, customer loyalty can be improved with responsive, timely services. Even if feedback can’t be integrated immediately, something as simple as digital support or an automated email acknowledging the customer’s message can go a long way to leaving a good impression and securing brand loyalty.
6. Optimizing a go-to-market strategy
With any digital business, potential customers are often hard to pinpoint without expensive research. One of the only ways to have insight into potential customers’ thought processes is to gather feedback from existing customer interactions and consult third-party resources like analyst firms.
Once business leaders develop an effective way to gather this information, they need to encourage marketers and line-of-business teams to maximize that data for effective go-to-market strategies. With more insight into the customer experience, internal product management teams and product marketers will be much better equipped to develop an effective go-to-market strategy.
7. Gaining market share and remaining competitive
Together, all these benefits increase the likelihood of achieving this final result: gaining market share and remaining competitive. The more your business strategy encourages cross-functional collaboration, uses big data insights to improve the customer experience, and continually updates business operations, the more competitive your business will become.
Retaining business agility will not only help you shift and meet customer expectations, but it will also allow you to weather changing market conditions and develop a lasting brand reputation associated with innovation.
The risks of business transformation initiatives
Developing strategies to adopt new technology and update processes is critical for staying relevant to customer needs and remaining competitive in your industry. However, despite all its potential benefits, the business transformation process still has inherent risks.
When digital transformation takes up the main focus of a business’s transformation efforts, organizations can be especially vulnerable to several factors like:
Poor resource management: When implementing new technologies, it’s important to make sure you’re not overspending, especially on things that won’t have an immediate return on investment.
Investing in technology that becomes quickly outdated: This is one reason why public cloud providers are so widely used. Not only do you not have to maintain your own physical servers, but you don’t have the expense of upgrading when the latest hardware technology changes.
Unexpected shifts in the industry: While you can’t always predict drastic market shifts, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected, such as changes in industry regulations or disruptive technologies. Experts (such as the business continuity experts at Standley Systems) can help make risk management part of your transformation plans.
Exposing an organization to cyber threats: Any rapid adoption of new technology can expose an organization to cyber threats it’s not prepared to protect against. Consulting IT experts can ensure you’re onboarding new systems and network connections in a safe way that limits your potential exposure or risk of data breaches.
While some of these risks (such as unexpected market shifts) can’t be predicted, many of these potential setbacks can be mitigated if plans are made in consultation with key stakeholders and change management and technology experts. That requires developing a thorough business transformation strategy and sticking to it.
Next steps: How to develop an effective business transformation strategy
Understanding the benefits of business transformation is important, but once you’re ready to move forward, how do you actually implement an effective plan?
The first step is to determine what your project goals are and assign specific roles. While business transformation can’t succeed without cross-team collaboration, it’s important to designate who’s ultimately responsible for certain aspects of the project. That ensures you move forward with critical decisions.
Next, you need to:
Assess existing processes and customer satisfaction.
Solicit feedback from key stakeholders within the organization.
Develop defined, time-sensitive goals based on the information you’ve gathered.
Then you can start putting the plans you’ve made into action, making sure to collect data and feedback along the way so you can continually transform and improve your processes and technology as needed.Check out our post on developing a business transformation strategy for more information.
Want to transform your business? Standley Systems can help
Standley Systems has been helping businesses in Oklahoma and across the United States take advantage of the latest IT and business solutions for decades. We’re experts in using technology to drive business transformation for our clients, whether they’re in healthcare, finance, energy, or other industries.
Ready to transform your business and meet new market and customer demands? We’ll conduct an assessment to determine what your organization’s business transformation needs are. Contact us today to learn more.