While the latest tech and processes are driving much of the innovation in Silicon Valley, companies of any size and type can benefit from digital transformation and the business modernization that comes with it. After all, if you’re not busy innovating and trying to improve your processes, you’re busy falling behind, and the constant drive of your competitors surely won’t stop to allow you to play catch-up.
Sure, we may think that a certain industry or vertical is immune from disruption. Critics said the same thing about books (Amazon), taxis (Uber, Lyft) and TV (Netflix, Hulu), but that didn’t stop those industries from being upended in just a few years with the right technological improvements and efficiencies.
But you don’t have to be dealing in tech to benefit from business modernization. Digital solutions and the innovation brought by modernization can benefit any company, no matter its size or what it is that you do. That’s because whether you rely on people or machines to get your work done, better processes and greater communication, as well as the collection of important data that you can use to make better decisions, is a rising tide that can lift your business.
Why you need a business modernization strategy
When you’re in front of that next problem, instead of clamoring to keep up, you can avoid costly bouts of indecision and enable greater understanding all around of the things that make your business tick with business modernization. That can help you save more money and have a positive impact on the bottom line, as well as helping you adapt quickly to the changing digital landscape.
Indeed, companies that had undergone business process modernization and digital transformation saw the benefits of such an approach during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. While many businesses were worried about how they would get things done, others were able to nimbly pivot under work-from-home orders without really losing any capabilities. In fact, many companies with the most advanced and modern processes were able to expand and grow during a time that most were scaling back.
However, business modernization isn’t about simply adopting new technology. Anyone can bring in an out-of-the-box solution and demand that their workers get on board, but only business modernization can help you anticipate and drive the changes that your business can benefit from while others are merely flailing in a state of stagnancy.
How does business modernization help?
In a basic sense, business modernization via digital solutions helps businesses and leaders answer the tough questions. Things like “where are we now,” “where are we going” and “how are we going to get there” are all questions that are at the center of digital transformation. Allowing you to shield your organization against disruption and derailments, managing a digital transformation is about developing your awareness and informing your decisions while enabling quick shifts based on varying needs.
But if you don’t have a handle on the data you’re collecting on a daily basis, you won’t be able to take advantage of those opportunities when they arrive, not to mention mitigating risk on a more general level. And while the knowledge is important, the ability to act is the crucial piece. Knowing you need to do something and being able to do something are two different things, and business modernization via digital transformation is able to address both sides that coin.
That said, neglecting to build in the processes and capabilities directly into your company culture can leave even the most well meaning initiative rudderless. Simply acting is not the same thing as doing the right thing given the situation, and business modernization can help you effectively harness the power of your organization for the most impactful activities.
How do I modernize my business?
The first step in business modernization is to get buy-in from key leaders, stakeholders and teams that will be held to the new standard. Digital transformation isn’t about bringing in new tools and hoping it all works out — it’s a complete transformation of your organization from the top down. Furthermore, it’s a complete culture change more than it’s a line-item in a budget, and it’s exactly this kind of buy-in that will enable success.
The next step is that all-important budget. To effect large-scale change in your organization you’ll inevitably have to spend money. But business modernization isn’t a one-off event — it’s something that will govern your processes and decisions for years to come. To truly get the most of it, you’ll constantly need to be evaluating your progress and determining where you should direct your attention next. In this sense, digital transformation is less of an expense and more of an investment in the future success of your business.
But you won’t be able to move forward unless you have an understanding of where you are and where you want to go. That’s why adequately managing your digital transformation is so important, and that often means bringing in a third-party to help you assess it all. Paradoxically, companies are usually the worst when it comes to judging themselves since the way you’ve always done things are significant blocks to seeing efficiencies that may be lying just under the surface.
Companies also tend to take the easy way out, assigning a budget, drafting a purchase order and promptly forgetting about the rest. In the worst cases, you could be spending a fortune to merely do things differently, not necessarily better, and that’s where digital transformation management comes into play. Simply buying into a cloud-based system or incorporating new technology isn’t going to do much for your business unless it leads to true efficiencies, and digital solutions can go much further with a holistic approach that accounts for all the ways in which you can improve your processes.
Beyond that, a third party can also help you codify your goals and the desired outcomes from business modernization, as well as helping you to analyze how you can get there via some kind of digital transformation roadmap. Everything should be on the table, from overhauling your infrastructure, retraining employees and incorporating digital solutions that improve communication and allow for better decision making.
But like all other aspects of business modernization, you’re not done with a budget and roadmap. Things change, and you may find out that a year down the line your needs have changed, as well. The good news is that business modernization is a living thing, and if the landscape or your priorities have changed, your transformation will help you stay on top of it all.
To learn more about how business modernization can transform your business, contact the digital transformation experts at iTransform.