Although the origin of the modern clock dates back to ancient Egypt, in the Middle Ages the way for most people to measure time was to seek help from nature. People widely used the sun and moon to measure time for centuries. The measurement of time in the modern sense was possible for some, but not for the large masses until clock towers were widely built in town squares in the 19th century. With these clocks, we started to measure time by minutes and even seconds. Big clocks in public spaces set the beginning of this trend, followed later by clocks in homes. This process resulted in the division of time into minutes and seconds, thus changing the way people organize their daily lives. A small analog-based change made a significant difference in people’s lifestyles.
Living in today’s world is like witnessing one of the first public square clock towers building every minute. Technological and social developments change our lives rapidly. In these circumstances, it’s impossible to grow by staying the same.
Another positive result of these breakthroughs is the rapid growth of our potential to better use the technology we have to achieve greater success for our businesses and make them more competitive. Related to these, the digitalization of businesses has sum been on a rapid rise, especially in the last couple of years.
According to the World Economic Forum, almost 50% of the work we do today will be automatable in the next 10 years. The forum also clearly indicated that small businesses should brace themselves for the transformation to digital workflows.
It seems like there is a new future waiting for small businesses and it will affect them, whether they are old or new. From airport guidance systems to restaurant food ordering machines, digitalization is overtaking daily lives. The workplace has already changed dramatically over the last decade, as a result, many traditional jobs have disappeared. In this digital world, almost all large enterprises started to focus on customer satisfaction and customer service. Old techniques started to not work.
While digital improvements are going to change how we think, how we learn, and how we work; it’s time to think about how this will change the economy? It’s not a secret that small businesses need digitalization, especially after the covid-19 pandemic. So it’s also important to think about how small businesses can benefit from this. Their success will depend on their ability to adjust and adapt to technological changes.
The main step in the digitalization of your business is the creation of a digitalization strategy. While there are a lot of articles about digitalization and the impact it will have on your business, there aren’t many actionable tips that can help you start digitalizing your processes today. In this article, we’ll cover several tips for your digitalization strategy.
What is Digitalization?
What Does Digitalization Means For Small Businesses?
Digitalization is the process of changing your business processes in a digital way so that they become faster and more convenient. The process of digitizing a company or a business is often driven by the requirement to quickly adapt to new trends. That’s why investment in digitalization is critical for successful businesses today.
Digitalization is the process of transforming your business processes into digital ones. It’s not just automating processes or switching papers to Excel, but also a change in how you work and how you manage your workflow. The goal of digitalization is to improve business processes, not just implement IT solutions.
Digitalization is about combining processes and using data in the analytics of those processes. It means using digital technology for every aspect of your business, from communication and collaboration to products and service delivery. To be successful with digitalization you also must understand the impact it will have on your employees and how best to manage these changes.
Digitalization allows small and medium businesses to compete on the world stage, as they can make their products accessible to wider marketplaces. It empowers business owners to improve communication, efficiency, and collaboration.
For the success of digitalization processes, it is important to develop a digitalization strategy. A smart digitalization strategy will help your small business use current and future technologies efficiently to strengthen its business processes without incurring unnecessary costs. They are expected to keep pace with the ever-changing technology, new business models, and growing customer base. Being a part of the ever-growing global market and having a top-notch website is not going to be enough for you.
Challenges of Digitalization As a Small Business
By implementing digitalization, small and medium businesses can reinvent their organization, rethink their workflows and foster a culture of continuous innovation. Nevertheless, there are also fears, concerns, and hindrances that arise from digitalization. However, by planning, defining the problem, and assessing your resources before beginning a digitization project, you can greatly reduce the chance of costly mistakes and ensure your project is successful.
5 Common Problems In The Digitization Process
📝 Lack of planning.
🤔 Failing to define the problem before starting on a solution.
😒 Not understanding what you want to achieve.
💰 Lack of a budget.
👀 Lack of time and other resources.
These pitfalls can be avoided by considering them during the planning process for your digitization project. By considering potential pitfalls and problems, you will be better equipped to deal with them if they arise. You should have a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve and why. That way, if an unforeseen problem does arise you can adapt your methods accordingly.
So, to build a digitalization strategy you need to:
- Understand the challenges your business is facing.
- Do not force digitalization onto the company too rapidly.
- Ask yourself why you want to digitalize.
- Identify ways to avoid the most common pitfalls of digitalization
You can protect your business from the negative consequences of a digital transformation if you make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want and how it will impact your business.
This is something that many small businesses ignore, to their detriment. The types of problems involved in this lack of information range from not knowing the return on investment for something like creating an app for your store to employees not knowing why they’re being asked to do certain tasks and as such not doing them.
There are many things that need to be discussed before you can actually get started with your digitalization process.
- Why do we need digitalization?
- What needs does it address?
- What opportunities does it create?
- Will you create an inside team or outsource?
- Which investments are needed, and how much funding is available for them?
- When should each phase be finished and how much time is available for this project?
What Are The Pros & Cons Of Outsourcing Your Digitalization Needs?
Outsourcing can have many advantages as well as disadvantages. A good team, a clear business strategy, and an initial plan can help. You can protect your business from the negative consequences of a digital transformation if you make sure you have a clear understanding of what you want and how it will impact your business. Most of them can be easily avoided by making sure that before you commit to anything, everything is clearly defined and planned.
Digital transformation is a complex process and if you want to get the most out of it, then the best thing to do is to engage multiple parties. An agile and cost-effective model for digital transformation is maybe not easy to find. The insurance of success is found through giving your digital transformation the time it deserves, which can be done by using professionals with the necessary expertise.
Outsourcing has multiple benefits that can help your business to grow. However, they come with their own set of downsides, which mean that you need to be careful when you outsource work.
Digitalization can be done at different levels, which we call the 4 phases of digital maturity.
Digitalization is the process of transforming your business processes into digital ones. It’s not just automating processes but also a change in how you work. Digitalization can be done at different levels, which we call the four phases of digital maturity.
When you first start optimizing your processes, you’re moving from analog to digital, but your tools and processes don’t communicate with each other. You may use a subcontractor for processing orders or an outside vendor for email marketing, for example.
Once you move to Phase II, you’ve started connecting the tools and services you use by integrating them with one another through a unified platform or system. Your team will be able to work more efficiently because they’ll have more information at their fingertips when they need it most.
In this phase, you’re moving beyond connecting your platforms; you start actually automating some of your processes by using real-time data captured by those platforms. Every decision is made with data that has been collected and analyzed in real-time.
- Data-Based Predictive
Finally, when you reach the fourth stage, you can make consistent predictions about the future using your business data and artificial intelligence technologies.
As a Result
Digitization offers up a promising future for small and medium businesses. However, to benefit that potential, it must be properly planned from identifying needs to choosing the correct software solution.
Digitalization is a highly valuable tool that can help a business to rethink its processes and thus transform its concept into a new direction. However, despite being so valuable, many businesses are afraid of this process because they believe that it will be more costly and time-consuming for them.
Actually, it’s an easy process with the right people and sources. Digitalization is not a destination, it is an ongoing process. Applying the results of your digitalization will provide you with new information about how you can further adapt your way of working and fields of activities. You should always strive to improve and take things to the next level.
Start by asking yourself what you really want from digitalization and how you can successfully go about it. In this way, you would be able to reap the benefits of digitalization without facing costly mistakes or problems along the way.
To sum up, digitalization is not the magic wand that can help you solve all of your business challenges, however with the right planning and outsourcing can dramatically improve your operational efficiency.