Digital Acceleration: Why Is It Essential For Businesses?
Many companies have been transitioning toward digital transformation for years before the pandemic, but once Covid-19 struck, it means that every organization has to either adapt or risk left behind by their competitors.
In fact, companies have always been aware of the need for flexibility and adaptability to change. However, many do not understand how quickly they have to change when the Coronavirus invades the world.
Companies have to switch from face-to-face meetings at offices to working from home and conducting various business activities via digital channels, in some cases changing into a completely new business model. Many organizations have put in intensive efforts and resources to streamline their business processes in order to make their data available for efficient decision making, when and where needed. Yet, the outcome may not turn out as expected sometimes.
Thus, the emergence of digital acceleration comes about as a solution. Technologies such as cloud computing services, mobile, machine learning (ML), and artificial intelligence (AI) have been playing a critical role to push the digitization of various business systems while offering new capabilities and ideas. Companies can gain a competitive edge and become more successful if they adopt digital acceleration and leverage technology as a means of engaging with customers, enabling business flexibility, and automating business processes.
What are the benefits of digital acceleration?
How companies adopt and leverage new technologies will determine how they benefit from digital acceleration. Here are some common advantages of digitizing business processes and digital acceleration:
Digital acceleration gives businesses real-time access to data and insights, new methods, and KPIs, paving the way for new revenue opportunities. As a result, companies that adopt technology early and are flexible enough to adapt to the new business conditions, are in a unique position to offer what their competitors cannot.
Traditional software and tools are incompatible with today's business needs and processes. Working with data and information is often difficult. This, as a result, requires costly software development and does it also not always allow organizations to adapt to the modern business landscape. Digital acceleration is a low-cost, high-return investment solution to these problems.
As organizations grow and expand to take advantage of new businesses opportunities, they often realize that their technology does not work properly to fully capitalize on the opportunity. Many IT systems cannot be scaled up to the speed of business growth. New digital technologies, such as cloud computing, enable businesses to scale efficiently without facing significant delays or challenging installation and migration.
Time & Costs Reduction
Currently, many skilled employees spend a significant chunk of their time every day performing repetitive manual, rules-based tasks (e.g. data entry and form filling, etc.) that modern software and automation technology can perform at a lower cost.
Business organizations usually try to make decisions based on the information and reports they have at the time. Yet, if the reporting data is incomplete, fragmented, or missing, they will not be able to make the best-informed decisions. This problem can even distort information and sometimes result in costly mistakes.
Digital acceleration centralizes data and integrates systems - enabling one single source of truth, making it easier to access real-time data and generate reports, analyze the impact of changes, and even identify new insights previously hidden in the previous data silos.
The COVID-19 pandemic will not be the last significant change in the digital world or the human world. Consumer behavior can dramatically change with time, forcing a company's business and IT system to always keep up to date with the advent of new technologies and evolving consumer trends. Not only do they have to survive, but companies that want to thrive in a new digital economy must know to adapt quickly in times of uncertainty.
Digital Acceleration Adoption Across Industries
Banks and financial institutions have embarked on their digital initiatives long before COVID but quickly became accustomed to digital acceleration in the event of the pandemic. Organizations in the banking and financial services sector have expanded their offerings to a great extent through mobile channels, including innovative online banking platforms that allow self-service capabilities such as account opening and eKYC.
Changes in customer service standards in the telecommunications industry have brought digital acceleration closer. Many industry leaders have embraced many new technologies, such as chatbots to answer frequently asked questions by customers for faster response and better services.
Insurance companies have been utilizing Artificial Intelligence and advanced analytics so that they can quickly collect and analyze customers’ data from cloud sources in order to provide quotes and process claims better, faster, and more efficiently.
Digital transformation projects have enabled healthcare companies to go digital. Many patients and doctors nowadays use video calls via mobile apps for appointments to diagnose and get treatments remotely. Doctors and healthcare professionals can take on new patients, update patient information, and communicate with them in real-time via the chat functionality.
E-commerce companies and retailers with knowledge and risk appetite have reaped the benefits of digital acceleration. Advanced digital capabilities have been fully integrated into their working model. Some examples include recommender systems, AI-based marketing campaigns, predictive analytics, and many others.
How to Get started with digital acceleration?
Every business is different has unique needs, prior to the pandemic, technology has been increasingly becoming an important part of their operations. Technology affects business in different sectors differently. Unfortunately, there’s no one size fit all solution for all businesses and any business. To get the most out of your digital initiatives efforts, look internal and identify the prominent problems that should and need to be solved with technology.
Specifically, businesses can examine certain business processes to identify pain points - manual and repetitive tasks that are time-consuming. Then organize them into a strategy that works best for the company and its stakeholders. These processes and systems, if digitized properly, can minimize disruption, and quickly create visible benefits for businesses.
Digital acceleration starts with a plan. Look for small changes that can realize quick effects, such as a new channel to engage with customers. Then decide how much time, and resources it will take to implement the new changes, how much time and costs your businesses can save, and how important or urgent it will be for your business to try and implement such technology.
Once the new technology is deployed, go back, evaluate the whole process from beginning to end, evaluate the results and determine whether the outcome was as expected. Find out the errors that can be corrected and improve, and repeat the process until completed. Then tackle the next step on the digital acceleration journey and so on.