Digital transformation: New study shows how to grow your business in 2021
It’s often said that change equals growth. But while that may be true, it doesn’t take into account the fact that changing how we do something – and adapting to new technologies and systems – can be hard. If you own or run a company, where a change in process means tens or even hundreds of people learning a new way of working, just the thought of mixing it up can be extremely daunting. However, with new digital technologies making businesses… more efficient, more secure and more successful, it’s hard to ignore the positives of digital transformation.
Research this year by OneAffiniti took a closer look at how the last tumultuous 12 months might have affected the outlook of IT and business decision makers, in terms of continuing on (or maybe even starting) their digital transformation.
Some of the key takeaways from the research included:
COVID-19 changed everything
When COVID hit, business owners who experienced a loss of income, or a stall or stop in operations, had to question current plans and projected spend, some of which was earmarked for digital transformation.
However, the value of continuing to invest in better technologies and more efficient operating systems was experienced firsthand by the millions of businesses who had to reinvent themselves by going online or making it possible for teams to work from home. Those with a strong grounding in up-to-date digital technologies and systems will have found that transition less of an upheaval than those more reliant on manual operations.
Efficiency, mobility and customer experience are a primary priority
Chances are you remember what life was like before the internet – before everyone had a phone in their pocket that doubled as a computer, and before you could see a person on the other side of the world with a few clicks of a mouse. We have all reaped the benefits of technologies that make our working lives faster, easier and better, which is why operational efficiency came out on top for 32 percent of respondents who listed it as the main driver of embracing digital transformation.
32 percent of respondents listed operational efficiency as the main driver of embracing digital transformation.
What digital transformation means for small and medium businesses
While we might assume a larger company with thousands of employees would have greater difficulty implementing new digital technologies, there are specific challenges for small- and medium-sized business too.
While larger enterprises can afford to hire vendors to create and implement a strategy for digital transformation, smaller companies may not have the executive management in place to lead that charge, and may not have the budget or luxury to hire someone external. The research showed that cost, time and resources made up the bulk (61 percent) of challenges companies face when it comes to digital transformation.
Businesses with an advanced approach to digital engagement, as opposed to those with a basic approach, saw a 60 percent increase in revenue per employee.
But, despite the challenges, digital transformation should be a priority for all business, no matter their size. A 2019 report by Deloitte showed that businesses with an advanced approach to digital engagement, as opposed to those with a basic approach, saw a 60 percent increase in revenue per employee, proving that a more refined digital setup leads to significant growth and success. In simple terms, a little effort can reap great rewards.
The future is digital
While COVID-19 may have slowed some digital transformation down, the research shows that 50 percent of companies are in the experimenting and escalation phase of moving from old, outdated systems to a more modern way of working.
Unsurprisingly, IT Services are leading the charge of change (let’s be honest, it would be quite weird if they weren’t winning this particular race) and are further down the path of digital transformation – along with Education and Healthcare Industries – with Construction, Engineering and Manufacturing being slower to adapt.
Encouragingly, despite COVID and all its nasty repercussions, 40 percent of those polled said they still planned to move to the next phase of their digital transformation over the next 12 months, meaning all of those businesses will continue to grow and develop in 2021.