Smart business leaders are always looking for new ways to take their businesses to the next level. This often takes the form of adding new tools, employees and processes to their business.
However, many of us find ourselves accepting our already established processes as ‘just how things are done’. This can lead to businesses that were previously performing optimally missing out on new developments and innovations - losing their competitive edge.
In this article, we explore digital business and why moving your business into the digital space could be a great way to take it to the next level.
What Is Digital Business?
Before we dive into some of the reasons that you should consider making your business digital, let’s take a minute to define precisely what we mean by the term ‘digital business’.
Businesses have always relied on processes in order to keep the business moving. These processes could be specific to anything from financial accounting to manufacturing and marketing.
Traditionally, these processes would rely on either employee knowledge or paper-based systems. For example, a doctor's surgery would typically keep paper documents that contain details and information about their patients, these documents would be held in files and organised in a filing system. Similarly, a manufacturing company would record everything from supplier details to manufacturing processes on paper, which would be securely stored.
Although these methods for running businesses are severely outdated, some companies still partially or entirely rely on the same ‘way of doing things’ that they have for decades.
Digital business is all about moving these processes into the digital space. This allows for many benefits, which we will cover in the next section.
Why Does Going Digital Matter?
When you move your business into a digital space you can take advantage of a heightened level of security.
This is especially true for businesses that deal with sensitive or large amounts of customer data. Moving this data onto many digital platforms allows you to take advantage of advanced encryption and protection of that data.
Better security can also be found by backing up your data on the cloud. Where physical copies can be lost, stolen or damaged, digital copies can be backed up in multiple locations, which decreases the chances of permanently losing essential information.
The huge move to remote working has made digital business more attractive than ever before.
When you take your business digital you make it significantly easier for your team members to access the tools and information they need. For example, typically digital business employees with the correct login credentials can access business information and tools from anywhere with an internet connection.
Automation can be a smart way to drastically increase the productivity of your business with minimal financial investment. This is made possible when you make your business digital.
For example, reporting on key business metrics, that may have taken several employees days to complete before, can be done with the press of a button through smart, digital automation tools.
Almost any business task that involves the same set of processes to be followed each time can be replaced by automation - freeing up your employee's time to focus on applying their expertise to the bigger picture.
Business Function Communication
Centralising your data in one digital space makes it easier for each business function to communicate and support each other.
For example, when you move your business into the digital space your finance team could automatically receive updates regarding the activity of your sales team. Not only does this help streamline the communication of information, but it also helps ensure its accuracy.
With many businesses looking to migrate more and more of their processes into the digital space, when you move your business into the same space you make it easier than ever to streamline communication with your customers.
For example, rather than receiving purchase orders in the post that need to be processed, recorded and filed, when both you and your customer are in the digital space all purchase orders can be automatically sent, received and processed.
Ultimately, this will help you better serve your customers, increasing their satisfaction and strengthening your business.
When you move your business into the digital space, you make it much easier to take advantage of new innovations. For example, when computers first came about companies could benefit from moving their old financial accounting processes onto spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel.
However, as technology developed, more advanced financial accounting software become available. By already being digital, it would have been far easier for a company to migrate to these new tools via a simple spreadsheet import.
Similarly, by already being digital you can make it much easier to take advantage of updates and innovations in digital business tools.
It is clear that there are many benefits to taking your business digital. Ultimately, going digital will help you increase productivity, eliminate wasted time and better serve your customers - all of which will lead to higher profits.