Going digital has been believed to focus on e-commerce and fin-tech in Nigeria. Other industries had not seen the need to digitize their processes for speed, accuracy, productivity, convenience and efficiency. Until today, the effect of Covid-19 has brought this to the thought of every entrepreneur. “Can I operate digital?” Yes, it is time for a new recipe…

According to Liferay, Digital businesses is one that uses technology to create new value in business models, customer experiences and the internal capabilities that support its core operations.

Introducing digital technology does not mean you have to turn your company into a high-tech start-up. Digital technologies are now more affordable, user-friendly and robust than ever before, and they are also accessible to businesses of all sizes. Here are few tips to start making the digital shift in your business.

Map your processes and the flow of information

Mapping your processes and flow of information will help outline each unit’s operation system, goals and objectives, identify any gaps and recommend solutions before digital technologies can be introduced.  At this point, many entrepreneurs will find out that they don’t have the right processes in place. This will also help identify opportunities where technology can be used to improve the right process, and also what type of technology can be used. Examples of such are: Customer Relationship Management software’s (CRM), Sage, Zoom, and Slack.

Focus on your consumer needs

The need to understand and focus on your consumer is essential as not every consumer is looking for the same thing. Depending on your sector, your consumer focus can be on quality, ease of business, pricing etc. Your choice of technology should be driven by the motivations of your consumer, and some of your operational pain points to enhance productivity and capacity to deliver value. For example, a logistic company that uses tracking technologies to provide fast and accurate deliveries to its customers will be more successful than competitors that cannot.

Make strategic choices

It is important to note and prioritize the essential operations that needs to go digital, and what technology holds the most potential for your business. Organizations will need to consider various criteria in selecting what technology to use or how fast they can go. Such criteria that will guide strategic decision making are: Financial standing, Consumer needs, Financial target, Productivity etc. Organizations will need to benchmark their operational efficiency with industry best practices, and continuously seek improvement to achieve digital transformation

Empower your employees

Your ability to hire skilled staff and manage your team effectively when introducing new technology will be a key factor affecting your success.

One key factor is that you need to involve your employees when going digital. Your employees need to understand the objectives and how it will make their job delivery more efficient and productive. Business owners must also offer appropriate training and onboarding process to employees who will be using the new technology. It is also important to get feedback from the employees who are the direct users on the impact of the technology.

Go step by step

In your digital business transformation, it is important for businesses to go a step at a time. One of the worst mistakes businesses can make is to implement all the different Industry technologies at the same time, or too fast without appropriate analysis. Successful businesses start with small projects to build skills, iron out problems and prove return on investment before taking a next step. Going paperless, for example, is one of the easiest and cheapest digital technologies you can implement. It also has the benefit of being able to save you time and money.

Get external help

In spite of the increasing ease of use, some digital technologies remain complex and can be difficult to put in place. Working with external expertise can help you map out your processes, choose the technology that’s right for you and train your employees. Bear in mind that going digital is an investment, hence you do not want to get it wrong.

Digitizing your business operations will give your business a boost and put you in a competitive edge amongst your competitors in any given situation.

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