Digital Transformation and Business Comms – Make 2021 the Year You Get Up to Date

19th July 2021

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Digital technology has, dramatically, changed the way we live, the way we work and the world.

 

Almost every aspect of life – from shopping to finding love – has been revolutionised by technological advances. The world of business is no exception, especially when it comes to business communication. New technologies have enabled businesses to significantly improve internal and external communication processes – resulting in higher productivity, happier staff and, ultimately, increased profits.

Making changes to your business technology can seem overwhelming and the prospect of disrupting established systems and processes is daunting. Long term, however, the gains brought about by embracing new, high-quality technologies massively outweigh any short term disruption.

In this article, we look at what ‘digital transformation’ is, how businesses can embrace it and examine some of the latest business communication innovations available to businesses.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation (DX) started in the late 1950’s and refers to the trend for businesses to choose new, digital solutions to tackle old problems. For example (with the exception of Japan) the fax machine has largely been replaced by email in businesses around the world. Printed documents have been replaced by digital files, due to the ease of sharing and reduced risk of losing information. Finally with the PSTN/ISDN switch-off on the horizon, traditional telephony is being replaced by VoIP.

But what exactly do we mean by ‘digital transformation’? It can get a little confusing, as people often use two very similar words when talking about transforming ‘digitally’. Let’s take a look at them and what they really mean.

  • Digitisation – the conversion of analogue information to digital form – e.g. if you convert a vinyl record into an MP3 you are digitising it.
  • Digitalisation – the use of digital technologies to change organisational structures and systems – e.g. if you implement a paperless office, you are engaged in digitalisation.

So, Digital Transformation therefore refers to the overarching societal effect of digitalisation.

For businesses, Digital Transformation is fantastic. In fact, 89% of businesses have either already adopted a digital-first strategy or plan to do so and 40% of companies have reported improved operational efficiency since ‘going digital’.  There is no doubt that the effects of the pandemic have increased the pace of Digital Transformation within business. From offering services and products online to completely moving their business process offsite to allow staff to work from home, the pandemic can be seen as a clear turning point for digital transformation.

Embrace Change

New technology is created as an attempt to make our lives easier and how easy the technology can make our lives depends on how effective it is. Therefore the tech marketplace is incredibly competitive, which has led to a rapid increase of high-quality products and services, with brands consistently trying to ‘out-innovate’ each other in a bid to win your attention and your money.

This, combined with the fact that we’re more technologically advanced than ever before, means now is a great time to fully immerse your business in the technological transformation. However, embracing change isn’t as easy as it sounds. Research suggests that 70% of digital transformations fail.

Luckily, there are several effective strategies that you can follow to help ensure the success of your transformation.

Explain and Explain Again

One of the biggest challenges facing your change project is getting employees on board. As such, you need to tell them how the change will benefit them. Start by assuming employees have zero knowledge of the technology you’re looking to introduce. Then provide them a comprehensive explanation of exactly what it is and what it does.

Alleviate Fear

Change can often lead to fear. In the case of Digital Transformation, employees may be fearful that they won’t understand or be able to use the new technology. Alleviate these concerns by showing them case studies of previous change projects or of similar projects undertaken by other businesses to illustrate that change is possible and that they can do it.

Encourage Participation

Nothing beats hands-on experience and active participation when it comes to helping people to become well acquainted with new technology. Most good vendors will offer demonstrations and seminars to introduce staff to their products. By acquainting staff with a new technology before implementing is, you can help to ensure a smooth transition.

Keep Staff Up-To-Date

Any project is subject to change, so it’s important that you are as transparent as possible about your digital transformation process. Ensure staff are informed of any updates, as and when they happen. Keeping your staff in the know will help to reduce confusion and improve employee backing during the project.

Lead By Example and Support New Processes

The technology you want to introduce will replace or augment existing processes. Make sure you encourage employees to adopt these changes by embracing them yourself. If you continue using outdated technology, your staff are likely to do so as well. Leading by example will make employees more likely to get behind the new way of working you’re looking to implement.

Unified Communications

One area that has seen dramatic technological advancement in recent years is business communication. Today, technologies exist that allow employees to:

  • Instantly chat and share files with each other
  • Work remotely
  • Make conference calls
  • Utilise VoIP
  • Follow the same processes
  • Make use of the full range of traditional communications applications such as:
    • Email
    • Call Centre functions (call forwarding, queuing, voicemail, IVR, etc)
    • Social media communications
    • Collaboration tools

Unifying communications makes a lot of sense from a business perspective. Previously, businesses needed to rely on handful of independent technologies to benefit from the new communication innovations that the digital revolution ushered in. A unified communications solution bundles these services together, making it much easier for employees to switch between them, save time and improve information flow, both within and outside of your business. In short, by giving employees one point of access to every communication application they use, your business will save time, money and resources, as well as experience improved productivity and increased revenue.

Start Your Digital Transformation with Elite

At Elite Group, we specialise in supplying industry-leading unified communications solutions. We work with you to identify your specific needs and will create a cost-effective unified communications solution that meets your needs. Our experienced team offer hands-on training to help you and your employees understand exactly how your solution works and our award-winning support team will provide on-going assistance to ensure that you continue to get the most out of your solution.

We work with the industry’s leading communications suppliers, meaning we can provide the very latest solutions from a variety of vendors. Whether you’re looking to foster collaboration, introduce remote working, improve call handling or synchronise geographically disparate offices, we will be able to create a solution that works for you.

Elite Group is one of the UK’s leading unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and unified communication services to organisations seeking Business MobileCloudNetworkingConnectivity, and Telephony solutions.

For more information on how Elite Group can power your unified communication solutions,  call us or request a quote today.