Digital transformation didn’t gently knock on our doors. It breached through like there was no door at all.
Every wise business owner today must seek a solution for rapid and successful digital transformation.
However, everything has its beginning and foundation, and the foundation of digital transformation is digitization.
What is digitization?
Digitization is the process of converting analog information into a digital format.
Let’s face it, the times of hard copies and stacks of paperwork have passed. Today’s businesses must store information digitally, even in the cloud.
If your organization is still archiving documents in a filing cabinet, it’s time to give in to digitization and realize it’s the first step of digital transformation.
Benefits of digitization
No matter what industry you’re in, your enterprise handles tons of information daily. This information must be stored somewhere.
The notepad containing bright ideas for your next project, in-trays containing stacks of documents, client folders, filing cabinets, even pitch documents — all these office staples have convenient digital counterparts.
These electronic aids can contain all your letters, photos, hand-drawn schemes, and in fact anything you can imagine in digital form.
But why would you want to do this? You like having hard copies around the place. Well, the benefits are numerous:
1. Enhanced product availability
Let’s say you have a store where you sell certain goods. The only way to make your product available to your customers is to have them come to your shop.
However, once you digitize information about your products, you can distribute them through websites and apps.
In fact, physical asset retailers are now losing out big time to the giants of e-commerce. Best Buy, J.C. Penney, Sears and Macy’s have each lost more than $10 billion in market value over the past decade while Amazon has created more than $300 billion in market value over the same period.
2. The basis for further innovation
Once your data is converted to a digital format, you can now start adopting new technologies to further improve your operations.
CRMs will quickly sort your messy client accounts, while automation software can make your employees’ workload more manageable.
3. Optimization and a boost in productivity
Once the whole information flow of your enterprise is digitized, you’ll get to enjoy the optimization of workflow.
Navigating cloud servers is much easier and faster than physical data referencing. Taking this obstacle away will free up your employees’ time for more creative tasks and significantly lower the number of manual data entry mistakes in their reports.
4. Benefits for customers and partners
Digitization allows your customers and partners to access your information and services faster and easier. This, eventually, leads to a better customer experience and boosted satisfaction levels.
Essentials of good digitization
Digitizing, just like any aspect of digital transformation, is not an easy one-day task. In order to succeed, you need to be patient and precise.
Here are 4 digitization essentials to keep in mind.
1. Don’t attempt anything without a plan
Just as with any major change, digitization should start with a solid plan.
Define all the data you want to extract, where do you want to store the information, and what departments will be affected by the upcoming changes.
2. Assess what resources you have to work with
Outline all your resources including workplaces, server spaces, and budget.
3. Conduct a pilot project
Once you’ve organized everything, make a test upload and allow for a test period. See how the first digitized batch works, collect the feedback from users and your workers and analyze the results.
This is your chance to avoid inconveniences in the future by testing and adjusting your methods and service providers.
4. Be consistent in your methods
Once you feel secure in your choices, it is time to proceed to the uploading process. Be consistent and convert data in manageable portions.
After that, the (digital) world’s your oyster…
Once you’ve climbed this important stair, you’ve opened yourself up to a whole new world of technological transformation and progress.
The best thing is that you’ll see the benefits almost immediately in higher employee productivity, fast return of investments, and new possibilities.