The digital transformation (DT) is already affecting your business, whether or not you realize it.
Do you use a cloud-based application for your business? A customer relationship management (CRM) system? Can you and your workers share documents and calendars? These are all steps along the path to digital transformation, so you may already be on the path.
According to a global report from IDC, there’s a correlation between how far small- and medium-sized businesses are along the DT path and their revenue growth. Sponsored by SAP, the report, “Thriving in the Digital Economy: How small and midsize enterprises are adapting to digital transformation,” shows that more than half of fast-growing companies are actively engaged in digital transformation. Fast growing is defined as more than 10% annual revenue growth among the 3,200 respondents from 11 countries. Company size ranged from 10 employees to 999, reflecting a wide swath of companies.
Listen to Your Youngers
One fun, but not surprising, factoid from the report shows that companies run by Millennials (1980- ) or Gen Xers (1965-1980) are farther along the DT adoption curve than preceding generations. It makes sense that those who grew up with technology are more likely to use it in business, which should give you an idea or two about the type of person you want to lead your company’s digital transformation efforts.
Among North American companies, 25% are at the earliest stages of transformation, with about half making significant progress. But don’t let these statistics scare you into investments that you’re not ready to take full advantage of.
As I mentioned earlier, you likely are on the DT path already. So take a deep breath, and let’s see where your company stands against other small and midsize firms. One quarter of small firms (10-99 employees) and about 40% of midsize ones (100-999 employees) have implemented at least one digital component.
Among digital components:
- One-half or more of all companies are using some type of collaboration tool to share documents and calendars.
- More than half of midsize companies are using a CRM system; 40% of small companies are.
- Nearly half of midsize companies are using business analytics/business intelligence tools to aid decision-making.
- One-third of smaller companies are using e-commerce or online order taking; 45% of the largest companies are doing so.
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is being by just 25% of smaller companies, compared to adoption rates of 41% among companies with 100-499 employees and 47% for larger companies.
What Does This Mean for Me?
The journey to digital transformation isn’t a race – it’s leveraging the right technologies to help a business achieve its goals. So any effort should start with an understanding of where your business stands from a DT viewpoint (present), how it should look in one, two and five years based on projections (future) and what it will take to get from the present to the future.
Many companies are using mobile tools as part of their digital transformation journey, and mobile app development merits close attention.
But don’t forget it’s also about people and process. Some of your workers can’t run, and converting a manual process into a digital one may not get you the efficiencies you need to compete in an increasingly global world.
Take the time to understand your future state, recognize that culture change may be needed to get your workers back in the race and know that implementing technology is just the first step to increasing productivity and improving processes.