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July 14, 2021

INSIGHTS ARTICLE: HighRadius - Gitanjali Maria: Embrace Continuous Digital Transformation to Stay Ahead of the Curve

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Embrace Continuous Digital Transformation to Stay Ahead of the Curve
 
Reinventing your businesses is a continuous process. The market conditions, technology landscape, and even your customers’ preferences change every few years.
 
In recent times, technological advances have become a primary driver for pivoting business models. You no longer can afford to say that your business is comfortable running on legacy systems but need to be continually adopting the latest digital methods to improve speed, accuracy, processing capacity, and customer experience.
 
This means that you cannot simply implement software technology and fold your hands, sit back, and relax. You need to ensure that your business is constantly following the best digital tech practices to stay ahead of curve. You should continuously observe and experiment with tech so as not to fall behind the curve.
 
What is the story of digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies such as cloud, mobile, internet of things (IoT), and artificial intelligence (AI) to create new business processes or modify existing business processes to improve efficiency.
 
The invention of microchips and semiconductor transistors in the 1950s can be considered the trigger for the digital revolution. This and the development of ARPANET and subsequently the ‘world-wide-web’ (internet) led to ‘digital’ becoming the buzzword and the ‘norm’ today.
 
The rise of home computers, internet connectivity, cell phones, and mobile technology led to people globally getting connected, communications improving by leaps and bounds, and space and distance shrinking.
 
Companies that were used to manual paper-based methods to run operations had to adopt computer-based technology to stay efficient and to continue to be in business. And those that failed to adapt to and adopt new digital technologies were even forced to close down operations. Kodak, the camera and film roll-maker, is a classic case study of how failing to foresee and adapt to the digital world led them to lose space to newer players who offered digital products.
 
Digital transformation technologies that you should know today
 
We’ve come a long way from the early days of the internet and large-sized computing machines. Today we have pocket-sized machines with computing power several hundred times that of the early machines. Technology has evolved and on-premises computing is getting replaced with software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology, wired connections with wireless and IoT tech, and human brainpower with AI and machine learning (ML) techniques.
 
Here’s a list of the top 10 digital transformation technologies that you should be aware of and adopt in your business processes today to improve your results.
 
1. Cloud: Technology that supports on-demand availability of computing resources such as storage, servers, software, networks, and analytics. You pay for what you use.
2. API-based integration: Applications need to connect and talk to each other for smooth working. And APIs help do that. Open APIs help you connect apps easily without vendor support.
3. Big data and analytics: Self-service and advanced analytics tools help clean, analyze, and extract data from large datasets including unstructured text to identify patterns and insights.
4. Robotic process automation (RPA): Technology that helps automate repetitive rule-based tasks such as account entries, reconciliation, etc.
5. Artificial intelligence and machine learning: AI and ML technologies train machines on large datasets to enable them to mimic human actions and help in various processes such as customer service (e.g. chatbots), completing workflows, and prioritizing tasks.
6. Mobile technology: Mobile technology is a must today as computing and device usage moves from fixed desk stations to on-the-go or from anywhere concept.
7. Internet of Things: Connects physical devices to the network using sensors and enables data sharing and automated actions. IoT tech reduces manual efforts and improves efficiency.
8. Edge computing: Uses devices and servers at the network edges to decentralize computing (processing power) and improve speed and security.
9. Augmented reality and virtual reality: AR and VR technologies have widespread use cases in marketing, customer service, healthcare, and other sectors to help recreate scenarios at lower costs.
10. Cybersecurity: The growth of the digital space also means upping your cybersecurity efforts such as using cybersecurity mesh to keep the ever-increasing and sophisticated hackers and bots at bay.
 
 
How to prepare your business for future digital transformations?
 
How do you prepare your business to meet the ever-present challenge of digital transformations? Here’re some steps you should be taking today to ensure that you are prepared to meet the digital waves of tomorrow.
 
Build a digital core: Do not invest in digital solutions just for the sake of it or for immediate gains alone. Remember that you’re going to be in the digital space for the long haul. So, keeping your legacy systems as-is and trying to fit digital technologies into the architecture may not be a lasting solution. Invest in modernizing your IT infrastructure so that it helps you grow and implement newer digital technologies without any hassles.
 
Be aware of the latest developments in the tech space: Today, every business is a digital business. You can’t operate successfully without presenting your business on online channels. Neither can you operate cost-efficiently if you rely only on manual methods for day-to-day functions. While you must invest in proven digital technologies to gain benefits, remember to remain up-to-date about other developments in the tech space and your industry. Study how competitors and other businesses are approaching new digital initiatives and what analysts say about the tech.
 
Test and pilot new technologies: Embracing digital transformation does not mean that you have to invest heavily in costly technologies that are still in their nascent stages. Study how the technology can benefit your business or solve specific challenges. First, pilot them on a smaller scale and track the results. Based on the results, you can decide to further invest in the technology or wait till the technology matures.
 
Partner with tech consultants and service providers who can guide you: You may not always be able to predict the digital world or understand its intricacies. Work with tech consultants or service providers who can guide you and help you take the right steps for digital transformation.
 
Take the path of continuous transformation to reinvent and stay relevant
 
There are two paths before you. You could either decide to remain static and let the ‘digital’ waters flow over you hoping for divine intervention to keep you floating, or you could swim with the current or sometimes even ahead of it to deliver superior customer experiences and chart new business opportunities.
 
Embracing digital changes continually is, therefore, essential to transform your business and pivot it for future success.

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