As a startup, you may want to run your business as lean and efficient as possible. You would like to ensure you’re squeezing all the profit you can and prevent unwanted expenses and losses. After all, your funds are limited, and the risk of going down in a few months is still high.
The current buzzword in the industry nowadays is digital transformation. It’s lauded as the best way to improve a company’s efficiency and profitability. For a startup, it seems like the holy grail of success. However, it’s a costly and risky solution.
Not all changes that digital transformation brings can instantly improve your business’ situation. In some cases, they may be detrimental temporarily. According to 39% of executives, they only got the value they expected from digital transformation three to five years after starting it. (1)
To prevent the temporary disadvantages of digital transformation in a startup, you may want to follow these five tips:
1. Don’t skip establishing support and IT teams
While it’s true that most people are more tech-savvy nowadays, new technologies and processes may still leave them confused and bewildered at times. Because of that, it’s critical to establish support and IT teams to help them out in case they encounter problems or have questions.
For example, getting a first-class business intelligence service like Nexis DaaS would prove to be an excellent decision in providing you with great help in your company, data management wise. However, services and technologies like this can appear highly foreign to your employees. To ensure their productivity won’t suffer and prevent them from making mistakes, establish support and IT teams to guide and assist them with using their new tools.
2. Don’t be discreet about your digital transformation
And let everyone know about it, for that matter. Remember that you’re still a startup. You’ve started a business operating under traditional processes and workflows. Altering how and where people do things suddenly and without warning can get them off their bearings, which can bring down the efficiency of your business operations.
Before you make any drastic changes like digital transformation in your company, inform everyone involved and affected about your roadmap or plan.
Aside from letting them know, you should also ensure that everyone should be on board with it. However, don’t just make your people agree with your plans. They must also understand the what, how, and why of all the changes you will implement. Know that digital transformation doesn’t only bring technological changes, but it also brings cultural shifts and new business practices and may even restructure your original business model.
Pushing the changes on unsuspecting people will make them resist those changes. Having a lack of communication with the plan you have will make it challenging for your business overall to accomplish the goals you have aspired for the change.
3. Don’t focus on new technology, prioritize your goals instead
Take note that digitization is different from digital transformation. Digitalization is the act of updating traditional methods to digital ones. One excellent example is letting go of paper documents in favor of digital files. On the other hand, a digital transformation is the act of incorporating digital technology, processes, and culture. (2)
When crafting a digital transformation plan for your startup, prioritize the goals over the new technology you want to employ. While it’s true that implementing digital technologies can help companies meet their goals by 22%, not all technologies can. For example, if the traditional way of doing things is much more efficient than getting new tech and devices, don’t change anything. (3)
To know what changes you’ll need to employ in your company, talking to your employees is a good idea. After working for a few months or years, they can say a few things about areas of improvement in your business operations.
Knowing those concerns can allow you to gauge if your current digital transformation plan can address them-if not, then you can amend your digital transformation project and add a few things to take care of those newfound problems.
4. Don’t ignore feedback and sentiments
In addition to talking to your employees before you create and implement your digital transformation plan, you should speak to them once everything’s done. Remember that some things only look good on paper and might not work as you intended when applied in real life.
Revisit the employees who spoke of their concerns and see if the changes you’ve employed in your business positively affected them. Determine if those changes need to exist or be changed. While digital transformation is often a one-time-big-time move, it’s also a long-term solution that requires constant planning, replanning, and updating.
5. Don’t forget to do your research
One of the reasons you might be here reading about digital transformation is that a third-party company offered you a modernization service. It’s good that you’ve already started doing your research. It’s commendable that you didn’t just accept a third-party company’s offer.
Know that not all startups can benefit from a digital transformation. In some cases, you may be already doing fine with the current technology you’re with. Forcing your company to transform now may cause you to incur unnecessary expenses with little to no return of investment.
These are just a few things you should remember and follow when you decide to start planning and applying a digital transformation in your business. Remember, one of the main goals of a digital transformation is for your business to operate smarter, not harder. Choose the right tech, tools, and process for your people, and you’ll be rewarded with efficiency and profitability.
- “Remote work is boosting productivity, study finds”, Source: https://venturebeat.com/2021/09/15/working-away-from-traditional-offices-will-become-the-new-norm/
- “Uncovering the connection between digital maturity and financial performance”, Source: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/insights/topics/digital-transformation/digital-transformation-survey.html
- “Digitization vs. Digitalization vs. Digital Transformation”, Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/digitization-vs-digitalization-digital-transformation-ritik-agarwal
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