If there’s one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that the world is moving towards a digital way of life, and as business owners, digital adoption is the way forward for business success. According to a study by BDC, businesses that have adopted technology were 52 percent more likely to have high-profit growth and 329 percent more likely to have developed innovation. The study also states that 60 percent of businesses that adopted digital technology saw increased productivity and reduced operating costs, and 42 percent reported improved product quality.
There’s a difference between digital adoption and digital transformation, however. Digital adoption is the process by which employees or customers learn to leverage new technology, like software products, apps and websites, to its fullest potential to enhance business operations.
For example, if you manage your accounting system in-house, you may consider using cloud-based accounting software that is remotely accessible to staff. This can be beneficial in situations like the office closures we experienced during the pandemic, as it enables business to continue as usual. Whether invoicing customers, collecting payments or depositing funds, cloud-based accounting software can minimize disruption to necessary back-office functions
Digital transformation, on the other hand, is using software to replace manual processes. Should your business need to track inventory, for example, expanding your accounting system to function more like an Enterprise Resource (ERP) system and implementing a cloud-based inventory application that integrates into your accounting hub allows customers to order products online and have consistent, up-to-date inventory levels available for a smooth customer experience.
Adopting digital technology is vital, especially for sectors like e-commerce, which has more than doubled since before the pandemic. Embracing digital technology — whether customer-facing tools like inventory tracking, mobile apps and online video, back-office tech like ERP, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Human Resource Information System (HRIS) or systems like invoicing software, cloud computing, automation and IoT — will increase ROI, improve workflows and internal efficiencies and reduce costs. It can also improve customer reach and experience and drive sales.
Adopting digital technology isn’t a complex endeavour but knowing where to start is important. For efficiency and a smooth transition, first determine your business goals. For instance, do you want to increase ROI? Drive sales? Make operations more efficient? Once you have established your overall goal, create a plan outlining how this new technology will be implemented over the next year and how its effectiveness will be measured. As changing systems (or adopting new ones) can impact how the business operates overall, it may also be challenging for some team members, so inform your team and set aside training time before incorporating the technologies in order to smooth any bumps along the way
As the world moves towards all things digital, so must your business for future success. Adopting digital technology may seem daunting initially, but investing in new technologies will put your business on the right path — a path that can fork into new opportunities that may not have been a consideration pre-pandemic.