Digital transformation is increasingly important. For very small (VSEs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the processes may be less complex than at Google or Amazon, but are all the more important. Whether we're talking about automation, user and customer experiences, or analytical data processing, the stakes are high when it comes to integrating new technologies into a company's daily operations.
The term can be frightening to some, and the costs associated with it can be just as scary. This is why planning is essential before embarking on the development of an automation. During this needs identification phase, it is important to target the processes that will bring the automation to an optimal level; there is no point in trying to automate a process or a task that only involves one person or that only takes a few minutes to accomplish. Instead, focus on automating repetitive, low-level tasks. It's best to choose a process that could save time and resources if it were automated.
Despite this trend in process automation, there is a strong need for irreplaceable human skills for problem solving, creative thinking and flexibility.
According to IBM, this need is called "corporate experience and humanity" and emphasizes that a company's people remain its most important asset.
Cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging artificial intelligence technologies themselves to conduct attacks. As there is a shortage of cybersecurity talent, companies must therefore learn to automate their security processes to be able to deal with the many ever-growing cyber threats.
Automation becomes much more than a practical tool and allows companies to increase their performance and productivity at all levels in a secure manner. It saves time, reduces errors, increases productivity and improves communication, data tracking and cost reduction.
For example, automating a company's marketing allows it to better target its customers, to reach them efficiently at the right time and with the best possible message.
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By integrating new technologies into their business models, companies can better meet their customers' needs. Thus, a successful digital transformation allows to offer a secure, personalized service, accessible anywhere and anytime.
A company that decides to undertake a digital transformation must first develop a strategy. Such a metamorphosis is not just another project to be carried out or another product to be developed, but a central element of the company's identity.
A digital transformation strategy is the plan that defines how a company decides to proceed. Such a document should list the key elements with respect to the company's current situation, market barriers and opportunities, prioritized vision and goals, and an action plan.
Having a digital strategy in place allows a company to measure the transformation's value and performance, drive innovation, accelerate resource allocation, reduce time to market and more.
Thus, a company that does not establish a digital transformation strategy exposes itself to serious survival consequences. Consumers are increasingly demanding and are focusing on companies that can offer personalized and high quality services.
Customer experience plays an important role when it comes to interacting with technology. Being able to book an appointment online or make a secure purchase on an attractive website is an engaging experience for the consumer.
User experience (UX) is just as important as customer experience as it helps satisfy user needs and improve the efficiency of a company's digital operations, as well as customer loyalty. Statistics have proven that every dollar invested in creating an effective UX can yield $100. Moreover, 88% of internet users confirmed that they do not use websites and apps if the user experience is not good.
Therefore, a company must consider UX as one of the most important elements of a digital transformation if it does not want to fail its process. By creating a positive UX, the company modernizes its process and technology platform while ensuring smooth navigation for users.
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Once digital transformation begins, companies turn to data collection and analysis processes. Data analytics validates a theory or hypothesis based on collected and extracted information. In the past, the data analyzed was primarily used to make future decisions, but today, this type of analysis allows for real-time decisions or the identification of emerging trends.
Data analytics can provide a clearer picture of what works and what doesn't, allowing companies to make faster, more informed decisions. With enough data, it is possible to predict certain behaviors of a target audience, understand their needs, and react quickly to meet the demand.Advertising campaigns are then better targeted with this data.
A recent industry survey covering five countries indicates that the use of data and analytics is aimed at driving process and cost efficiency, improving strategy and change, and monitoring and optimizing financial performance.
The benefits of this practice are numerous for companies, as there are several types of data analytics. Descriptive analysis, among others, allows to evaluate what has happened (inventory take, sales variation, etc.), while predictive analysis can predict future trends by analyzing present data (anticipation of customer behaviors, fraud detection, marketing campaign optimization, etc.).
There are other types of analytics, such as prescriptive analytics (problem solving), data mining (transforming unstructured data), artificial intelligence (processing information in a human way), machine learning (the ability of a computer to program itself), text mining (the ability of a computer to read text or listen to language), and Big Data (collecting, analyzing, and storing huge amounts of data).
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Of course, digital transformation trends do not come down to the ones listed above. Low-code tools, touchless solutions, hybrid working and multi-cloud architecture can also be included, among others. However, according to our expertise in digital transformation for VSEs and SMEs, automation, customer/user experience and analytical processing are to be achieved as a priority, as they provide positive results in the short, medium and long term.
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