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Digital transformation is not just another buzzy phrase of the moment. The concept has been around for quite a while, but its importance to the success of a modern business is more relevant today than ever. Below, we provide a brief overview of digital transformation and why your business should take steps to adopt a strategy sooner rather than later.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation varies in meaning for every business, but it essentially deals with how a business integrates technology into its processes to empower employees and better reach business objectives. Integrating digital tools is a major component of digital transformation and can include implementing new technology for sales, marketing, operations, HR, research and more. But technology is only part of the equation.

Digital transformation is just as much about the people in an organization as it is about the technology being used to help them – it’s taking a deep dive into how teams use the technology rather than what technology they are using. How are tools making information more accessible to employees? Encouraging collaboration? Strengthening daily workflow? Improving the customer experience?

The process of digitally transforming a business is continuous and should never be considered a single task to cross off your to-do list. A business should evolve with available technology as it pertains to company goals and customer expectations, regularly taking a pulse of what can be improved.

Why is digital transformation essential for a business?

Adopting a comprehensive digital transformation strategy is important for any business for a few reasons.

  • Employees can better do their jobs. When teams have tools that make information accessible across an organization, employees have an easier time getting work done.
  • Businesses stay in line with customer expectations. Customers have high expectations for the companies they interact with. If one service is easier to use than another, a customer will likely favor the one that gives them less of a headache.
  • Businesses stay ahead of competition. Things move fast in the digital space. By keeping an ongoing digital transformation strategy, a business will have an easier approach to keep up with industry demands than if they were to try and execute on the fly.

How other companies have successfully incorporated a digital transformation strategy

Digital transformation can be tough to roll out, and while there are plenty of ways to fail, many businesses have excelled.

  • T-Mobile empowers employees with transparent communication. T-Mobile had trouble managing team issues before they got out of hand, in large part because there was no central hub to keep track of conversations. The company adopted Slack, a cloud-based collaboration tool for teams, and found the transparency needed to keep everyone in the know and learning from prior mistakes.
  • Lesara applies data to accelerate go-to-market time. The e-commerce company Lesara uses predictive analytics tools to transform how it responds to a market with heavy demand, reducing their go-to-market timeline from 12 months to two weeks.
  • The Walt Disney Co. keeps employees out of the dark with on-going technology training. To fill skills gaps among employees, The Walt Disney Co. offers them a platform with video, mobile and digital content that can be accessed any time it’s needed.
  • HopeLine meets audience needs with text messaging. HopeLine is an independent volunteer organization that offers non-judgmental listening to people in crisis. To better serve their audience, HopeLine began offering text messaging via Zipwhip’s texting-for-business platform. The team can now reach more people, especially youth and young adults who would rather text than call. Texting now makes up around 40 percent of HopeLine’s communications.

How to get started

To get the digital transformation juices flowing, you’ll need to create a clear strategy first. Understand why your teams and organization as a whole are having problems and where processes could be made faster, leaner, etc. Then, figure out the technology needed to solve those problems. If you’re in a leadership role, talk to your employees and get to know where they struggle to finish their tasks, where the communication gaps appear and how they get stuck helping customers, just to name a few suggestions. Everyone needs to be part of the process to voice their troubles, ideas and solutions, and everyone needs to understand why things are changing.

Digital transformation starts from the top down, relying on support from leadership to ensure that changes are enforced and continuous. If new processes solve pain points and make employees’ jobs easier, adoption is more likely to be effective. Remember that digital transformation introduces a new way of working, so make sure teams have all the continuous training they need to use their new tools as best they can.

The texting-for-business solution

Do you need a solution to help teams work better together? Or maybe the tools you’re using to reach customers aren’t giving you the results you hoped for. Zipwhip’s texting-for-business software can be implemented to improve many business processes including:

  • Customer service and support
  • Scheduling
  • Sales
  • Billing and collections
  • Recruiting and staffing
  • Marketing and promotions
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