What Pain Points Can You Alleviate Through Digital Transformation?

If you’re a decision maker or business owner, the chances are you’re well aware of the pain points that come with digital transformation.

Change management, implementation, cost—the list is daunting and goes on and on.

But SMBs don’t plan out a roadmap for digital transformation with the intention of more pain points arising—they do it to eliminate them and make working processes easier.

With that in mind, today we’re going to have a look at the common pain points that exist across industries that are alleviated through digital transformation.

Human Error

Businesses often introduce digital projects in order to reduce the number of manual tasks that are performed in an organization.

Of course, where there are manual tasks, there are opportunities for costly human errors. These errors typically come about through the framework of skills-rules-knowledge.

  • Skills: These errors occur when an otherwise skilled person incorrectly carries out the execution of a task. These are often routine tasks, such as data entry, which require little thought, but a simple mistake can prove problematic. A common example of this would be document scanning, which completely automates the process and removes the human element entirely—eliminating risk.

 

  • Rules: Errors that arise because of rules typically occur when there’s a bad rule to follow, good rules are applied incorrectly in a given situation, or there’s a failure to follow a good rule. Often times, there will be bad rules that are followed by workers that are hard to pin down because they’ve been established over a long period of time.

 

  • Knowledge: These are mistakes that occur when there are no rules or procedure for a task and the worker is expected to perform it while lacking the correct knowledge.

These types of errors can be eliminated primarily through automation and training. If there are bad rules which have been setting unfavorable precedents, digital techniques like visual guidance can help alleviate simple human mistakes.

Siloed Departments

One of the most important aspects of digital transformation is communication.

Virtually every digital transformation strategy will account for communication, often utilizing technology to streamline communication channels within the organization.

Departments that have poor communication become “siloed”—in other words they operate independently from each other and sharing data is difficult or impossible.

The cost of siloed departments can be a substantial drain on a company’s resources.

A study by SIS found that an average SMB of 100 employees could be losing around $520K annually as a result of communication barriers and latency.

It goes without saying that small and midsize businesses cannot afford to be losing half a million dollars every year through poor communication.

Here are some other examples of the consequences of a poor communication setup:

  • Increased turnover: Siloed departments can harm company culture, leading employees to become frustrated and seek work elsewhere.

 

  • Poor customer service: In companies with silos, important information isn’t readily available to all employees, meaning workers can struggle to access data to do a quality job and service customers. In times of need, employees should have access to any and all data they might need.

 

  • Lower productivity: This is a big one—put simply, sending a mountain of emails every day or texting co-workers for business purposes isn’t good for productivity and makes working more sluggish. A unified communications service (UCaaS) can go a long way to solving these issues.

Network Protection

Cybersecurity is perhaps the biggest issue that businesses have had to come to terms with in 2019.

For SMBs which have been unlucky in falling victim to an attack, they’ll know that the costs can be devastating. More than half of all SMBs who suffer a cyberattack are out of business within six months.

As if that weren’t sobering enough, 71% of SMBs are not prepared for a cyberattack, and yet an overwhelming 96% of IT decision makers believe themselves to be susceptible to external cyberthreats.

Protecting your network, and therefore your data, is the primary objective of many digital transformation strategies.

Fortunately, this particular pain point can be remedied with some work. SMBs are increasingly turning to managed security providers (MSSP) for their network protection, which will typically include the following services:

  • Vulnerability assessment
  • Perimeter safeguarding
  • Endpoint protection
  • Data flow
  • Authentication
  • Backup and recovery
  • Monitoring
  • Training

If these aren’t already being done for your security, now is the time to seriously reconsider your protection strategy.

Agility

In today’s world, having so-called “business agility” is a hugely important attribute for a modern SMB.

What this essentially means is that your organization is fast, focused, and flexible. If there are factors within your company that inhibit these attributes—if projects are sluggish and stifled—then digital transformation can help alleviate them.

  • Fast: The ability to increase the pace at which projects progress. This means acquiring the necessary tools to create an environment where ideas can become reality in a much shorter time than before. A good example of this would be low-code development, which has significantly shortened dev times for business apps.

 

 

  • Flexible: Flexibility within a workplace can mean any number of things, but among SMBs it typically means empowering the workforce by offering more choice and agency. This can be achieved through by creating a culture where teams can be more collaborative and more productive, typically by giving them the tools they need. For example, enacting a BYOD or remote work policy to allow employees to conduct work out-of-office. 

Takeaways

  • Digital transformation can be overly complicated, boiling it down to key areas for business improvement is crucial
  • There are several pain points that businesses either didn’t know they could fix or have gotten used to—security policies for example are often overlooked by executives who aren’t familiar with the dangers of cyberattacks
  • Start slowly by introducing only what you need, before introducing more advanced digitization further down the road

Impact helps companies transform their workflows to create a competitive edge. Connect with our nearest location today to learn how we can help your company succeed.