If you’re a small business owner, you may have heard the term digital transformation, but assumed it was a concept that only applied to large enterprises with extensive IT resources. While the process may look a bit different for a small business than a global organization, it is a strategy worth pursuing, no matter what size of business you own.
In fact, the disruptive benefits of digital transformation may deliver a bigger impact to smaller companies. In the past, your budget dictated what types of technology and innovations you could access. In the cloud era, everything is purchased by subscription. This means that whether you have 15 users or 15,000, you can utilize the same applications, tools, and features offered in cloud solutions.
Even if you’re convinced that going digital will help you keep pace with bigger competitors, make you more agile, provide cost savings, and remove some of the pressure from your IT staff, you may not be sure how to get started. Here are three broad steps for initiating digital transformation:
Gather Data: At this point, you may not be sure yet what you’ll do with the data you collect, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be stockpiling it anyway. If you’re not sure which information should be captured, think in terms of your current goals, metrics, and tracked customer behaviors. The more you collect, the better.
Determine Secure Storage: You may think that storage will be the biggest challenge of digital transformation, but finding affordable and secure storage isn’t terribly difficult. There are many providers that offer cloud storage that boosts your business continuity plans by offering redundancy, protecting your data in case of a breach or a natural disaster. It’s important to thoroughly understand the security policies of your data storage solution, as well as their cost structures.
Make Data Available: One of the common difficulties with digital transformation is the elimination of data silos. Departments tend to store their data in different ways, and a lack of integration means that there’s no uniformity across reporting or analytics. Find ways to increase buy-in across your organization, both in terms of data sharing and for your broader digital transformation initiatives. Cultivate a team of stakeholders that come from various departments and can share your vision for a data-informed business culture.
Once you have these steps under way, it’s time to consider data analysis and application, a phase where many small business owners get stuck. If you complete the first three steps of gaining access to data, storing it securely and breaking down divisions between department data sources, you’ll be prepared to pursue the analysis piece of digital transformation.
If you’re a small business owner considering digital transformation, contact us at Net Tel One Communications. We can help you assess the steps you’ll need to take to begin your process and create a map for reaching your technology goals.