The digital world: building a successful and resilient business
Although digitalising your business may entail initial investment and increased costs, if successful, the digital way of doing business has many benefits including:
• higher revenue growth through reaching regional and global markets
• improved customer relationships, often measured by higher customer net promoter score (NPS)
• shorter time to market
• higher profit growth with improved revenues and optimised costs
• higher customer retention rate through easy and direct methods of approach to customers
• higher employee retention rate due to overall increased satisfaction in ways of doing business.
Businesses that invest in technology, IT solutions and digitalisation tend to be more agile, as digitalisation usually goes hand in hand with more flexible organisational structures. As a result, they are able to adapt easily to new challenges and unexpected events. The digital way of doing business enables them to quickly react to market changes, making them more resilient.
If your business is just starting to consider going digital, bear in mind that digitalisation entails not only purchasing and implementing IT tools and software, but also transforming the entire business, including its operating models and people.
Digital transformation of your business will help you make it resilient and ensure sustainability. Digitalisation and sustainability are two powerful market influences on the SME landscape. Well-established digital processes can help you develop a greener and more sustainable approach to your business by reducing waste. As well as helping you to map your business’s environmental impact, this will help you to access new customers and in greening your business. Smart technologies are not always expensive, especially for lean and agile SMEs which can rely on readily available (and cheap) applications. They almost always save money in the long run.
Some typical environmental and sustainability benefits of digital business include:
• going paperless, if local laws allow, cutting the overall carbon and waste footprints
• quicker, more efficient processes which use less resources
• digitally-enhanced manufacturing and production solutions and machinery to improve business efficiency, lower waste and produce environmentally friendly products and services.
Newer generations tend to choose green products and prefer to work for more sustainable companies. From a brand and reputation perspective, increasing your appeal to these potential consumers and employees will help you maximise profit in the future and expand your market share.
For more information on environmental and sustainability strategy, see here.
In addition to the environmental benefits, digitally supported businesses are also more efficient in planning and budgeting. By better forecasting expected demand for their products, they are able to allocate their resources more efficiently. For example, if a model predicts a higher demand for corn than for wheat, a farm can use this information to plant more corn. In so doing, they will be able to increase profits by selling more product and minimising the amount of unsold product that would have gone to waste.
Being more sustainable not only reduces the environmental impact but strengthens the operational performance and resilience of your business. Investment in digital tools can help your business reduce resource consumption and better predict and respond to future needs by generally becoming leaner and more agile.