The last six months alone have produced more digital transformation than the last decade. No one could have predicted where 2020 would take us. The process of moving to a digital business is unstoppable. There is no going back to the “normal”.
Many businesses are turning interactions, communications, business functions, and business models into (more) digital ones. In most cases, it’s a mix of autonomous, semi-autonomous, and manual operations. Some of these digital transformations were natural shifts, others were displaced by more urgent needs. Digitalization and the use of digital technologies help businesses change the business model and provide revenue and value-producing opportunities.
You don’t have to worry about turning everyone and everything into bits and bytes, replacing humans with robots, or connecting everything that is unconnected so far with the Internet of Things. That’s digitization, not digitalization. Digitization will not happen so fast. Digitalization already started.
Why do you need to work on digital transformation today?
It’s very obvious that we will continue to work from home after COVID-19. Even when economies slowly reopen and employees finally return to work, companies will continue with their “work from home” policies. Many big tech companies like Uber, Facebook, or Google have already extended their work from home through 2021. Some of their employees will never go back to the office. That’s a huge change.
What does it mean? More people will be connected online. Logically, they will spend more time online. With a new focus on being always connected, customers will need new devices that are smaller, faster and more connected than before. And guess what? The fifth generation of wireless technology for digital cellular networks (5G) is coming.
5G technology will not only provide faster connections between humans, but it will create lightning-fast connections between machines, objects, and devices. Literally, lightning-fast. 5G speeds are expected to be 100 times faster than 4G technology. 5G technology will be the backbone of the enhanced mobile experience, remote control of smart devices, smart cities, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Long story short, new devices, lightning-fast connection, new software, more time online, less contact with people, etc. Technology is going to become an increasingly important part of our personal and professional lives.
Let’s explore the direction of the necessary changes…
Connected and personalized customer experience
Delivering a connected and personalized customer experience is actually at the center of digital transformation. Providing a frictionless omnichannel (cross-channel) journey that’s accessible anytime from anywhere is what more and more customers have come to expect from a great product or service. It’s certainly an important tendency to keep an eye on since 69% of the customers agree that disconnected customer service would be enough for them to change their service provider.
Organizations must use a cross-channel content strategy to improve their user experience and drive better relationships with their audience across points of contact. Otherwise, they will lose customers.
During the coronavirus shutdown, one thing that took a major hit for all companies was customer service. One way to solve this problem is a highly-trained army of conversational AI bots ready to answer customer questions. In other words, keeping your business running even as your customer service team is out of service. With customer-service bots, the value is evident: if some questions can be successfully addressed in an automated manner, then the business will benefit. But that’s not the only way to go with chatbots.
The idea of chatbots as an interaction channel with businesses and services can easily supplement existing channels such as the mobile web and mobile apps.
For engaging with customer support, 1 in 3 of Gen Z and nearly 50% of Millennials prefer online live chat or via text in-app or phone.
Companies not using chatbots are missing a huge opportunity. The idea of chatbots as an interaction channel with businesses and services can easily supplement existing channels such as the mobile web and mobile apps. But there is much more to come. From voice-controlled video collaboration to your personal assistant on your mobile device to the chatbot helping you with online shopping to voice-based intelligent assistants such as Alexa and Google Home. The possibilities are endless.
Let’s take a look at the business areas that will require digital transformation the most.
App-based ordering and delivery apps
While social distancing stopped us from visiting physical shops, it certainly didn’t stop us from changing our online shopping habits. There was a major increase in ecommerce during the lockdown. It actually accelerated ecommerce’s growth by four to six years — with people ordering almost everything to make quarantine life more livable. On-delivery mobile apps have made ordering more seamless, faster, and convenient. Did you know that sixty per-cent of digital orders are sourced through mobile apps?
One good example could be the food industry. App-based ordering is changing the food service game. Food ordering isn’t something new. But the food digital business has grown rapidly. By 2020, the industry is estimated to reach $32 billion. Food delivery apps have been attracting new users and companies are converting users into loyal members. Users are drawn to this model for its affordability, customization and ease of use. Some industries are still lagging behind but not for a long time.
But one thing we often don’t think about is how our stuff actually gets from the production site to our front door. Even traditional fast food companies such as McDonald’s are using delivery platforms such as UberEats and transitioning to an at-home delivery model in addition to their traditional drive-through and restaurant services. Logistic and transportation business owners should upgrade their thinking.
For example, Quicargo is a platform where companies looking to ship their goods can be matched with transport companies in the right geographic location. By introducing AI, automated integration systems, dynamic pricing, and prediction models, they’re able to fill unused space with cargo, speed up shipping times, and set pricing based on data points, all while reducing the number of trucks on the road. This digital transformation of a traditional business is saving time, money, and air quality. It’s just another example of a clever digital transformation.
We have been in touch with several business owners working on logistic or transportation digital transformation over the last few months and their creativity is very inspirational.
Remote collaboration tools
Remote work is on the rise, and If you want to connect with the up and coming generations then you need to be able to provide the tools for productivity and collaboration. We will see new video conferencing apps and more sophisticated interactive tools for remote collaboration. Businesses should recognize the growth of video and collaborative tools in order to stay ahead of the shift.
Video conferencing tools are very beneficial for any organization because they save time, cut travel expenses, and increase productivity.
The majority of Gen Z and Millennials already worked remotely each week before the pandemic started. Video conferencing software allows remote users to conduct face-to-face meetings. The ease of access and its ability to facilitate communication make video conferencing an important technology for businesses today.
Our team at PLATFORM collaborates with clients around the globe and we use video, in person, and collaborative tools like Slack and other apps to maximize effectiveness. Moreover, we are in touch with many business owners working on interesting startups which include video chat, shareable screenshots, screen recordings, and screen sharing. Remote collaboration tools will become more popular and this industry will definitely grow in the upcoming years. Why? Because Gen Z and Millennials love tools like Slack. Gen X all-in on video.
Digital experts, coders, and developers are aware of the opportunities afforded by blockchain technology and eager to sell their services. Decision-makers need to make themselves familiar with the core functions of blockchain. They will then be better informed to make smart decisions for when and where to possibly apply such tools.
The technology was originally created to support digital currencies but our team at PLATFORM already designed several blockchain projects for more established sectors of the economy.
Blockchain technology has generated much interest in technology circles and beyond, because of the new possibilities it opens up in financial services, the public sector and other areas. Compared with traditional database technologies and centralized systems, blockchain implementations can be relatively cheap and require considerably less IT investment. However, as the technology is still relatively immature, costs may be offset by significant upfront development costs.
Digital transformation is a force that is changing the corporate landscape like no other. Today’s companies are forced to transform and meet the demands of the “new world”. With the recent wave of changes that has left many in its wake, firms now frequently find themselves competing with players outside their own industry. Even more importantly, you must know how to disrupt others.
At its core, digital transformation is about making processes and workflows faster, easier, and more efficient. For example, digitizing the process of paperwork management (like automatically moving documents where they belong) frees up employees to focus on other, more revenue-generating activities. It’s time for the digital transformation of your business.
Originally published at https://blog.plat4m.com.