Imagine it’s your first day at a new job and you notice everyone in the office only communicates face to face.
No text messages.
No phone calls.
No Slack posts.
And when you ask them why they don’t use any of the newer technologies, they all say “that’s how we’ve always done it,” and then shrug their shoulders.
Since we all understand how much only using face to face meetings would slow productivity to a crawl, it would be hard to not be concerned about the future of the business.
It may seem like this is an impossible scenario, but a lot of businesses are operating in a similar way right now. They’ve fallen behind and have no idea just how much.
Even though they’re using phones and maybe even some online tools, their IT infrastructure is outdated, and it’s going to prevent them from capitalizing on new opportunities.
These types of businesses need to go through a digital transformation process asap.
What is digital transformation?
A simple way to think about digital transformation is how it relates to automation. When a process is fully automated, it doesn’t require input from an employee to complete a task. Talking about automation scares a lot of people, but it shouldn’t since most doesn’t completely replace workers. It usually just makes their jobs less tedious, and allows them more time to focus on assignments that can’t be duplicated by a machine.
But that’s not only what digital transformation is about. It starts with completely rethinking how every process in an organization is completed. This includes customer service, supply line management, vendor relationships, accounting, project management, hiring practices, marketing, and many more specialities.
Digital tools are streamlining businesses of every size, with efficiencies so drastic that more than 41,000 businesses in 2018 with revenue between $1 million to $2.4 million were operated by one person. Digital transformation across all aspects of a business is the only way that level of efficiency is possible.
It reduces the number of steps in complex processes so employees can manage their responsibilities better. It also improves customer experiences because their requests get answered quickly and their interactions are more personalized. Managers can quickly see what is happening at all levels of an enterprise as well.
If your organization isn’t adapting to this new reality, it needs to move fast before it gets left behind.
What is the value of digital transformation?
More than anything else, a business that adapts stays alive. There’s a clear value in that. But for many business owners and executives, it may seem like a big expense. Aside from the fact that all parts of the process don’t need to be done at once, this isn’t a good way to frame the situation.
Digital transformation does have some upfront costs, but they easily pay for themselves. If they didn’t, entire industries wouldn’t be going through the process as quickly as they can!
It’s likely not the costs that are holding some business back from making changes. It’s fear. Not knowing what the business will look like on the other side, especially if it hasn’t embraced many digital technologies, is a scary position to be in. If that’s the view from where you’re standing, look below at how digital transformation benefits these stakeholders:
Employees: In a 1000+ person survey of white-collar professionals, 76% responded that having the digital tools they need at work makes them more productive. A majority responded that it makes their jobs easier and almost a third said it makes them happier. However, more than half believed their employer is more focused on using new technologies to increase profits instead of empowering employees. The bottom line: when employees are included in digital transformations, they’re more likely to enjoy their jobs and be more efficient.
Management: As organizations grow, it usually requires more layers of management to coordinate operations. Digital technologies simplify the process through automation and digital dashboards. Sometimes, entire departments of an organization can be outsourced with project-based assignments for on-demand contractors, while others can be managed with much less supervision and staffing requirements.
Customers: Your customers expect responses in less than 1 hour, even on weekends, no matter what form of communication they use—from email to social media. For most smaller businesses, that’s not possible without heavily relying on digital tools to automate the process. For example, a chatbot can provide customers with answers to the most common questions without any need for human intervention. This reduces the need for a large call-center staff and improves customer experiences since they get answers right when they need them.
But even that isn’t enough. Consumers expect all their communications to be personalized as well. Your customer service chatbot needs to be connected to your shipping platform so customers can see where a package is and when it will arrive.
Once you have all the pieces of your backend infrastructure linked, you’ll provide a seamless experience for your customers, which will make them keep coming back for more. It may seem like a massive effort to undertake such large-scale changes, but it’s well worth the effort.
Start with your IT infrastructure
Here’s an example of an outdated setup:
- All of your IT infrastructure is located on-premise in one location.
- 3 database servers
- 3 application servers
- 5 Web servers
- 2 file servers with a storage area network (SAN) solution
- An antivirus server with various tools
The average monthly cost for all of this, including employee costs, is approximately $38,000.
But here’s what a modern setup looks like:
– All within Amazon Web Services (AWS), you have 1 RDS DB instance, 2 application servers, 3 web servers, a load balancer and object storage.
– 1 file server with Disaster Recovery (DR) set up
The average monthly cost, including an IT employee, is approximately $15K/month. Not only is this half the price of the old setup, but you get an improved SLA and a much better customer support system (integrated ZenDesk + JIRA). Beyond that, everything can be managed online from anywhere in the world. Digital transformation doesn’t keep you or your team pinned to one location. You can work from anywhere!
Blue Whale Apps’s Capabilities
Blue Whale Apps makes digital transformation a simple process. Our team can handle all parts of the process, from reviewing where you are now, to making and implementing a plan for where you want to go. We specialize in end-to-end development for Fortune 1000 businesses and government agencies, including consulting, branding, UX design and hand-crafted code.
Recent projects have included apps within the healthcare, technology, public utilities, entertainment, retail, consumer products and automotive industries. And last year, Blue Whale Apps was named the #1 Mobile App Developers by AppFutura, Clutch, and Good Firms in 2019.
Don’t get left behind while others go through the process of digital transformation. Contact Blue Whale to make your organization more efficient and ready to lead your industry in the new economy.
Have more questions?
If you have any questions or would like a consultation and a quote, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.