How Does Digital Technology Transform Businesses?
The increasingly fast march of tech innovation is making a difference to businesses of all types and sizes, and it’s clear those who succeed will be the ones keeping up with the latest technology and trends and taking advantage of them.
Technology continues to transform business in many ways – not least faster communication, improved customer interaction, marketing globally and much more.
The ease in which businesses of all types can capture data from prospective and actual customers, use it to streamline their business, and react quickly to what their customers want is revolutionizing even the smallest company. Interactive websites, apps and sophisticated yet cost effective point of sale systems in retail settings make data capture quick and easy.
It’s not just the data itself, but what modern tech can do with it that is such a game changer for businesses of all types and sizes.
Analysis of what stock is selling, when it sells, where from and in what quantities and building a ‘picture’ of their customers in terms of their buying habits and preferences can make it far easier for an organization to serve their customers better and thus increase their business.
A small business operating from a retail premises is restricted by only being able to sell to its local market, but an online presence – properly set up and coordinated – can transform it into a global enterprise with a worldwide customer base.
Relative to the potential gains in extra business and sales, setting up an online presence and running it efficiently, such as maybe using social media and email marketing, would be highly cost effective. It’s no surprise more businesses large and small and even one or two person startups are able to extend their reach.
Two low, or even no cost, options come to mind:
- Social media – enabling businesses and brands to engage with their market and ‘get to know them’
- Instant communication – cheap or free internet voice calling such as Skype, email and responsive websites with ‘virtual chat’ all help
Connected wherever and whenever
Being able to connect wherever in the world you are makes for easier business communication and thus efficiency; conferences between people scattered all over the world are easily possible with high speed internet access whether mobile or office based.
Virtualization and the cloud
Acquiring huge amounts of data requires plenty of storage, and businesses of all sizes can benefit from relatively inexpensive storage via the cloud and virtualizing their existing hard storage to create more capacity without having to invest in highly expensive physical storage hardware.
Companies can take advantage of skilled people without them necessarily having to be within easy access of the premises; indeed they could live in an entirely different country. It means businesses can hire talent either as full time staff or as contractors from pretty much anywhere rather than rely on a local pool of people – ideal as certain sectors are short on skilled workers.
Remote working, thanks to high speed internet in particular, is possible and highly popular with some companies, staff and contractors alike.
New ways of marketing
Businesses now have a raft of different and very economical marketing methods at their disposal making the barriers of entry to some marketplaces low or non existent:
- Social media – building relationships with their market and existing customers to promote brand loyalty and build referral business
- Blogging – companies blog to present their ‘human’ side, yet also build their brand and business
- Video – channels such as YouTube enable businesses to build a following and, again, ‘humanize’ themselves in the minds of their customers
- Email – using email to market themselves to known customers and interested parties and build a relationship through offering free information, special offers and more.
Mobile tech and apps
The rise of ever-more powerful smartphones and other portable tech, such as tablets and lightweight laptops, has meant people can do business just about anywhere there is an internet signal.
Remarkably, as of October 2018, the app ‘ecosystem,’ dominated by Google and Apple, celebrates its tenth birthday with people downloading apps more than ever. Along with leisure users, apps provide a great way for businesses to connect and stay connected to their market and customers and acquire valuable data.
Similarly, certain apps such as messaging, conferencing, financial and productivity types make working on the go very easy. What can be achieved with a smartphone, for example, could hardly be imagined a few short years ago.
The main digital transformation
Overall, the transformation wrought by digital tech has levelled the playing field in several respects in that smaller businesses can take advantage of world markets and reach many people without having to invest hugely in marketing and advertising.
All businesses benefit from the opportunity to react to information from the large amount of detailed data they’re able to capture.
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