The world of business is continually evolving. Digital transformation and automation have led many companies to reconfigure how they operate to meet increasing needs both internally and externally.
In business, those who fail to adapt to changes in the market will get left behind as others meet the ever-changing needs of their consumers. So, in what ways are business owners adjusting their operations to meet the increasing demands of digitization and automation?
1. Shift to Cloud-Based Storage
A significant obstacle in many business practices is the exchange of information and materials. Having documents and other files stored on physical devices causes limitations in who can access these materials and when. Furthermore, physical storage such as hard drives and folders creates a potential risk for loss if the storage device becomes damaged or misplaced.
In the world of digital transformation, cloud-based storage eliminates both these risks. With cloud-based storage, authorized users can access and store files from anywhere they have internet access. The ability to work on files remotely and grant specific user permissions streamlines internal communications. It also has the benefit of preventing the potential permanent loss of data associated with traditional physical backups.
2. Automation of Data Collection and Processing
Data collection plays a pivotal role in a firm’s day-to-day business operation. Data can help shape business strategies and make informed decisions on current and future undertakings.
But collecting and processing this data traditionally takes massive amounts of time and employee input. Of all the data collection activities in a typical business, it’s possible to automate 64% of them. This shift to automation allows firms to devote more time and resources to higher-priority tasks. It also eliminates the potential for human error in data collection.
Automation does not stop at data collection, either. Processing the vast amounts of data collected by today’s modern businesses takes hours of labor and requires a large number of company resources. Automation has made this process far more efficient. The days of employees manually compiling, organizing and inputting data so managers and administrators can use it are over.
Now, these processes get expedited in a fraction of the time. AI, supercomputers and other advances in technology have cut down on the cost and time to make big data useable for nearly any business. The goal of automation is not to eliminate jobs, but instead, to improve the efficiency of employee output.
3. User Experience Improvements
Businesses use the advanced data and analytics collected by automation to then tailor customer experiences to each person. Online enterprises can track user touchpoints to determine user intent and interest. They can then use this information to send custom promotions, offers, sales information or product updates to users based on their preferences. Users become better informed of a business’ product or service, which also leads to higher returns.
Digital transformation also allows companies to better assess the needs of customers based on feedback and online interactions. Communication between the business and the customer in the digital business model is stronger than that of the traditional business model.
The ability to share information quickly allows users less time for dissatisfaction. Customers form longer-lasting relationships when they receive personalized information and products. Thus, digital transformation has proven to be a crucial tool in improving brand awareness and extending the lifetime value of a business’ existing customers.
4. Improved Worker Productivity
The goal of automation is to cut down on inefficiencies and improve business output. It’s perfect for daily, repetitive tasks that cut down on worker productivity. The majority of American workers become disengaged when performing redundant projects. These assignments become bottlenecks in business operations and also lower overall employee satisfaction.
By incorporating automation into these tasks, businesses are cutting them out of workers’ daily activities. These employees then have more time and energy to allocate to productive functions that keep them engaged throughout the workday. With more meaningful things to do, employee satisfaction increases, and company efficiency grows.
5. Use of AI and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have made their way into nearly every industry in the business landscape. Many businesses have cut down on production costs and increased their customer engagement through using these technologies in multiple sections of their business process.
Where companies used to be limited in on-site customer engagement, chatbots using machine learning have created a new channel for businesses to interact directly with customers. Through machine learning, these chatbots can quickly and efficiently create an individualized response to customers’ questions, comments or information requests at any hour of the day.
As these technologies continue to develop, the more versatile they become, and the higher the potential gain from using them will be.
6. Automatic Decision-Making
Many businesses have bottlenecks in operations that require decision-making. It’s now possible to fully automate actions such as approving a customer’s financing request or determining the best applicant to grant an interview to. It cuts down on the time it takes to make decisions and increases the overall user experience with shorter wait times, as well as frees employees from time-consuming administrative tasks.
Financial institutions and insurance agencies have used automated decision-making to process claims and determine approvals for loans. Improved speed of monotonous tasks maximizes returns and sets up businesses for further improvement as they automate additional steps in their daily operations.
What It All Means
Digital transformation and business automation have paved the way for success for the businesses that use these technologies to their full potential. When used correctly, digital transformation and business automation have provided businesses, employees and customers with numerous benefits.
Together, they streamline business operations to improve efficiency, lower production costs and waste, improve user experience, boost customer relations and increase employee satisfaction. Early adopters of these processes are now industry leaders and continue to reap the benefits as they expand their operations.
Kayla Matthews writes about technology, the IoT, FutureTech and big data. Previously, her work has been featured on IoT Times, InformationWeek, The Daily Dot and IBM’s Big Data Hub blog. To read more of Kayla’s work, please follow her personal tech blog at ProductivityBytes.com.