When asked the question “how can you and your company stay relevant in today’s volatile economy?” Many will answer “by leveraging on the technology of today”. And rightly so! Given the ephemeral nature of technology today, it is important to stay relevant by leveraging all available stepping stones as soon as they surface. Yet between dozens of video conferencing platforms, a multitude of advertising avenues, and the emergence of cloud computing, how can you understand and implement these tools? What does a digital toolbox contain? How can this benefit my company?
Before we begin to explore the millions of digital solutions available, we need to first understand which of these are relevant. With the pace at which society’s technology is advancing, and its trends emerging, it is impossible to keep up with every advancement. Thus, we can narrow down our considerations to 2 things.
|Ease of implementation||Increase in productivity|
|a) How quickly can my company integrate this solution?||a) Is there a measurable increase in the productivity or impact for my business?|
|b) How easy is it for my clients and partners to use these platforms?|
With these questions in mind, we can begin to explore some of the most promising tools to add to our digital toolbox.
- Online presence the hammer – a staple of any good toolbox
Take a walk outside (or don’t if you are reading this during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic) and you will see the vast majority of people GLUED to their phones. Step into an office, and you will see people browsing the internet from left to right. And this is good news for us! There exists a phenomenon called the mere-exposure effect where people develop a preference for things they are repeatedly exposed to. Increase your online presence, and you increase the chances of people choosing you, your business and your service.
According to Google and Nielsen, a staggering 73% of mobile searches will trigger conversion while 55% of purchase-related conversions take place within an hour from the initial mobile search.
Your online presence will give your business a competitive advantage and includes:
- Your business website (make sure it’s also mobile-responsive)
- Social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Podcasts etc)
- Earned Features (such as reviews, articles, guest postings appearing on other businesses’ platforms)
- Paid channels offer you improved visibility such as adopting Paid Search as part of your digital marketing strategy.
As a certified management consultant, I’ve had many opportunities to help a variety of SMEs to digitalise their businesses – from designing a responsive website, creating social media profiles to building out a campaign micro-site. Many of my clients are now transitioning their brick-and-mortar stores to an online business model in a bid to streamline their day-to-day management and running of operations. When it comes to building an online presence, one of the key elements I’ve advocated for is to build a secure payment gateway with end-to-end encryption – this will ensure complete security of your customers’ data and payment details. Click here to read about how a personal friend of mine has used technology to transform her family’s pork business in wet markets and brought it online
This of course, brings us to our next tool……
2. Cloud Computing the all in 1 screwdriver – A tool with finesse and flexibility
No, I don’t mean those fluffy things we see in the sky. Hailed as one of the greatest innovations today, cloud computing has proven itself as the foremost technological innovation for SMEs and big enterprises alike in gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Affordable. Convenient. Secure. More than just storing data, cloud computing today involves the management of big data, processing of this data, all based on demand. Say sayonara to those days of trawling through bulky files and pesky high maintenance servers!
So yes, we get it, cloud computing is indeed at the frontier of technological innovations for businesses today. Yet there are literally dozens of cloud providers! Which one is right for me? Part of digitalizing businesses involves a transition into cloud computing. In my work as a management consultant, I have preached the benefits of cloud computing and have access to certified solution architects to provide a customized cloud solution for all of your business needs.
“With the cloud, individuals and small businesses can snap their fingers and instantly set up enterprise-class services.” – Roy Stephan, Founder and CEO of PierceMatrix
Flexible. Secure. Powerful. Truly the Ferrari of digital solutions.
3. Mobile Solutions a powertool
There’s no denying that our world has gone both digital and mobile. Phones of today have the same computing power as computers just 5 years ago, and much of the work and leisure is done on our mobile devices. Regardless of your industry, implementing mobile-based solutions into your 2020 digital toolkit will serve to add value and create immediate gains for your business. Integrating these mobile solutions are a sure-fire way to ensure your business gains an edge on the competition. Here are some following strategies (non-exhaustive):
- Mobile responsive websites (think mobile-first design)
- Mobile e-commerce (payment gateway to include options for users making transactions via mobile phone or tablet)
- Mobile applications (designed to build a strong mobile presence aimed at either external customers or internal employees/stakeholders)
Undoubtedly, digital transformation is here to stay. For us to stay relevant, current, and competitive, we have to embrace these changes. To thrive, we have to be drivers of this change, destroying the status quo and reinventing our industry. Although the above processes may seem intimidating at first, once you find the right support in building out your digital business blueprint, automating workflows, processes, digital solutions can lead to long term financial gains for your business. Once you have the essentials covered, you can take it to the next level and supercharge your digital toolbox.