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26 Oct 2017

Digital Transformation: Why it is critical in the 21st century?

In today’s society it’s critical for businesses to continuously innovate in order to stay competitive and attract new customers.

Looking back to 15 years ago, the internet wasn’t a staple component of business life. However fast forward to the present day and the UK is a digitised society, where web usage on mobile devices has overtaken usage on desktop computers.

Businesses have been forced to embrace this new wave of technology and change the way they operate, in order to deliver a good digital experience to both customers and employees.

The strategy of integrating digital technology into all areas of a business is known as digital transformation, and provides a business with vast opportunities to grow and innovate.

Going digital often has the misconception that it simply involves replacing old technology with new, but it comprises of a lot more than it. Digital transformation requires reshaping and redefining businesses from the ground up, to ensure that all departments are working towards a single goal, and can result in a change in leadership, the introduction of innovation or new business models.

It’s relevant within all departments of a business, be it marketing, operations or R&D and could involve introducing a BYOD scheme in the workplace or automating customer communications.

How relevant is digital transformation for SME’s?

Embracing digital transformation can open up a wealth of opportunities for smaller businesses, including:

  • Increased sales - executives predict nearly half of revenue will be driven by digital by 2020.
  • Increased efficiency - research has shown that 9 out of 10 IT decision-makers claim legacy systems are preventing them from harnessing the digital technologies needed to grow and become more efficient
  • Improved customer experience - 70% of leaders have seen significant or transformational value from digital transformation in customer satisfaction and engagement.
  • Increased worker productivity - embracing new technology provides employees with new ways of working which has been shown to improve employee productivity and satisfaction.

With recent research highlighting that four in five SMEs worldwide are seeing tangible benefits from going digital, this has enabled SMEs to compete against larger organisations, something that would have been perceived as difficult or even impossible.

Digital transformation in your organisation

It’s important to remember that in and amongst all of the positive comments and glowing stats, digital transformation is different for every company.

It’s imperative that your journey to becoming a digital organisation is a staged approach, with a clear roadmap that’s in-line with wider company goals and objectives.

This should include re-considering how business success is measured, as well as how you attract and foster digital talent to ensure success.

For more information on digital transformation and the cyber security risks surrounding going digital, download our free whitepaper here.

Alternatively, if you would like to find out how Smoothwall can help secure your organisation in the digital world, request to speak with one of our security specialists today.

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