Decoding digitalisation: The 5 things you need to know
Decoding digitalisation: The 5 things you need to know

Business isn’t getting easier. In fact, thanks to technology and the internet, it’s more cutthroat and competitive than ever.

That immense pressure means business owners and leaders in organisation of every size have to find ways to reduce costs and increase revenue without breaking the bank.

One solution is digitalisation – the process of improving business processes and performance by converting manual, physical tools and procedures into digital equivalents.

It’s a broad term for everything from replacing hard copy records with spreadsheets to building chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence – but despite the multiple ways in which it can be applied, one thing is clear: digitalisation helps business unlock value.

So, here are 5 things you absolutely have to know about the defining business development of our time, and future.

DIGITALISATION… STARTS SMALL

Too many SME owners and leaders have a lingering belief that digitalising their business means a total overhaul; that they need to replace anything manual and physical with an expensive digital version.

While it is important to think long-term so that whatever processes or procedures you convert into a digital variant can work with the tools you incorporate further down the line, even a small start can deliver huge improvements to your productivity and overall efficiency.

Something as small as replacing hand-written financial records with spreadsheets will save you hours that can be spent elsewhere.

DIGITALISATION… CAN BE EASY

Today’s technology solutions are designed to be easy to grasp and integrate, because their developers have realised that complex systems just don’t sell.

In fact, tech providers like Adobe sell bundled products to make it easy to gradually digitalise a growing portion of your business – all with the goal of helping businesses work more efficiently.

Plug and play has gone from a sale’s phrase to reality.

DIGITALISATION… IS EVERYWHERE

A few years ago, digitalisation was reserved for large companies who were trying to streamline large parts of their complex organisations, but the business world has changed.

Today, all you need to start a business is a computer or smartphone, stable internet and an idea – and even these one-man start-ups are reaping the rewards of digitalisation, with accounting, marketing, and back office functions all being handled by technology.

DIGITALISATION… CAN BE EASY

Today’s technology solutions are designed to be easy to grasp and integrate, because their developers have realised that complex systems just don’t sell.

In fact, tech providers like Adobe sell bundled products to make it easy to gradually digitalise a growing portion of your business – all with the goal of helping businesses work more efficiently.

Plug and play has gone from a sale’s phrase to reality.

DIGITALISATION… IS EVERYWHERE

A few years ago, digitalisation was reserved for large companies who were trying to streamline large parts of their complex organisations, but the business world has changed.

Today, all you need to start a business is a computer or smartphone, stable internet and an idea – and even these one-man start-ups are reaping the rewards of digitalisation, with accounting, marketing, and back office functions all being handled by technology.

DIGITALISATION… ISN’T GOING ANYWHERE

Unlike most business trends, digitalisation isn’t slowing down: it’s becoming more advanced and intelligent as it accelerates.

In fact, many business experts are predicting that digitalisation will displace whole industries, and force us to find new roles.

Given this central role in rewriting the rules for our future, it’s important to understand the opportunities it could provide your business.

DIGITALISATION… MAKES A DIFFERENCE

Arguably the biggest advantage of digitalisation is that it makes a measurable, predictable difference to your operations.

Provided your systems are implemented correctly, and your staff buy into new ways of working, you can expect to see the desired result, quickly.

And because all things digital offer data about how they’re used, you can track and constantly improve their – and your – performance.

HOW TO GET STARTED

Although there is no need to digitalise every part of your business, there are services and platforms that allow you to manage significant parts of your business with technology.

Yep!, a new digital marketplace app powered by Telkom Business, is a perfect example.

Built specifically for SMEs, it allows you to create a personalised, branded space to showcase your business – but importantly, helps you start the process of digitalising key processes, like booking appointments and bidding on potential jobs, all while building your online presence.

In our increasingly digital world, it’s small steps like these that can elevate your business to new levels of efficiency and engagement – and it’s never been easier.

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