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Why Digital Transformation is Important For Businesses
While 2021 saw a huge rise in the number of Canadian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that invested in technology, only a small portion of them are actually using this technology effectively - that is, to enhance their knowledge and continued growth.
A recent study by BDC, found that despite last year’s average technology investment of $118,000 per Canadian SME, many businesses have yet to truly reap the benefits. Many have not created a website or used and analyzed their newly-gathered customer data for potential financial growth and bigger projects.
Taking such steps as these are integral to the success of a business’ digital transformation as well as the financial growth of its future projects. It’s as though something blocks them from moving forward to the next phase of this investment in their business.
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So Why Are Companies Still Hesitant About Having a Digital Plan?
If implementing digital changes to your business is so beneficial, then, why are so many companies still not taking the leap into these initiatives? Some of the main reasons cited include the supposed challenges of doing so; the seemingly high costs of having a supplier come in and potentially change your processes around - with no real certainty of the advantages they may bring.
With that, some may not know who to trust with this major endeavour, thus understanding the importance of having the right implementation partner. Others have concerns around cybersecurity and fear of Cloud-based solutions, stating they want to know where their data is and feel like this isn’t clear to them.
This creates what many are calling a digital divide: the imaginary line that exists between those organizations taking their digital investment to the finish line and actually using the data and findings to grow; and those that are not.
With this, what it really all comes down to is whether or not your business has a digital plan with full clarity. That is, something that outlines these questions and how they’ll be addressed with this incoming digitization process.
Important Factors to Consider in Digitization
Perhaps you’re wondering, “What dictates which side of this so-called divide my team and I are on and how can I ensure a successful implementation?”. Aside from a few other factors outlined in the above-mentioned study, it really all comes down to having a digital plan.
Let’s say, your business currently does not have a digital plan. A good place to start would be to ensure you’re well-informed about the different aspects of this project and what would work best for you and your teams. That entails meeting with your various operational teams and stakeholders.
If your business is already well into its own digital plan so that you can ensure growth for future projects, that’s great. Let’s consider where you are within this plan and if you’ve considered all the important elements of digitization.
Who Are the Key Players in a Digital Transformation Plan?
For example, do you have the right team to support you through the various stages of an investment like this? Keep in mind that this isn’t just about the vendors and external consultants you may work with but also your internal teams within your organization and this doesn’t just mean IT.
It’s a common misconception that digital transformation is an IT mandate. One of the hard but useful truths of an ERP implementation is that the decision-makers and those involved in major business processes, such as Sales operations and Finance, will be key players in this plan. So, take stock of what’s happening within your organization so you can go out informed and well-supported.
Outline the Objectives and Milestones in your ERP Implementation
The key players in the digital process aren’t simply the members of your IT team.
At the very beginning of your planning process, consider taking the time to speak to those involved in your Sales or Finance operations, or someone on the Accounting team who handles income statements and can give you insight into how a typical accounting period runs. By doing so, you’ll better understand your overall operations and will be able to fully communicate your objectives and vision to your supplier.
Using these details and your business’ yearly activities, you’re now in a better position to build out a schedule, which will include milestones and important dates along the digitization path.
Investing in Digital Transformation: Now or Never
If you think this is a passing phase or that it isn’t actually happening around you already, you may not be paying close enough attention. Some of the simplest examples occur in real time transactions every day: online shopping, small businesses now accepting other methods of payment than cash, or even just remote work for employees.
Choosing the Right Implementation Partner
All that said, before you write off the idea of digitizing your business, take the time to learn more about roles and responsibilities, costs and benefits and the importance of a knowledgeable team - both internally and externally. You want to work with a NetSuite implementation partner that you can be open with about your budget, schedule and objectives - these are basically the main pillars of a proper plan.
To learn more about how digitally transforming your business - if you haven’t already started - will support your current operations and ensure growth with future projects, contact the knowledgeable members of our own GURUS team.