How legacy industries can stay relevant with digital transformation

The business world operates on chaos and disruption. No matter how big and how successful a business is, there is always a genius idea ready to upset the status quo and challenge the established hierarchy of things. Do you remember Sears, Roebuck and Co.? A hundred years from now, people might very well be wondering the same thing about Amazon.

Blasphemous? Barely. Petty startups are rising and industry giants are falling all the time. As the leader of your business, you know this all too well. Part of your job is to make sure that your business is not swallowed up by new players in your specific industry. And make no mistake about it: there are fresh companies out there that are bent on pushing you to lose relevance. Sharks are everywhere and there is always blood in the water.

To combat this reality, it is wise to embrace technology and digital transformations as essential parts of your business plan. This is especially true for companies in traditional industries like energy, manufacturing, finance and law, which can sometimes lag behind when it comes to abandoning old ways of working.

Building a better business

All too often, traditional businesses take a if not broke mindset, fail to fix it when faced with the necessary technical upgrades and innovations. Make no mistake about it: you can be “not broken” but still seriously overwhelmed, which is tantamount to being broken. Hanging on to outdated systems and processes is like having a massive internal wound – on the outside, things look good; leaving it untreated, however, could have dire consequences.

If you’re leading a team that’s struggling to accept the benefits of new technology for a safer business future, consider taking these three steps to convince them otherwise:

  1. Use the data to understand your customer.
    Data is more than numbers on a screen. Analyzed correctly, the data companies collect about their customers – and their own operations – can produce amazing insights into trends and behaviors. This is especially true for existing organizations, which often have a wealth of data. Use this historical information to your advantage.
    “Data capabilities will be key elements in measuring progress towards innovation and will provide insight into how the business is transforming (or not transforming),” says Derrick Bowen, director of the consulting firm. Pariveda Solutions technology, using the energy industry as an example. “On this front, traditional energy companies actually have a huge advantage: Being an established player means you probably have a wealth of data that new entrants don’t have. “
  2. Adopt contactless processes where possible.
    The pandemic has changed a lot of human behavior, apparently for good. One is to avoid physical contact with strangers (and the objects they touch) whenever possible. Taking a quantum leap into modern times – and meeting the expectations of today’s customers – means offering hands-free or contactless ways of doing business, such as producing products and handling equipment that reduce the amount of energy required. person-to-person exposure.
    From buying a new home or vehicle online to paying for goods at the push of a button, people expect a safe space (and adequate distance) to do business. In fact, a GetApp survey found that 82% of consumers expect contactless experiences to continue after the pandemic.
  3. Focus on mobile technology.
    If you are not yet compatible with mobiles, you are on probation. Think how much you rely on your smartphone to consume entertainment and run business – from streaming your favorite sports and paying bills to researching new restaurant reviews and researching the cheapest gas prices. further down in town. Prioritize creating an online presence that’s easy to find and navigate for customers. The smoother the experience, the more affinity they will have for your brand. This goes for all industries, from furniture to finance.
    “Consumers expect to engage with their financial institutions via their smartphones to do everything from opening accounts to submitting mortgage applications. If you haven’t already invested in a convenient mobile loan app, now might be a good time! Said Doug Wilber, CEO of social media marketing management firm Denim Social. “But invest carefully. You want technology that enables mobile digital document uploading, automated quality assurance, and application data prepopulation using internal and external APIs. These advanced mobile offerings will soon be table stakes, as lenders see the benefit of speeding up sales cycles and reducing costs. “

It’s a world of dog-eating dogs, and the biggest beast is often not the hungriest. A Pomeranian won’t hesitate to pounce on a pit bull when the time is right. If you want to stay on top, you have to stay relevant. The only real way to do this is to stop avoiding digital transformation and making technology work for you.

Written by Rhett Power.

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