Far more than simply digitizing your records or adding a videoconferencing option, digital transformation involves sweeping companywide changes. You’ll rely heavily on technology to drive decisions. You’ll tear down hierarchies and silos, replacing them with collaborative cross-departmental teams empowered to iterate on new ideas rapidly.
Digital transformation offers the agility necessary to stay competitive in the rapidly evolving marketplace. But what about the technology itself? From robotic process automation to business intelligence software to workflow automation, here’s what you need to know.
Role and impact of technology on digital transformation
Navigating your digital transformation can be tricky. With so many software applications and hardware solutions, choosing the wrong ones can cost you both time and money. Rather than picking products that sound good on paper, start with a strategic plan and then adopt the tools that organically make sense. As a general rule, good digital transformation technology should hit at least one of these common goals:
At its heart, digital transformation is about enhancing the customer experience. Look for tools that make it easier to engage with customers, such as mobile apps or chatbots. Also look for options that boost interaction, such as software to create shareable videos.
Digital transformation tools can speed up processing throughout all areas of your business, regardless of industry. Whether you need to share medical imaging in real time with a specialist hundreds of miles away, boost production on your assembly line or help the back office catch up with invoices, choose tools that enable your processes to run faster and more smoothly.
Rapid project delivery
Everyone wants to deliver their projects as quickly as possible, from product launches to individual tasks. A big part of your digital transformation should be choosing specific tools to help key members of your organization deliver more rapidly without sacrificing quality.
Workflow automation software should be both intuitive and highly functional. But it can be tough to find products that meet both criteria. Look for a solution that offers a trial period. Implement a support center that team members can contact with questions and pivot if the first product isn’t the right fit.
Better business intelligence
Business intelligence comprises the different strategies and technologies you use to make business decisions. Digital transformation opens up powerful opportunities to use real-time analytics and sophisticated data analysis to make stronger choices to grow your company. Look for tools that offer the support you need, such as customized reports or suggestions for improvement.
Most common tech used in digital transformation
Although you can find a wide variety of tech solutions for digital transformation, most products fall into one of a few categories. Some of the most common include:
Cloud computing is at the heart of digital transformation. Rather than storing data on servers maintained by your own IT department, the cloud utilizes a network of remote servers. Clouds can be public, private or hybrid, depending on your business needs. Shifting operations to the cloud lets you scale up at a lower cost while making it easier to access company data remotely.
Artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML) / natural language processing (NLP)
These technologies are revolutionizing the way businesses solve problems and meet challenges. From smart chatbots that guide customers through online storefronts to AI capable of rapidly iterating new system designs, companies in nearly all industries are finding a use for these solutions.
Robotic process automation (RPA)
RPA, or software robotics, can take over some repetitive back-office work. From filling out forms to reconciling data, RPA systems can perform rules-based tasks, freeing employees to focus on more complex endeavors.
API integration is pretty technical, but it basically boils down to this: APIs, or application programming interfaces, are agreed-upon sets of machine instructions used to build software. API integration lets different pieces of software communicate with one another through these APIs. Better API integrations can result in more streamlined processes. Slack offers powerful integration capabilities across a vast range of applications, from Zoom and Gmail to Salesforce and Dropbox.
Big data focuses on enormous data sets. As the theory goes, the more data you have, the more accurate the conclusions you can draw. Thus, tapping into big data helps you make smarter business decisions. Massive companies like Facebook and Google are already using big data to make frequent pivots that keep them at the top of their game.
Real-time analytics lets you pull and analyze data snapshots at any time. Rather than waiting on a weekly or monthly report, you can use these sophisticated tools to run data reports when you need them. This can have a powerful impact on your ability to pivot as the data dictates.
Digital transformation incorporates technology throughout your organization. But it’s important to select the right tools that meet your specific needs. Slack’s comprehensive, easy-to-use platform can help you significantly improve the customer experience while supporting collaborative, cross-departmental problem-solving and rapid iteration.