Digital technology is already critical for many modern businesses, but the pandemic has only accelerated that need across nearly every industry. Once considered nice to have, top tech tools are now essential to keep up with consumer demands and stay competitive.
While the buzzy phrase “digital transformation” has been thrown around conference rooms for years, what does it mean for your business right now? And what strategies do you need to use to make sure it’s an easy and successful process?
Let’s look at what digital transformation is, why it matters and which tools you need to do it right.
What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is “the adoption of digital processes and tools to achieve strategic business goals.” A successful digital transformation will look different for every company, depending on its industry, goals, customer base and more.
Companies of all sizes and industries need a digital transformation strategy. Whether it’s a local startup marketing agency or an established nationwide financial firm, having a plan helps you stay organized, hold staff accountable and adapt to change quickly. Digital moves fast. If you’re not ready for what the future holds, you’re already behind.
What are online digital tools?
With workplace and consumer expectations constantly evolving, it’s crucial to have the right digital tools in place to stay agile.
There are tools for just about every need, from project-management platforms and collaborative suites for efficient communication to human resources automation for payroll and benefits.
But digital transformation is more than just the latest software. It’s about choosing the right tools for your unique needs and using them to improve how your teams work together. The result? Work better, faster and smarter.
3 essential tools to support your digital transformation
1. Communication tools
Good communication—among coworkers, employees and clients, and staff and management—is essential to the success of any company. However, an evolving global workplace and increasingly common remote and hybrid working models can make doing business more difficult if you don’t have the proper digital tools in place.
Tools like Slack are specifically designed to empower remote teams and enhance all aspects of business, uniting digital teams with the ability to create project- and topic-specific channels. Instead of digging through email chains and searching folders for specific conversations or files, everything is in one convenient place with real-time updates and easy organization options.
Internally, Slack is a core part of how we leverage IT to drive business growth. With custom bots, apps and integrations on our own platform, we’re able to improve not only the working lives of our employees but the satisfaction of our customers.
Flexible communication tools mean work gets done faster and with fewer hurdles. Easy collaboration fosters more idea sharing and trust among teams. Better work and quicker response times make for happier customers.
2. CRM tools
To stay competitive, you need to keep up with customer demands and align with their preferences. First, you need to know what those preferences and demands are. That’s where a Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) comes in. Essentially, a CRM gathers, stores and organizes customer interactions and data across all channels in one place.
CRM tools help companies better understand customer needs so they can align their sales, service and marketing initiatives. They can also automate repetitive tasks, shorten sales cycles and boost customer retention. Tools like HubSpot cater to small businesses, offering a free model with optional add-ons that seamlessly integrate with Slack. Zendesk was built to shorten the sales cycle and help reps close more deals.
Quality CRMs make it possible to collect and store large amounts of consumer data safely. They take it a step further by identifying patterns in customer behavior and using those insights to better target (and satisfy) your customers with less manual work from your team. All of this adds up to better workflows and processes for workers and more revenue for the company.
3. Recruitment tools
Employees are a company’s greatest asset, and effective recruitment has a long-term effect on corporate culture, performance and profitability. Without great people, your company can’t grow. But as any HR employee knows, attracting and retaining top talent isn’t always easy. That’s why it’s so important to invest wisely in digital tools that can both simplify and improve the recruitment process.
For example, recruitment and onboarding management software TalentSoft identifies the best candidates through scoring and matching features, encouraging staff referrals and feedback from managers. Other tools, like Workday, enable HR teams to craft strategic employee development plans, manage payroll and time off, and customize compensation and benefits packages.
Leverage digital recruitment not only to attract top talent but to keep them happy, engaged and working for you instead of your competition.