Digital transformation is a development that businesses have been aware of for many years. Since computers started making their way into offices, enterprises have been the first to appreciate the primary benefit of digital technology: speed.
But in the 21st century, the benefits of digital transformation are staggering. Speed is no longer the only benefit, as everything from interactivity to accessibility is affected by the convenience, power and versatility of digital technology.
Digital transformation is propelling businesses forward as technologies advance at an incredible pace. It will be the workforce with the knowledge and digital talent that will drive success and exploit these developments to gain a competitive edge.
In this article, we explore what businesses should be doing and the digital transformation skills required to improve performance, customer engagement, and profits.
- Digital Literacy
This should go without saying, but businesses should never take the fundamentals of digital for granted.
A recent study ‘The New Landscape of Digital Literacy: How workers’ uneven digital skills affect economic mobility and business competitiveness, and what policymakers can do about it’ found that 1 in 3 workers in the United States lacks foundational digital skills. In particular, 13 percent have no digital skills and 18 percent have very limited skills.
With that in mind, it’s not a stretch to assume that some potential employees are not digitally literate. Most people may be familiar with using social media for basic posts, but many may not know how to perform advanced tasks on those channels such as creating a paid ad or analyzing performance.
Your business also needs people that can use online tools like the business communications hub, Slack or video conferencing platform, Zoom or master content creation programs like Photoshop or Illustrator or analytics software such as Google Analytics. It’s not wise to take it for granted that everyone in your company can interchangeably use these programs with little or no difficulty.
There’s always new software, algorithms, computing languages, online standards, and protocols being developed. Make sure that your staff stays on top of the next big digital marketing trends so they know what to keep an eye on.
Your business should also find ways to reward and promote advancements in digital literacy within your company. This could be as simple as providing short courses in areas such as digital marketing that earn employees a professional certification on completion. Ignoring technology can lead to falling behind and irrelevance in a competitive business environment.
- Data and Digital Security
Last year data breaches rose by 68 percent last year, the highest on record according to The Identity Theft Resource Center’s annual report. This rise is due to high-profile cyberattacks that targeted everything from America’s largest oil pipelines to companies like T-Mobile, risking the personal information of millions of consumers. While physical security is a simple task of ‘hardening’ a facility with security cameras, good locks, and, of course, security guards. But how do you protect your data, or, more importantly, customer data?
Do you know what to do if your information is seized and you’re the victim of a data hostage threat? Do you know whether people have broken into your system and are monitoring your activity or even copying sensitive research material or private data?
Cybersecurity or cyber resilience is a huge concern for organizations across the globe. It requires technical proficiency, specialized talent, prioritization in business plans, and strong leadership to anticipate incoming attacks and prepare defenses to counteract them.
For industries that handle sensitive data or customer information such as healthcare and financial services, this is a top priority. Always make sure that someone in your business understands and is responsible for digital security, or you risk leaving your customers—and your business—vulnerable to a severe data breach and theft. Your business stores a lot of information online or in digital databases, and you need to protect this data to ensure customer trust and maintain the reputation and future of your business.