Business Advice & Ideas

The digital train has left—are you on board?


20 Aug 2021

Very few, if any, would survive in today’s world without the internet and the smart technologies. Everything has gone digital so much that even humans are being explored to be implanted with microchips in the future to make them more adept to the modern world.
Connectivity is the modern-day’s biggest game changer that has made the world smaller and more globalised.
And it’s not just the private sector that is leading this innovation. Governments, organisations, individuals and businesses are all on board. Needless to say, it’s a must if you’re doing business. Your digital footprint is not a very vital component of your survival.
The UAE government is leading in the digitalisation front and it helps that it’s business friendly. 
According to reports, over 85 percent of senior private sector executives these days are keen about putting emphasis on digitisation; another 65 percent are wary that failing to digitise could cause their businesses to be left out in the stiff competition and ergo, eventually belly-up.

Here are some steps to follow when digitising your business:

1. Establish protocols.

Sit down with your core group and brainstorm on how your business operates, how each department is co-related or connected and how digitisation would impact overall operations. If you are, for instance, engaged in food and beverage, create an end-to-end flowchart that shows the process and time it takes from taking a customer’s orders to sending those orders to the kitchen, getting the ordered food and serving them to the customers; and as well sending those list of orders to the cashier for billing purposes. The same goes through for takeaways, customer feedback and “mystery diner.” What digitisation does is expedite the entire process for faster service and  greater customer satisfaction ergo, higher repeat-customer rates, ergo, increased profits giving way to rooms for expansion, even a franchise venture.

2. Mobile support.

Augmenting a digitised business set-up is mobile support, noting that there is probably not one person in the world today who doesn’t have a smartphone. This highlights how crucial it is to hinge your digitisation efforts on smartphone mobility. Still on the F&B business sample, if your prospective customers could not reach you through their smartphones then you lose a lot in terms of market share. A little bit of caveat here: always be sure, in case you go with a third party service provider, that their product covers Android, BlackBerry and iOS devices. It is also important to ensure that a user-friendly interface is engaged for a flawless customer service.

3. Cloud.

Everything is in the cloud these days of the digital world – in fact, and to some extent, you can say the world is in a the cloud, as a manner of saying. And so it goes without saying that it pays to have your business digitisation plan access to cloud-based technologies like a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program and Knowledge Management System (KMS), which creates a central site location for needed information.

4. End-to-end customer experience.

Bear in mind that the ultimate goal of a digitised business is customer satisfaction. And so, you would need a team with members representing each department for their inputs. You may also want to consider putting on board a user-experience designers and data analysts for their much-needed insight in designing the company’s digital masterplan.

5. Do away with bottlenecks.

It is essential to clear bottlenecks and deadwoods when embarking on digitisation to ensure that the whole process does not take long to complete. Anything that stands in the way, red tape for instance, should be addressed so that the digital process does not hit a snag.

6. Customer Feedback.

As earlier mentioned, customer feedback is quite important for an effective digitised business operation. No need to re-invent the wheel as all it takes is getting customer opinions to identify weak areas or rooms for improvement. 

Now that you’re on the road, remember this quick fact: Around half of the world’s 7.9 billion people are active internet users.
This in mind, it’s a no-brainer to note that doing business digitally is not an option but a must to reach out to a bigger market. There are gazillion ways and opportunities to be made in the digital world. With hard work, combined with careful planning, foresight and yes, luck, let your business soar as far as it can go in the cloud.