Whether you’re just starting out in business or are well into your growth phase, going digital could be the key to your future sustainability. Of course, digitalisation has been around for years, but it’s something you might not have done yet because you might not be sure where to start or think it could be too difficult or expensive.
What’s the difference between digitalisation and automation?
These are very similar, but the one difference between them is that digitalisation is where you convert material or information into digital form. One example is paper documents, like accounts and receipts. Instead of keeping these in cardboard boxes, they’re stored safely on a hard drive or in the cloud.
The benefits are almost endless
As well as taking up less physical room (as described above), digitalisation makes just about everything quicker, more efficient and can actually be safer than a lot of more traditional processes. Something like Microsoft 365 or Azure, for example, are great tools for collaborating online. Others to consider include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and Oracle Cloud.
Having sensitive information stored on a computer system means you can control who has access to it. Anyone who views the documents you have stored will leave a digital trail too (this is like a paper trail, but online). Installing a proper anti-virus and malware protector will keep your information safe from prying eyes. This isn’t always the case with paperwork lying around in boxes that could potentially be seen by anyone.
See you later, innovator
Just changing to a digital mindset can spark a more innovative mindset for everyone in the business. Everyone will naturally look out for the latest way of doing things and how it can be incorporated into your business.
Digitalisation makes it much easier for you to get everyone to pull together. Think about the collaborative element we spoke about earlier – documents can be password protected, and you can keep track of versions and who was the last person to make any changes.
Digitalisation also often affects different departments at once, so they’ll have to work as a team to make it work. To help this process, something as simple in place that means you can talk to everyone at once, by email or intranet for example, will work wonders.
Without digitalisation, flexible working is much more difficult. With it, employees can work from home or hours that fit their lifestyle and circumstances. These are things people expect in their workplace nowadays, so being able to provide them means they’ll be much more likely to stay loyal to you.
It’s the future and your future
Digital is here to stay, so whatever your reasons are for not introducing it into to your business, you’re risking getting left behind if you don’t start it soon. Technology moves lightning-fast in the digital world, and it can be hard to catch up.
Can you really afford not to introduce digitalisation into your business?