Digital transformation will evolve your business to stay competitive and doesn’t have to be scary

Workplace evolution following the pandemic has been both rapid and far-reaching, as businesses and organisations look to meet the challenges ahead. For many large organisations adapting to these changes is simply part of ongoing planning, but for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) which represent 99% of all businesses in the EU and are essential to Europe’s economy, this may require a fresh perspective on business planning and operations.

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Whilst Konica Minolta is a large multi-national company, most of our customers fall into the SME category, so we are highly focussed on the specific needs and requirements of this vibrant and diverse sector. We recently commissioned an extensive survey from expert business analyst Keypoint Intelligence on the current state of Digital Transformation across the SME sector, which provides a fascinating insight into the state of SMEs in Europe.

Whilst 45% of the survey responders consider digital transformation their number one or top priority, only 28% felt they have made significant progress with digital. Clearly, whilst many SMEs have started their journey towards digital transformation and acknowledge the importance, many have yet to unlock the full potential of it for their business.       

Understanding digital transformation 

Digital transformation is: “the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements” (Salesforce, 2021). It offers small businesses the potential for incremental business performance enhancements, new business models, and an improved customer experience, as well as disruptive business innovation – things which are simply not possible using existing or traditional operating models. 

The digital transformation checklist 

The benefits are clear in terms of efficiency and ROI, but understandably the process can seem daunting to the uninitiated. Fortunately, Konica Minolta has a well-proven track record in helping businesses on their digital transformation journey, so here is our recommended checklist of the stages for accelerating digitalisation in your business: 

1. Understand your current state and identify opportunities that suit your organisation 

Like all business processes, implementing digital transformation requires a thorough assessment of your starting position. A great tool for doing this is Konica Minolta’s free and no obligation online DX360° Digital Maturity Assessment. This self-led assessment will help you to identify any gaps and opportunities for improvements and can be completed in minutes, exploring and assessing your digital maturity across 5 key areas: 

  • Operational flexibility, efficiency, and sustainability 
  • Workforce & operational mobility 
  • Security and compliance 
  • Workforce productivity and collaboration 
  • Data Analytics and intelligence 

By assessing these five areas, you will understand your strengths and areas to improve your digital maturity, enabling you to create an action plan. At the end of the assessment, you will receive a customised report with recommendations on how to improve your digital maturity score. 

2. Define your strategy roadmap and keep it realistic 

Every business has its unique vision, set of objectives, and operational challenges that need to be overcome. Your specific digital transformation strategy must have clear objectives and stay focussed on achieving your broader business goals. There is no one ‘right’ approach for digital transformation, but a clear strategy with realistic goals will help to identify any potential problems in the early stages.  

3. Digital Transformation is not just about technology 

It is important to remember that digital transformation is just as much about people and processes as it is about technology. It is the process of a well-planned, deliberate repositioning of your business by involving transformation across people, processes, and technology.  

This is embodied by Konica Minolta’s vision for digital maturity, the ‘Intelligent Connected Workplace' (ICW). The concept is to reduce the complexity of work processes and help people cope with increasingly mobile and flexible work environments and get their work done, simply and easily. To do this, Konica Minolta, intelligently connects people, spaces and technologies and helps organisations reach the next level of maturity in their digital transformation (from level 0 ‘Emerging’, to level 1 ‘Digitise’, Level 2 ‘Integrated', and level 3 ‘Transformed’). 

4. Manage the process from start to finish 

Achieving digital transformation in your business requires a firm commitment, from the initial planning stage right through to the end goals. Sadly, research by Harvard Business Review (2020) shows that only 20% of responders rated their digital transformation strategies as being effective. 

It is vital that the project is managed diligently throughout the whole process. If you don’t have the skills in-house to manage the project and change, ensure your digital transformation partner has these skills and will support and guide you on your transformation journey. True and lasting transformation nearly always involves people, process, and technology, and fully project managing the change delivers the best outcomes.  

5. Bring your employees on the journey and make them part of your change 

Employees are often the key to success and real transformation – whether by embracing new practices or providing the detail behind existing operations and challenges. However, the process of change can also be unsettling for them, so it is vital to ensure the whole team is brought into the vision to assuage any fears, enabling them to comfortably support the transformation project to a better future. 

6. Review and measure your success 

With your overall strategic and operational goals firmly in mind, it is essential that you (and your project partner) review and measure the success in delivering the project objectives and the return on investment (ROI). Having committed resources and attention to your digital transformation you must ensure it is having the desired effects or agree on a course correction if these aren’t being met.

Info Box: Quick Wins to accelerate digital transformation

Before you embark on your business’s digital transformation programme, do the following: 

  • Find the best leader for your digital agenda 
  • ​Ensure you offer the best customer service and experience  
  • Digitise your corporate culture and ensure it is ingrained in everything you do 
  • Understand your competition and how to beat them  
  • Consider the potential technology choices and find the best for your needs 
  • Assess your team’s skills then train or hire to fill any gaps 
  • Get feedback from your customers 

For more help and advice on implementing digital transformation in your business, please visit:  

To take the free and no obligation DX3600 Assessment to see where your business is on your digital transformation journey, click HERE  

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