The first step to going digital is to understand how it can benefit your business.
Businesses that use digital tools are likely to create new jobs, export their products and introduce new products or services.
The benefits of digital mainly come from:
- tools you access through the internet
- systems that communicate
- an online presence
Why go digital?
Research shows that the most digitally sophisticated companies have significantly higher revenues, better profits and better staff potential than the least digitally sophisticated companies. Businesses should use technology to support their growth, it’s just a matter of finding the right digital solution.
Tools you access through the internet
Tools you access through the internet are called ‘cloud tools’.
To access cloud tools you typically use your own IT equipment, such as your computer or mobile device. This means you do not need to pay for:
- extra IT equipment
- licences for software that you install directly onto your device
- staff or service providers to maintain your software
As long as you have an internet connection you can access cloud tools from most places. You can collaborate online while working remotely.
Often you can choose to only pay for the cloud tools you use. You do not pay up front for cloud tools that you do not use.
You can also choose to increase or decrease your amount of cloud tools. This helps your business scale up or down to adapt to change.
Systems that communicate
You might use different systems for your business processes, including to:
- pay your staff
- update your customer information
- update your product inventory
You may be able to connect your systems so they can communicate with each other. This is called software integration.
An example of software integration:
- You process a sale through your point of sale system.
- The point of sale system updates the stock levels in your inventory management system.
- Your account system records the sale.
- Your customer relationship management system updates your customer’s sale history.
When systems communicate with each other they can:
- prevent you from adding incorrect information
- save you the time that you would spend entering information
- can often produce analytics reports to help you monitor your business
An online presence
Marketing your business online through a website, blog, e-marketplace, or social media account can help you reach a larger audience.
Consider reviewing your brand, as this can help you connect with customers and support your marketing plan.