Change can be scary; change that you don’t see coming can be even scarier. Well… that’s the reality for more and more business owners and their employees these days as digital disruption becomes more prevalent. Given the likelihood that your industry may change, it’s up to you to decide how you want to approach it – would you prefer to lead the change and capitalize on the opportunity to clear a new path, or let someone else do it and hope you don’t fall too far behind?

We all know about Netflix, Uber, and Airbnb, and the impact these companies had on their respective industries. It’s not necessary, however, to be the next Uber in order to lead change in your industry and improve your profitability while driving future growth. Implementing digital technologies into key aspects of your business can make significant improvements as long as you know which aspects of your business can have the greatest impact through an investment in technology. If you want to maximize your financial investment while ensuring you have buy-in from your employees, it is crucial to develop a strategy that aligns your business operations and goals with your technology expenditures.

Digital integration within your business is really about customer experience; most large scale successful examples of digital disruption, such as Netflix and Uber illustrate the fact that utilizing technology to shift your product to a service creates immense value by creating a more effective channel to provide your customers what they want in a way that is more convenient for them. How can the products you sell be adapted as a service to have a similar impact? Is there an opportunity for you to increase your reach and expand your market through a digital shift in your business model?

Even if you’re not ready to make such a radical shift as to change your business model, are there ways you can better communicate with your customers? Can you reach them through the channel they prefer, with a message that clearly resonates with them? How can you be sure your message is resonating? Do your systems allow you to collect the information you need to ensure you’re able to provide a better customer experience?

Overall, you can make small changes that will have a big impact, such as:

  • ensuring your operations consist of only necessary steps – those that add value for the customer or are required through regulation, because everything else is waste;
  • investing in a system and utilizing a dashboard that allows you to manage your operations and identify improvements and additional opportunities;
  • Communicating with your clients to understand what they want and how they want it while having a mechanism to store and analyze this information for opportunities to improve the customer experience; and
  • Developing a culture that is focused on customer experience while aiming to be a great place to work. Empowering your employees and keeping them engaged will go a long way in fostering an innovative culture, supporting digital transformation, and driving customer focused change.

Optimizing your digital assets and technology infrastructure is a crucial component of streamlining your operations and maximizing your competitive position; it is important, however, to ensure your business and digital strategies are aligned to enhance the value of your investment and buy-in from personnel. Triware’s Business Transformation and Digital Strategy services focuses on the alignment of your business goals and digital infrastructure. To effectively utilize technology while maximizing operational performance we first aim to establish your overall business strategy and future goals – then look to augment your strategy with digital enhancements.

Shane Kennedy is a Senior Advisor at Triware, focusing on business transformation and digital strategy. Shane has a Master’s Degree in Technology Management and extensive experience supporting business growth in Newfoundland and Labrador.