Survey Reveals Top 3 Trends in 2021 for Digital Transformation
Digital transformation has already transformed the landscape of every industry. In just a few short years, it has completely changed how we choose to do business. And this is just the beginning. Around the world, technology is opening doors that were once closed. It’s a giant wave that’s pushing businesses to do things differently. And no business can remain untouched by it.
Digital transformation can mean different things to different businesses, depending on where they sit in the transformation journey. The digital transformation journey is complex. It's not just about technology, it's about driving business model innovation. It's not just about delivering products and services faster; it's about increasing customer engagement. And it's not just about solving the problems of the day, it's about preparing for the challenges of the future.
With that in mind, Konica Minolta surveyed Australian small businesses in a wide variety of industries to discover the top three priorities for digital transformation. Just over half (52 per cent) of respondents were working remotely or in a hybrid approach.
We found that, regardless of where these businesses sat in the transformation journey, businesses ranked their top three priorities as:
- Productivity and office applications (45 per cent)
- Storage (37 per cent)
- Security (34 per cent).
Productivity and office applications
Maintaining productivity and doing more with less have always been strong business drivers for small businesses. Automation can help deliver the productivity improvements you’re looking for. While previously considered to be the domain of large enterprises with deep pockets, automation and machine learning-based tools are affordable for small businesses and can dramatically reduce the amount of time wasted on manual, repetitive, error-prone tasks.
Managing the document lifecycle through automated, cloud-based workflows streamlines business processes and delivers a single view of company data, which can then be used to drive decision-making. To manage documents through a digital solution, it’s essential to digitise those documents. Solutions that encompass optical character recognition (OCR) can let you digitise documents quickly and easily, making them searchable and letting you extract intelligence from the content.
Paper-based documents take up valuable real estate in shrinking offices. Managing documents across their lifecycle means understanding when the retain this paperwork and when (and how) to destroy it. Managing the sheer volume of paper-based documents can be overwhelming. Enterprise content management (ECM) systems can help you store current and archived documents digitally so they never go missing, can always be found when you need them, and don’t take up any physical space.
The last couple of years have seen cybersecurity threats ramp up in Australia. For most businesses, it’s not a question of if you’ll be attacked but when. Small businesses are not immune from the phishing, malware, and ransomware attacks that are plaguing organisations.
During the 2020-21 financial year, more than 67,500 cybercrime reports were made to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). That’s an average of one report every eight minutes; and those are just the attacks that are reported. Many more go unreported. Small businesses lost an average of just under $9,000 for each attack, while medium businesses lost an average of more than $33,000 per attack.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that small businesses are elevating security in their business priorities. At the same time, Australian businesses are subject to various data protection legislations including the Privacy Act and, if you have any dealings with a European citizen or organisation, you must comply with Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Doing this can be complicated, so it’s important to understand how you can defend your data.
Many organisations overlook their print and scan infrastructure when it comes to security, but this can be a significant weak point. It’s essential to speak with your technology provider to understand how to secure your data regardless of where it resides and whether it’s at rest or in transit.
Making progress in digital transformation
Most organisations are still getting their digital transformations underway. The survey found that:
- 27 per cent of businesses characterised their digital transformation status as “experimenting with pockets of experimentation with digital as an add-on to current services”
- 27 per cent characterised it as “escalating with a digital strategy in place with a foundation for data-driven performance”
- 26 per cent said it was “business as usual with unconnected systems and data silos”
- 12 per cent said they were “accelerating with enterprise-wide momentum in productivity, innovation and performance from digital initiatives”
- seven per cent considered themselves “digital natives with a scalable, agile business and with business goals and KPIs aligned to digital-first principles”.
Businesses in the early stages of digital transformation should focus on leveraging technology to evolve their current processes. They should also be concerned with identifying new revenue streams and working with an agile mindset to create an environment that is conducive to experimentation. Those who are post-transformation should be concerned with improving customer relationships and increasing customer lifetime value through an exceptional experience across all channels.
Your small business could benefit exponentially from digitally transforming, even if you’re still in the early experimental stages. To find out how you can unlock the possibilities of digitisation for your business, contact the Konica Minolta team today.