How Small Businesses Can Accelerate Their Digital Transformation

A 6-step Checklist for Success

04.12.22 by All Covered Experts

Accelerating business transformation is essential as the world becomes digitized, allowing businesses to connect with their customers, partners, and employees more effectively. So, how can small businesses accelerate their digital transformation (DX)?

Digital transformation is a huge opportunity, and also a challenge for small businesses.

Growth in 2022 and beyond will be due to a renewed focus on IT investments to scale businesses and better delivery on customer demand.  According to the IDC, 70% of small to medium sized businesses will have significantly increased their IT spending by 2026 to become more digitally resilient. The last few years have and continue to accelerate the mindset of the small business owner to be more technologically advanced, from cybersecurity to internal processes and customer experiences. The success of small businesses today can certainly depend on where they are on their digital transformation journey.

DX 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). Digital Transformation offers small businesses the potential for incremental business performance enhancements, new business models and customer experience, as well as disruptive business innovation – that is not possible by existing or traditional operating models. Digital organizations deliver better results:

  • 45% positive business impact and higher revenues;
  • 40% improvement in operational efficiency;
  • 35% increase in customer experience;
  • 36% faster time to market.

To help small businesses accelerate and realize the full benefits of digital transformation, we have developed a simple DX checklist and online assessment tool to explore and build your digital transformation roadmap. Here’s the simple DX checklist for small businesses.

1. Understand your existing digital state and identify opportunities to build your digital transformation strategy to suit your business objectives

A great starting point is to take All Covered’s Digital Maturity Assessment to discover where you are on your DX journey and start to identify any gaps and opportunities for improvements. You’ll learn whether you have the tools and procedures in place to grow your business and boost its resilience in a digital-first economy. The online, self-led assessment can be completed in minutes to explore and assess your digital maturity across four key areas:

  • Collaboration and productivity
  • Connectivity and mobility
  • Security
  • Business Resilience

By assessing the four areas, you will understand your strengths and areas to improve your digital maturity by creating an action plan to tackle the identified gaps. At the end of the assessment, you will receive a customized report with recommendations on how to improve your digital maturity score.

  1. Define your digital strategy with a roadmap and keep it realistic

Every business has their own vision with a unique set of objectives and operational challenges that get in the way of them achieving their vision. Make sure you create your own DX strategy with clear objectives and focus areas to achieve your business goals.

Having a clear vision and plan from the beginning will allow you to assess the success of the transition and ensure you meet your transformation targets. Be mindful that there is not one ‘right’ approach for DX. Whichever path you take during your transformation journey – doing it internally or consulting with a partner – a clear strategy with realistic goals will help you during the transition and identify any (potential) problems in the early stages.

Review the Digital Maturity Assessment report for recommendations specific to your business goals. Then, schedule an appointment with our expert to explore and discuss your requirements and build a roadmap to implement a successful DX strategy. Finally, keep it realistic and don’t lose sight of the end goals by getting lost in the technology. What level of maturity is right for your business today? Are there quick wins that can be achieved?

3. Remember digital transformation is not just about technology or the latest SaaS offering

DX is as much about people and process as it is technology. It is the process of a well-planned, deliberate repositioning of your business by involving transformation across people, processes, and technology. Every business is, at some point, on the digital maturity spectrum and incorporating the ideas towards an Intelligent Connected Workplace (ICW). The ICW is Konica Minolta’s vision for digital maturity that connects your IT, Work, and People to achieve digital transformation’s incremental, transformational, and disruptive growth possibilities.

We believe that digital maturity is the pursuit of an ICW, and we specialize in helping our customers on this journey, regardless of their stage. At level 0 (‘Emerging’), a company is just starting & planning the journey. At level 1 (‘Digitize’), they begin to transform tasks and processes, operations, and IT, and at Level 2 (‘Integrated), companies empower, engage, and enable effective workforces & operations, irrespective of location. At level 3 (‘Transformed’), customers achieve a state of agility, with integrated, data-driven decisions while enhancing creativity and innovation). Ultimately, once all levels are completed, they reach the Intelligent Connected Workplace, where businesses can realize their true digital potential. The ICW is Konica Minolta and All Covered’s way to offer our customers this digitally transformed future, putting them in control of their IT and operations to be more efficient, productive, and secure.

Konica Minolta is the trusted digital partner for thousands of businesses supporting and accelerating their DX journey. Every digital journey is different and needs to be customer-specific – a trusted partner can help identify the areas and functions in your business that will benefit from digitalization, find the best solutions and services, and implement them accordingly.

4. Manage the change and transformation from start to finish

According to the Harvard Business Review (2020), 70% of digital transformation efforts came to nothing, and 70% of all DX initiatives do not reach their goals.

If you don’t have the skills in-house to manage the project and change, ensure your DX partner has these skills and will support and guide you on your transformation journey – from creating the initial plan and needs analysis, through to project managed implementation and transition to your new ‘business as usual.’ Remember, true and lasting transformation nearly always involves people, process and technology – project managing the change delivers the best outcomes.

At Konica Minolta, we provide expert project management services and methodologies based on your requirements. These are typically used to:

  • Produce something new (technology, product, service, approach etc.) or altered (process, system, organization, structure, system change request, etc.)
  • Achieve a certain objective with a clear start and finish
  • Manage some form of change
  • Manage a specific risk
  • Manage complexity in people, process, or systems
  • Manage complexity such as multi groups, departments, silos
  1. Bring your employees on the journey and make them part of your change

Employees can find change unsettling, but they are often the key to success and real transformation – whether by embracing new practices or providing the detail behind existing operations and challenges. In addition to ensuring a transformation project is correctly managed, make sure your workforce is brought into the vision and create an internal team committed to continuous improvement that can help support the transformation project to a better future.

  1. Review and measure your success

With any DX project, it is important that your project partner or team reviews and measures their success at delivering the stated and desired project objectives, as well as the return on investment (ROI). If you are, continue the journey to your ICW.

Whatever your maturity level, All Covered’s Digital Maturity Assessment will help you understand, explore and consider your next steps for your DX journey to realize your true digital potential.

Note: This post is adapted from its original publishing by Konica Minolta Europe.

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