The fascinating advent of digital transformation represents a seismic shift that will impact companies, business paths, and entire economic structures.
But what kind of digital tools should you start diving into in order to get fully prepared to master this incredibly powerful transformation, hone new skills, and boost your digital swagger? By reading this article on the best digital transformation tools, you will get to have access to a top 5 of the best tools you should explore to ride the digital transformation wave in style.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the brand-new utilization of digital tech to deal with typically complex problems. This series of digital solutions can actually craft whole new types of creative innovation, instead of just serving as an enhancement or an add-on to what already exists. This change represents the integration of immensely complex digital technologies into all the different arenas of a corporation.
The expected result? To ensure there will be crucial changes in terms of how businesses effectively operate and how they can ultimately boost the value they give the end-customer.
Digital transformation can also be seen as a cultural change.
Why? Because it will consistently require that all businesses challenge their own perceptions and ideas, putting the status quo to test every single day.
In fact, this type of change will put both companies and business leaders to the test, since the helmsmen will have to experiment with new technologies, get comfortable with failing ideas, and never fear having to completely abandon tried-and-tested business processes in favor of a radical new approach.
What is the Aim of Digital Transformation?
This cultural shape-shifting phenomenon has one goal: to ensure digitized information creates methods that let organizations become more efficient. It’s really all about allowing companies to understand that - in order for them to stay relevant and still have a business in the next 5 years - they need to up the ante, become faster, better, more tech-oriented, and more knowledgeable of the power of data.
If you think about a specific area of business such as customer-relationship management or customer service, you’ll start understanding how this change becomes real. Before, customer records were nowhere to be found or inserted on yellowy paper left in some cabinet.
Now? Records are part of the Big Data bonanza, and they’re easily accessible.
This means that the basic methodology that fuels customer service hasn’t changed a bit.
But the process? Much faster.
In fact, the routine process of creating an inquiry, searching for the crucial data, and coming up with a solution that helps the customer has become much more efficient thanks to this ease of access. As digital tech started booming some years ago, new businesses came about, offering different solutions that all have the same end game: ensuring life gets easier for every single human being.
Another case that is important to mention is Uber. Everyone knows the app that changed the way we travel in our cities.
But what’s so special about calling a guy to come pick you up? We already did that with taxicabs.
But Uber? They changed the process and the way that connection is established, by making it all much simpler, more effective, and customer-oriented (for instance, the customer can rate the service faster than they can spell the word “taxi”, a small but incredibly relevant change.)
Changing the way businesses are actually built and maintained, digital transformation promises to keep creating entirely new types of companies, ensure they get more efficient, and guarantee customers have faster access to great products.
It also engages every function in a specific corporation.
By using digital technologies to reshape each connective tissue in the customer experience journey, companies will get to:
- Create a brand-new product and service development
- Change purchasing processes
- Enable boosted product and service customization
- Take advantage of marketing personalization
- Return and upgrade different processes
- Give birth to new product review and feedback mechanisms
What are the Biggest Challenges of Digital Transformation?
There are many challenges when it comes to digital transformation. The most important one is what is known as employee pushback.
What’s this all about? It’s about understanding human beings like routine and structure and that this type of change will obviously impact that tried-and-tested method.
What to do? Businesses should ensure they keep their employees informed of all the different changes that will impact their day-to-day.
Another challenge? To be able to develop a digital transformation strategy from A to Z.
Most companies say they’re ready for the changes ahead but haven’t really delineated a plan.
What should companies do right away? Take this matter seriously, clarify the vision, set specific goals, and empower different teams with a purpose they can fight for.
Thinking about the end customer and realizing that this transformation has to be something that involves the whole team is a great start to face this challenge.
Here’s a list of other digital transformation challenges that are sure to take a lot of hours of sleep from some of the world’s most forward-thinking CEOs:
- Difficulty to find expertise to lead the digital boom
- Resistance from top brass (usually more conservative and resilient in their ways)
- Lack of a budget assigned to digital transformation
- Lack of full-blown visibility when it comes to the end user experience
- Highly-complexified IT infrastructure that makes it impossible to perform needed changes
- Budgetary restrictions that make companies lag behind
Now that we know what are the advantages of digital transformation, the objective of this technological shift, and the major challenges lying ahead, it’s important to understand which are the top 5 tools you need to master to be able to ride the digital wave in style.
Top 5 Digital Transformation Tools
How should companies be dealing with online payments if they don’t want to lose revenue? They should give Stripe a run for its money.
Based in San Francisco, Stripe’s amazing software allows businesses to make and receive payments online, providing the fraud prevention and banking infrastructure needed to hone online payment systems. This company basically builds economic infrastructure for the web, allowing your business to run financial operations and accept online payments with ease.
Customers hate waiting in line. They want products that are both cheap and easy to acquire.
Not having an economic infrastructure that can withstand requests and pay fast will mean the end of the road for any company that’s willing to take the transformation train.
2. Quick Base
Applications seem to be a Holy Grail. Right now, there are 2.1 million apps users can choose from when exploring Google Store. Moreover, Apple’s App Store has got 2 million different applications.
If you’re in a company, you know that having an app can be the difference between success and failure.
So why Quick Base?
Because Quick Base is a low-code platform for users and it can help companies easily create apps. With Quick Base, company leaders can actually take advantage of a high-level view of each particular aspect they want to master in a single shot.
It doesn’t matter if you work for a company where there are no skilled programmers - nobody needs to code. In fact, Quick Base can become the brand-new version of the Excel spreadsheet, streamlining efficiency, logging contacts and work, allowing every single team member to access app-related info.
Information and data acquisition are two important pillars of this transition. That means companies should be on board and get to create apps that make their life easier, their processes sharper, and their customers better satisfied.
3. SAP Concur
SAP Concur likes to believe they are the “next era of business innovation.”
But what are these fellows doing that’s so awesome for digital transformation? Simple: they offer invoice management software that can actually help businesses save time on routine administrative tasks, eliminate mistakes, and optimize their teams.
This enterprise tool doesn’t entail a lengthy deployment process. Thanks to the rise of cloud-powered tech, businesses can now quickly deploy some of the most cost-effective digital solutions and web-based apps, ensuring masterfully effective corporations run smooth.
4. Social Pilot
A simple yet cost-effective social media management tool? It’s probably one of the most important links in the digital chain.
Social Pilot allows companies to manage their social media channels, improve engagement, schedule different posts, and analyze the results every single time. Since businesses have been increasingly using the likes of Instagram and Facebook to get amazing brand awareness and generate impeccable leads, it’s only natural that this tool should be chosen as a must-have.
Why Social Pilot and not Hootsuite, for example? Because Social Pilot is affordable, provides a great dashboard that allows you to check all the campaigns running, lets you have access to collaboration tools, and gives you features like bulk scheduling.
Social media now has a remarkable global penetration of 45%. As third world countries get access to cheaper smartphones, you can expect that number to grow - fast.
That means that failing to have a keen social media strategy is going to hurt companies in the not-so-long-haul, and that’s why getting a tool like Social Pilot must be part of the digital transformation recipe.
5. Apache Hadoop
Thought there’d be a digital transformation article that didn’t mention a Big Data tool? Not possible.
Big Data allows companies to have access to incredibly insightful records, change the way they interact with their customers, personalize user experiences, and ensure their game is sharp every single day.
So why Hadoop? Because Hadoop is the most popular Big Data tool around.
With a gargantuan capability for large-scale data processing, this open source framework actually works and runs on hardware in a data center.
Hadoop can also run on a cloud infrastructure, and it’s got 4 different parts you can explore:
- Libraries, which help other modules work with it
- Distributed File System, compatible with high-scale bandwidth
- MapReduce, a great programming model that processes Big Data
- YARN, a platform that schedules and manages Hadoop’s resources on its infrastructure
Not sure your company should run the digital transformation treadmill using Big Data?
Here are some advantages of Big Data to win you over:
- Big Data tools bring about cost savings, since they help identify which are the most optimal ways of doing business
- These tools allow you to know customer trends faster than ever, which means you get to create products that suit the customer’s desires
- A tool like Hadoop runs on hyper-speed and has tremendous in-memory analytical power, which means you can identify new sources, analyze data, and make business decisions more rapidly
- Big Data tools also master sentiment analysis. This means you can get to know what people are saying about your company, allowing you to monitor and improve your online game
- They let you understand current market trends and conditions, as well as analyze purchasing behaviors. That means you can find out which are the best products, change your strategy, and become much more competitive
An Easy Choice
Digital transformation promises to set the future business trends and empower companies to become faster, create more efficient products, and run smooth operations that take machine learning, Big Data, and a wealth of highly-sophisticated tools into account.
If you fail to master this shift and resort to business-as-usual, you will definitely see your business fail as your competitors take max advantage of social media tools, the best Big Data tool available, an invoice management system which streamlines administrative work, a system that creates useful apps, and a method to receive and send payments.