Doubtless, by now, you’ve seen and heard people frothing at the mouth in their fervor for digital transformation. If it’s not the buzzword of the decade, it’s certainly in the top ten. Automation is another contender for the top spot. But if both revolve around making business operations more efficient, what’s the difference, exactly?
In 1975, a Business Week article titled “The Office of the Future” predicted the rise of the paperless office. The concept arose as a publicist’s slogan for the IBM 2260 in 1964, which proclaimed the computer terminal as the harbinger of the “office of the future.”
Back then, paper documents were kept in filing cabinets and storage boxes, and when items were misfiled, it could take weeks to track them down. Processes involving large numbers of people like university admissions and student registration generated mountains of paperwork, all of which had to be processed by hand.
It’s no wonder the dream of the paperless office captivated the popular imagination: the thought of being able to process – and locate – information within seconds had enormous appeal.
So what is a paperless office? Exactly what it sounds like: a work environment where paper usage is either wholly eliminated or greatly reduced by using digital formats instead.
With the rise of personal computers and office automation, the use of paper for tasks such as bookkeeping, record-keeping and sending memos would be made redundant, as everything could be stored and displayed on computers. Prolific paper users like schools and universities would use screens to teach students and even homework assignments and exams would eventually be conducted using computers.
However, while Business Week’s prediction of a personal computer on every desk came true, the paperless office has not yet become a reality. Despite advances in communication technologies such as the advent of email, paper documents continued to proliferate.
Digital transformation is essential for businesses of any size to stay relevant and competitive in today’s market. Yet for a small business with a limited budget, it could sound like an intimidating undertaking.
However, you simply can’t ignore the benefits of using the right technologies in your business. It’ll help you improve efficiency, lower costs, increase productivity, improve customer experience, and ultimately, boost profits.
In fact, 42% of SMBs now consider digital transformation a core component of their organizational strategy. Digital leaders are doubling the performance of digital laggards.
There’s a lot of buzz around the term digital transformation (DX). As a small business, you may wonder if it’s something you need to pay attention to.
It sounds like a fancy gimmick for large corporations with big IT budgets.
However, no small business can afford to ignore digital transformation. Don’t sweep it under the rug. You’ll likely miss out on opportunities that will set your business up for success for years to come.
Research conducted by Bain & Company revealed that digital leaders more than double the performance of digital laggards in their industries. Profitability follows the same pattern – 83% of the leaders increased their margins over the same period while less than half of the laggards did so.
Change is inevitable. Business speed is accelerating relentlessly. Think about it: Uber and AirBnb didn’t really exist 10 years ago. Today, they’re giants that have caused massive upheaval in major, entrenched industries.