Analogue is out, according to big business. In the past five years, businesses both big and small have begun to take digitalization seriously.
What is digitalisation? It’s the transformation of a business where processes that were once run manually are now run on computers.
Of course, this isn’t new, some companies have been working on transforming their processes since computers came about. It’s become more widely discussed since 2013 when many businesses began taking it seriously and implementing initiatives.
In fact, it might be said that if businesses don’t adapt to digitalization, they could fail. In the current market, the businesses that have adopted digital transformation are thriving, while others are falling behind.
The challenge for small businesses
In a world where everything has gone online, there is hyper-competition, even locally. Now, with a simple search consumers can find more options than ever before.
A small business may enter the market with a great idea. However, it soon discovers that if it doesn’t have the processes to match, it can fail quickly.
People that are averse to the idea of digitalization may be unaware that it can bring many benefits. Some of these include:
- Boosting efficiency
- Reducing human error
- Saving valuable floor space by keeping documents in the cloud/on servers
- Safer data storage, easier retrieval of data
- Easier analysis of data – which could boost revenue
- A reduction of operational costs
All these benefits give a company an edge over its competitors who have not yet implemented digital transformation.
Small businesses may not have enough cash flow to invest in digitalization, particularly if they set up recently without it. That creates a challenge for them, and one which could lead to failure.
Some small businesses only see the expense, whereas data analysis such as spend analytics could help them perform better strategically.
How digitalization has transformed certain industries
We don’t have to look very far to find industries that invested early in digitalization and have reaped the rewards.
Arguably an industry that has built its entire structure through digitalization, online casinos could not survive without the internet.
For starters, all customer information is kept safely and securely in the cloud for casinos. Security online is very important to players, and it has only improved over the years.
Now, SSL encryption systems are available to keep customer information secure.
Game development has been affected by digitalization. That’s because game developers can use RNG (random number generators) for games such as slots.
When online casinos first came online, not all were created the same. Some were rigged, but now customers know that games are fair, through RNG and other systems.
Another way that online casinos have taken advantage of digitalization is through data analysis. By learning:
- What games do customers like
- The times of day they like to play
- How long do they spend on each game
- What rewards do they prefer
Online casinos can personally tailor casino daily deals, offers, and bonuses, which in turn leads to happier players.
Payments are also safer than they have ever been. There are multiple safe deposit and withdrawal options now for online casino users, including:
- Mobile payment options
- Internet banking
- Debit/credit cards
- Operators such as Stripe
As this is one of the fastest-moving industries on the planet, expect to see even more digital advancement in 2023. AR and VR technology will make a huge impact in the coming years, as the technology becomes more accessible.
In every mode of transportation, digitalization is making a huge impact. Take an auto business like uber, for instance. They offer deals to customers who qualify for various reasons.
Tracking vehicles in real-time is now possible via GPS devices. This means if you call a helpline, or check on an app, you can find out where a driver is.
It helps make drivers more accountable but also, but it’s helpful in terms of emergency services.
GPS is great for navigation, providing drivers options for the fastest routes and avoiding traffic.
As with online casinos, banking has benefitted widely from digitalization in terms of safety and security. One bank that was an early adopter of digital transformation was Natwest, particularly for fast-tracking transfers. Their bank switch offer attracts new customers on a daily basis enabling them to improve their product.
Although we expect everything instantaneously now, it used to take days, even weeks for international transfers. Now that every sort of code is online, and information is at your fingertips, you can transfer in minutes.
Banks that were slow to digitalization have missed out, and others have flourished in their place. Without digitalization, we wouldn’t have Wise, Revolut, or Monzo.
The benefits of digitalization
As mentioned earlier, the benefits of adopting digitalization early can give any sized business an advantage. However, it’s not just at a B2B or B2C level that this has an impact, it affects the economy.
It’s estimated that the digitalization of trade could add £25 billion to the UK economy. The more money in the economy, the better for workers and consumers.
As recently as 2020, 66% of surveyed companies were either considering digitalization or were already working on it. This is an excellent time to get on board with the change, especially if your company has delayed so until now.