How to kickstart digital transformation
By Andy Champion - Vice President, Enterprise Sales EMEA at DocuSign.
In an increasingly complicated world, it’s nice to find one thing that’s simpler than we think. Digital transformation, for all its hi-tech image, is often less complicated and more achievable than people believe.
Let’s face it, businesses worked before the arrival of 21st-century technology. Digitisation is often no more complicated changing the way, or the tools we use, to carry out the same task. Writing a letter? That’ll be email. Analysing data from a spreadsheet? There’s an algorithm that can do that. Visiting your bank in person? Just log on to your online app.
All of these are examples of digital transformation. Some have become so commonplace that we forget to call them by that name. The key is that digital transformation, done right, delivers incredible advantages to customers, businesses and employees alike.
Many examples of good digital transformation deliver savings on time – a critical factor in today’s fast-paced world. A world in which we’ve all become accustomed to ordering our next meal or a car service at the touch of a screen from our mobile device.
Competitive advantage in business can be something as simple as providing greater convenience and speedier access. Today’s consumers expect a level of service that would have been unthinkable 30 years ago, and there’s a real currency inconvenience and immediacy. We expect to have the answer or the service instantly or the product we’ve just purchased in tomorrow’s post.
Speed and agility are core competitive advantages for any business. No matter how local your product or service seems, no matter what size of business you are operating: you are competing in a global marketplace. Competition is real, unrelenting and persistent and consumers can make instantaneous, direct comparisons at the touch of a button.
So how can you make sure digital transformation is top of your business’ agenda? Well, a good place to start is with value. What is the unique value you and your brand deliver? What do your customers' actions and feedback tell you about it and how can you use technology to amplify or extend it? After all, businesses exist to serve their customers; it is their expectations that should guide a business agenda and the digital goals you set.
Be clear about those goals to staff and suppliers. Goals need to be communicated well and often need to be repeated; you may also need to check in with staff to ensure that what they heard is what you meant! But don’t get hung up on perfection; start small, but start today.
For example, the goal might be to cut the manual processes from a transaction, removing physical paper and forms in order to make the whole process digital. Obviously this will save money, increase agility and boost the speed of the transaction. It will also improve the customer’s experience and that’s worth its weight in gold! Of course, changing every stage may be too big of an ask, and if so, start small by digitising the signature: there's an immediacy and convenience to that process that will be understood by everyone.
At DocuSign, we have worked with clients that have cut the time required to sign a contract of employment from an average of 14 days to a mere 31 minutes.
That’s the kind of digitisation that transforms an organisation; it delivers value to both customer and company, giving both the confidence to move on and investigate further change.
A digitised signature may seem a small step. But it can be the small start that kickstarts a complete digital transformation.
Andy Champion, Vice President, Enterprise Sales EMEA at DocuSign