How a Digital Transformation Strategy Can Keep Your Business Resilient
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that every Australian business needs to develop a digital transformation strategy. A digital transformation strategy allows organisations to fall back on technology as a form of business resilience, keeping the business afloat during times of hardship.
Introduction to business resilience
Business resilience is an organisation's ability to adapt and respond to disruptions that threaten to disrupt the financial, operational or commercial success of the business. While non-resilient businesses may survive these challenges, resilient businesses emerge from hard times better and stronger than they were before, as they can:
Address changes in customer needs.
React to disruptions in the supply chain.
Empower employees to work through the disruption.
Fall back on reliable IT infrastructure.
Safeguard digital assets through cybersecurity measures.
Keep the business financially secure and on-track.
The resilience of a business is essential during regular and irregular economic conditions, as all businesses will face hardships during their lifetime.
One such hardship appeared during COVID-19, which resulted in 88% of Australian businesses switching to remote work as a health measure. This forced businesses to become resilient, as it altered their supply chains, operations and everyday processes for several months.
In Australia’s current business landscape, there are also two primary threats facing all businesses: the threat of becoming irrelevant and the threat of being left behind by advances in technology. As these threats are brought on by the rapid development of technology, the best way to become resilient is by embracing a digital transformation strategy.
The key to resilience: a digital transformation strategy
A digital transformation strategy is a set of tactics that integrates digital technology into every area of a business. This increases the efficiency and security of the businesses processes, making the organisation more resilient against disruptions. A successful digital transformation strategy features many tactics, including:
#1. Leveraging software
Leveraging software is the most efficient way to ensure your business operates through periods of disruption or hardship as software can be used anytime and anywhere.
While accounting and payroll software solutions are already standard in Australian businesses, a successful digital transformation strategy may include:
IP phone software.
Project management software tools.
Supply-chain management software.
Customer-relationship management (CRM) software.
Asset management software.
An excellent strategy also prioritises software over outdated solutions, like trading the traditional office fax machine for online fax.
#2. Focusing on cybersecurity
Australian businesses lose over $29 billion to cybersecurity incidents every year, with the number of reported cyber attacks increasing. As the cybercrime industry grows, businesses must include cybersecurity in their digital transformation strategy.
As part of this strategy, businesses should embrace encrypted communication methods and teach staff good cybersecurity practises: changing passwords regularly, using two-factor authentication and using cybersecurity software on all devices.
#3. Using cloud-based storage
A great digital transformation strategy also embraces cloud-based storage. Cloud-based storage stores your documents and data in the cloud, keeping it in a secure location that can only be accessed by approved parties. Cloud-based storage is also cheaper than an office filing room and requires no ongoing maintenance: making it a futureproof choice every business can embrace.
#4. Investing in digital telecommunications infrastructure
The COVID-19 pandemic required the majority of Australia’s workforce to work from home, proving the value of digital telecommunications infrastructure to a digital transformation strategy. Digital telecommunications infrastructure includes IP phones, online faxing, voice/video solutions and instant messaging software. These solutions keep businesses connected 24/7, building a network of communication that can be leveraged when employees aren’t able to access the office.
#5. Establishing a web presence
A good digital transformation strategy includes a web presence - something only 51% of Australian businesses have. A web presence includes a website, business listing or social media presence that puts a digital face on your organisation. Establishing a web presence has many advantages, as it allows customers to find you through the internet, provides you with free marketing and increases the reach of your business.
A web presence is also hugely profitable, as data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that businesses nationwide made $394.3 billion from the internet in 2016/17.
Digital transformation strategy examples
A great digital transformation strategy can also transform the way you and your customers live and work as it did for these three companies.
Nokia and the smartphone camera
While low-cost cameras were enormously popular in the 1990s, they were quickly replaced when Nokia put a camera in their smartphone in 2002. Like cameras, the Nokia 7650 allowed people to take high-quality images, but unlike cameras, the phone allowed people to share and edit images without uploading them to a computer.
In the years that followed, other companies would follow - changing the camera industry forever.
Data from Japan’s Camera and Imaging Products Association shows global shipments of cameras dropped 87% between 2010 and 2019. Simultaneously, sales for smartphones with cameras increased. As of 2019, over 5 billion people worldwide have a mobile device with over half of these being smartphones.
While Nokia may not have remained the top smartphone company, its digital transformation strategy changed the industry forever.
Microsoft and email
Australian businesses first began embracing email as a digital transformation strategy in 1988 after Microsoft released its first iteration of Microsoft Mail. Unlike traditional mail, Microsoft Outlook allowed businesses to send and receive messages instantly. This was faster, cheaper and more reliable than traditional mail, with providers like Yahoo, Lotus Notes and CompuServe developing their own versions of email by 2000.
Today, workers receive an average of 121 business emails per day and over 4.57 billion people use email worldwide.
eFax and online faxing
While faxing is an essential part of many Australian businesses, physical fax machines are notoriously unreliable. Fax machines require constant maintenance, as well as toner, printer ink and paper to run. This is expensive and time-consuming, as a single ‘line busy’ error stops you from faxing entirely.
The fax industry changed forever in 1996 when online faxing was made available to the public. Unlike a physical fax machine, online faxing allows businesses to fax from computers, smartphones or tablets. This enables businesses to send faxes anytime and anywhere without needing a fax machine.
In the years since then online faxing has become a digital transformation strategy, allowing businesses to send faxes quickly, cheaply and securely. eFax is still Australia’s best online fax provider and remains dedicated to helping Australian businesses succeed with a secure and reliable online fax connection.
While many Australian businesses lose their fax connection when switching to the NBN, eFax is future-proof and NBN compatible. Their team of faxing experts will keep you connecting, helping you use your NBN fax number from day one.
eFax is embracing the future of online faxing technology. Their online fax system stores every fax in the cloud, giving Australian businesses free lifetime storage. eFax also uses end-to-end encryption to keep your faxes safe.
To see what eFax can do for your business, start a 30-day free trial or call 1800 283 361.