Digitising a Business

Thinking about what part of a business needs to be digitised? Wondering how to start and to make the change lasting? Not sure when the digitising journey should start? Read on for a few tips on what to consider when digitising a business.

So why digitise?

There are many reasons why a business should consider digitising. The below list highlights a few of the advantages:

•The initial collecting of information can be done more consistently.

•Error checking and data corrections can be done programmatically and is much quicker than manual checking.

•Accessing, utilising and sharing digital information is quicker and can be more easily formatted for specific use cases.

•Storage is more efficient compared to hard copy information and managing backups at multiple locations is easier.

Who should go digital?

Anyone and everyone! In today’s information age there are fewer reasons why it is not possible to digitise any business. Although there are some practical limitations which make it difficult for some businesses, it is important to not assume it is impossible to digitise before evaluating what is the art of the possible.

What should be digitised?

Here are a few examples of what can be digitised in a business:

•Customer and supplier information such as contact details, pricing, agreements and transactions.

•Product information such as descriptions & attributes, pricing and stock holding.

•Centrally stored operating policies and procedures, which are searchable and can be ‘intelligently’ organised.

•Employee records like contracts of employment, training records and performance records.

When to go digital?

Immediately and always! It is unlikely that there are businesses today that have digitised nothing. More businesses are digitising every day, and there are more ways to digitise parts of a business that couldn’t be digitised before. So to wait to digitise a business means getting left behind.

How to digitise?

Certain things are needed to start and successfully complete digitising a business. It is crucial the following are addressed prior to and during the digitising journey:

•Management ownership and sponsorship.

•Business process integrity and efficiency.

•Change management and team training.

•Appropriate infrastructure (i.e. hardware and software systems).

•Sustain and ongoing system support, data maintenance and ongoing staff re-training.