Digital transformation can help businesses adapt to external threats

June 30, 2022 | 5 Mins Caitlyn Simons

Companies and business leaders everywhere will always need to adapt to external threats and have plans in place that keep them agile and responsive. Having a digital transformation strategy is often required to ensure that a business is ready for complications, challenges, and threats from outside of the business.

These threats can come in a range of different forms and can also exist internally. Businesses who are not prepared or digitally capable enough may find that these threats turn into significant problems that can cause lasting damage. Hindsight is a luxury that many businesses cannot afford today, reactive strategies are by their nature reactionary, some event has happened, and they are rapidly scrambling to try and solve it. Preventative action is a more attractive option.

In this article we will look at some of the ways that a digital business transformation can help businesses adapt and respond to challenges and threats.

Develop a formidable technology stack

Threats can come in various different forms, and it can often be the case that a threat is simply the rapid pace and advancement of new technologies, and a business simply not being ready for it. Other businesses that are ready for it will swoop in and take up the market share while you are scrambling for solutions- you may have the right product range, go to market offering and customer support in place, but because some of your internal systems have not been upgraded or developed, you find yourself a little behind the curve and are not getting to market as quickly as you would like.

It is best to develop initiatives towards a formidable technology stack, one that supports business strategies and go to market execution, a technology stack that connects and links related departments in a supportive and collaborative environment. This is about developing an IT infrastructure that can handle external threats in the form of competition and also the general threat associated with advancing technology. Of course, this is only a threat if you are slow to react, the threat is simply falling behind the curve and losing out because you have not acted fast enough or supported the business with investment in digital technologies that are innovative, agile, and responsive in nature.

Creating a long-term plan for digital transformation and the introduction of innovative digital technologies to form a formidable and future proofed IT infrastructure is one way to have a successful digital transformation that can help you face challenges and threats head on. Failure to create such a long-term plan could lead to other companies gaining a competitive advantage over your business, which could potentially halt your overall business growth.

Innovate to meet customer expectations

While customer expectations cannot really be considered a threat, in fact they should always be viewed of as an opportunity, what is a threat is a company’s inability to meet these customer needs due to a lack of digital innovation or legacy technology that is no longer fit for purpose, has fallen behind the curve or is not considered desirable by a large customer base.

Company image matters, and customers talk to each other, in fact in today’s digital world of social media and online forums where opinions are shared 24/7, the customer opinion has the ability to be wildly influential. If you are operating with outdated technology or seem incapable of keeping pace with the latest trends and features in the current digital age, then this will be commented upon, and you are very likely to be compared to your competitors if they excel in this area.

The result is that competitors will look great, and you will look dated. Reputation is important, and it can be a difficult thing to rebuild if a general perception is built up in the marketplace that your organization is not digitally focused or does not offer a top of the range customer user experience in terms of digital design, speed, flexibility, and unique features.

Introducing a broad digital transformation project to optimize both your product range and your customer platform experience is one way to counteract this. Ask questions around, what are your customer expectations with your product or service in a digital environment, what do they expect from a mobile app, how do they prefer to communicate with you and what kind of intuitive online customer experience is it that they want to enjoy when they interact with you. Take the learnings from these and introduce digital best practices, and next generation digital tools and technology to meet the customer in the kind of digital innovation space that they want to be in.

Digitize to protect

Internal and external data need to be protected in the most secure manner possible. Data breaches are never far from the headlines, and they can cause severe reputational and financial damage. If you develop a reputation as a company that operates fast and loose with a customer’s private data, word can spread quickly. We live in an age of disinformation, so most companies find that accuracy is neither here nor there, it is simply about the stories that customers tell when they are talking about you.

Digital transformation can help you develop a range of information protection and data security features that protect data in your business processes and in the online world of your customers. Privacy is another key area and there really isn’t any company in the world that can’t benefit from additional digital tools that help protect consumer privacy.

If you improve data privacy and information protection, then your ability to meet your compliance and regulation commitments is helped by default and will also be immediately enhanced. Data security, privacy and compliance are all interconnected, there have been huge advancements in ways to digitally protect data and there are a lot of products out there that can help. Choosing to prioritize the protection of data during any digital transformation will go a long way to developing your reputation as a company that takes data privacy and information protection seriously.

Not every customer differentiates by price, some are looking at the experience and what makes you different. If they feel safer and more secure operating with the products and services that you offer because they come with in-built data protection and privacy features, this could be one of the things that leads customers to choose you over the competition.

Being prepared to deal with external threats is always going to be important for your business, and the right kind of digital transformation can help your company deal with this successfully and enhance your overall operational efficiency. Implementing a digital transformation that creates a formidable tech stack to help against the threat of competitors, that is innovative when meeting customer expectations and sets you apart from the crowd, as well as using technology to protect customer data can all help make your business better and facilitate company growth and success.

 

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