For several years now, we have been living in a world of global digital transformation, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated this trend. Behavioral patterns are changing, we are all going online. The concept of vertical/niche business is gradually disappearing. Thanks to automation, the scale and scope of a company no longer depend on the number of employees. 

Getting away from the business side a bit, the term “digital revolution” is very well described in Alessandro Baricco’s book The Game: it is the destruction of all boundaries, elites and castes. 

The pandemic has underscored the urgent need for digital transformation of businesses. Companies are cutting costs, testing a variety of e-commerce models, and actively using innovative technologies to communicate with employees and customers. Companies that move sales online can gain 10% to 20% by increasing the conversion rate while reducing the cost of a lead by 15-30%.

Implementing process automation, machine learning, artificial intelligence and other tools to handle administrative and repetitive tasks can reduce headcount by 20-30% in corporate centers, reduce processing time and improve accuracy and service quality.

What tools can help you move your company online quickly and efficiently? I’ll start with two basic ones that are hard for businesses to do without.

CRM/ERP system

The most popular business transformation tool is the CRM/ERP system combined with financial analytics. This tool allows you to get reports and forecast financials 24/7 and anywhere in the world. One of the best examples of transformation with the help of such system I saw at McDonald’s: their connection with software from Astute Solutions allows not only analyzing restaurant performance and orders, but also forecasting and building data-driven solutions, taking into account not only their own network, but also all franchise outlets. A database of more than 600 typical problems and their solutions was created and a system for measuring customer satisfaction both at the national level and at the level of individual restaurants.

Chatbot 

The classic of service department transformation is implementation of a chat-bot for consultations. The bot is able to hold a conversation with the client, offer products or services, help find the necessary section of the site or clarify a client’s request and connect an internal specialist with the necessary expertise. For example chatbots of PepsiCo promotions cover more than 80% of customer support exactly in terms of FAQ and are one of the most effective ways to collect customer base.

Chatbots reduce the time it takes to process requests and increase employee productivity. Applying the technology can improve a company’s business performance from 5% to 25%.

App Development

I think everyone has heard of “government on the smartphone.” But what about business in the smartphone? The most progressive sectors in the U.S. started moving processes to mobile after the 2008 crisis. The distribution business, online banking, and training are niches that have moved almost entirely to mobile. 

Let’s take the distribution business as an example: by using an order management application a company can cut the workload on the sales department in half. Modern online banking is inconceivable without a convenient application to manage accounts and transactions. Training is another niche that has fully moved to mobile.

In Ukraine by 2020 only 20% of businesses have realized this need, but we try not to be guided by current trends. There are 50+ applications in our portfolio. More innovative Ukrainian companies are already beginning to realize the importance of mobile: so about a year ago one of our clients, the company Woman Insight, approached us with a request to help transform the business aimed at training women into an IT-company. We did a market analysis, market research, did a clickable mocap, design, architecture, implemented the MVP first, and then helped migrate from old to new.

Moving to digital means working remotely, which means you need tools to set and control tasks, plan and communicate.

I’ll share my top 3 tools for remote work:

Google Data Studio – A data monitoring dashboard that is easy to set up, functional and easy to use. Gives you the ability to pull information from Google Analytics, AdWords, YouTube, Search Console. Data Studio’s built-in and partner connectors allow you to connect to almost any type of data. Like other applications on Google Drive, Data Studio makes collaboration with colleagues and customers almost seamless. 

JIRA is a powerful tool for agile software development, from requirements management to testing. The program is good because it can be used for a variety of purposes; project management, issue tracking, bug tracking. Suitable for both large and small companies.  Easy to scale; easy to use, install, configure and integrate with other products; there are many plugins you can use.

Trello is based on a simple idea: for effective project management, you need full transparency of all tasks and the flexibility to rearrange them as your priorities change. With a Trello board, you can organize your work by organizing it into lists of cards. You can quickly adapt the board to any new circumstances by rearranging them. 

According to a report by marketsandmarkets, the global digital transformation market will grow from $469.8 billion in 2020 to $1009.8 billion by 2025. The Internet of Everything, drones, autonomous cars and smart cities are the new reality. 

I am very impressed by the concept of an ecosystem, which, thanks to digital products, can be built around one business, involving all departments in one process. In abstract terms, it’s a single ball made up of small particles, where the particles are digital products that solve the necessary task, and at the end the company works as a single organism.