Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, digital transformation was already a top priority for businesses. Increasingly, customers and clients were going digital to find products and services. Then, 2020 arrived, and a digital transformation roadmap became the need of the hour.
The pandemic has increased our already high reliance on digital tools. For businesses, this means that a digital strategy has become unavoidable. Fortunately, with the demand for digital services for businesses increasing, a new wave of online tools has come up. These tools help you create a digital transformation roadmap and easily give your business a digital presence.
Different tools for digital transformation offer different kinds of support. It’s important to know which tools are useful for your business case and will give you the most bang for your buck. That’s why we’ve picked the 8 most useful tools to help businesses with their digital transformation roadmap.
Before we go into that, it’s important to clearly define what we mean by digital transformation. It’s a term that’s thrown around a lot these days, but its actual definition may surprise you.
What is A Digital Transformation Roadmap?
In simple terms, ‘digital transformation’ refers to the integration of digital technology in nearly all aspects of a business. It usually brings fundamental changes in how a business works and delivers value to customers. Digital transformation can also be understood as a cultural shift in favor of efficiency. Digital tools are being used to make business functions faster and more efficient.
A digital transformation roadmap refers to your strategy to transition your business practices to the digital realm. Incorporating digital tools in a business is no easy task. It involves a lot of resistance from established business procedures. That’s why a digital strategy is crucial.
The Benefits of Digital Transformation
For any business, using digital tools is a significant disruption that may or may not increase efficiency. To make the most of digital transformation, know your ‘why’.
What does that mean? There are plenty of benefits of digital transformation. Digital tools can help you now in areas as wide-ranging as employee experience to customer acquisition. But it’s also easy to get lost in this world.
To reap the benefits of digital transformation, have a clear purpose for it. Are you doing it to improve customer experience? Are you focused on outreach and marketing instead? Before you venture out looking for tools, know what your problem is.
8 Tools for A Digital Transformation Roadmap
There are plenty of ways in which a digital strategy can help your business. There are also plenty of tools for each category of tools. That can all sound overwhelming, but we’ve made it easier.
We’ve selected eight categories of tools for your digital transformation management. These are the different kinds of tools that you can use to make your business more efficient.
But what about the specific apps and services? Don’t worry. We will also list the great apps that offer these tools, as well as the commonly used ones.
1. A Project Management App
Anybody who has ever run a business knows that there’s always too much to do. There are too many fronts to focus on. Should you work on your sales strategy or perfect that marketing pitch? Multitasking is a must. This reality has given rise to great project management tools like Trello. These apps organize your projects and help you track how far you’ve progressed. Teams can use these apps to assign tasks to each other and keep track of new tasks.
Whether you’re a small business owner or a multinational enterprise, a project management tool is a must for your digital transformation roadmap. Having your projects, tasks, and sub-tasks in front of you helps you focus on checking things off the list. The great thing about project management apps is that they free up mental space. It is commonly said that the brain is for processing, not remembering.
Business owners and employees can just put down ideas and tasks into the project manager. It will keep them in front of you, and all your ideas will be there when you need them. You can check out Trello or Notion for your project management needs. Trello offers focused project management, whereas you can get more creative with Notion to suit your needs.
2. An Online Survey Tool
In the digital world, surveys have quickly evolved to become a must-have for businesses. Whether for customer feedback or employee engagement, surveys are a powerful tool for businesses. When it comes to a survey tool, there are a few factors involved. A survey tool should let you make beautiful surveys that respondents want to fill. They should also have enough design and analysis tools to help you get the most from your survey.
With SurveySparrow, you can design well-crafted surveys that get 40% more responses. SurveySparrow also has advanced analysis tools to help you understand your data and derive insights from it. When it comes to surveys, businesses don’t just rely on traditional online forms. You can now survey your potential customers on your website using chatbots. You can also make good-looking email survey campaigns.
Here’s a survey created using SurveySparrow..
To create such engaging surveys, you can sign up for FREE on SurveySparrow
Another useful survey feature is Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys, which help you find out if your customer would recommend your service to a friend. These are powerful features for businesses looking for a more data-driven approach. Online survey tools like SurveySparrow let you explore the full potential of surveys for your business. A survey tool like SurveySparrow should definitely be a part of your digital transformation roadmap.
3. A Payments Manager
Like every other aspect of a business, payments are also just better when they’re digital, especially during a pandemic. You don’t have to worry about change. You avoid touching surfaces. It’s just better. When it comes to payments, a digital transformation roadmap must include a payment manager. There are plenty of options available in the market. But there are a few factors to consider before you decide on one.
A payments manager should, before anything else, be reliable. Failed digital payments are just stressful. Other than that, payment managers should charge no more than a reasonable fee. They should also have support for the whole range of payment methods people use nowadays: from NFC to support for wallets.
When it comes to digital transformation, a payment method should also work well with your website host and bank. That narrows down your options quite a bit. A very commonly used payment manager is Stripe, which helps businesses process payments easily. Website builders like Shopify and Squarespace rely on Stripe, so it’s fairly reliable. You could also go with a different payment manager, just so far as it offers compatibility.
4. A Social Media Marketing Tool
Let’s admit it: social media is now one of the most important marketing avenues for businesses, small or large. Your digital transformation roadmap needs to take that into account. A social media marketing tool lets you coordinate ads across platforms, as well as manage your business pages. There are quite a few social media sites, and it’s tough to run the same campaign on different websites. A social media marketing manager helps make that simple.
One of the advantages of using a social media marketing tool is that it can guide you through the campaign designing process. Without it, you might feel lost about what audiences to target and what format to use for your ads. HootSuite is a great social media marketing tool for small and medium businesses. It includes tips on how to run effective social media campaigns. It also helps you manage your social media overall.
HootSuite lets you chat with your customers on various social media sites. It also helps you analyze ad data to find useful insights to use in future campaigns. It also keeps you informed about the latest trends in your market to keep your campaigns relevant. If a social media marketing strategy is important to your digital transformation management, then a social media marketing tool would be a great investment.
5. A Team Communication Tool
More than any other part of our lives, digital tools have disrupted how we communicate with each other. It makes sense, then, for a digital transformation roadmap to include a communication tool. To be able to function effectively, an organization needs to make it easy for employees to communicate with each other. The office space used to help with that, but because of the pandemic, we are now reliant on digital tools.
If employees communicate with coworkers through Whatsapp, they are bound to be distracted by personal matters. A dedicated team communication tool needs to be part of any digital strategy for business. The most common communication tool used by teams worldwide is Slack. Slack allows you to create separate channels for separate projects. You can then easily stay updated with progress on any channel.
One of the key strengths of Slack is its market dominance. It also integrates well with various other apps you may be depending on. An effective team communication tool like Slack can really make it easier for employees to coordinate with each other and work more efficiently.
6. A Cloud Storage Manager
Whether you’re a large company or a small business, your digital transformation roadmap cannot be complete without having a secure storage base. Whether it’s pictures of your product or data regarding your finances, you need to keep it safe. For businesses, storing data with a reliable cloud storage manager can be critical.
People can often live with losing personal data from time to time. For businesses, though, losing data can have serious consequences. That’s why it’s good to have a tried and tested cloud manager. There are a few considerations with cloud managers. Most of the mainstream ones are fairly reliable. But they differ in the amount of storage you get for the price you pay. Another factor is speed. You need to be able to access your data quickly when you need it.
Cloud storage managers also need to integrate with other apps to store data generated from them. The most common options for cloud storage are DropBox and Google Drive. iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive are also competitive options. In the end, your cloud storage manager will depend on the environment you’re most comfortable with. But whichever service you go with, it’s good to have a cloud storage provider in your digital transformation roadmap.
7. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tool
A good customer experience can go a long way in ensuring the success of your business. If your aim, with a digital transformation roadmap, is to improve customer satisfaction, you can’t go wrong with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. When it comes to helping customers, a good CRM tool would let you communicate with them in one place. It would also let you easily save leads and share them across teams.
One of the most important features of a CRM tool nowadays is automated workflows. A customer service representative is not necessarily needed if AI can resolve your customers’ queries. It is also important for a CRM tool to integrate with other apps, like your email provider and cloud storage. A fully integrated experience can increase your efficiency when dealing with customers.
A commonly-used CRM tool is Salesforce. Although the company offers other digital tools, its CRM offering remains the industry standard. Salesforce offers everything from automation to app integrations. If you are looking to improve customer satisfaction by conducting customer surveys, you can also check out SurveySparrow.
SurveySparrow is one of the best online survey tools, and it lets you build beautiful customer feedback surveys that customers actually want to fill out.
8. A Digital Accounting Tool
We saved the most essential for the last. For businesses, finances and accounting were probably the first things to be made easier through digital transformation. No digital transformation roadmap is complete without an accounting tool. Accounting tools have been around forever, but we now expect more from them. It is not enough to simply record transactions. Digital accounting tools should be able to offer powerful insights and present the accounting data well.
It goes without saying that accounting data needs to be backed up to the cloud, so cloud integrations are a must. Accounting tools must also offer invoicing and reporting capabilities. Digital accounting tools like SAGE and NetSuite are commonly used by businesses. You can also pick an alternative accounting tool, as long as they back up your data and offer ease-of-use.
We have outlined eight different kinds of tools that should be part of your digital transformation roadmap. Businesses looking for a better digital infrastructure would benefit from these essential tools. Digital transformation is not just about making use of digital tools. It’s about a larger shift in business culture towards more efficient, more organized ways of working.
Companies have discovered the immense power of digital tools in keeping them on track. And when it comes to things like employee engagement or customer satisfaction, being on track is incredibly important. That is why we believe it is so important to conduct regular surveys using tools like SurveySparrow. It is a good idea to routinely check in on customers and employees to find common problems they may be facing. It’s how businesses correct their mistakes and stay on track.
The pandemic has given all businesses a reason to consider the benefits of digital transformation. If you weren’t doing so already, it’s high time businesses incorporate these powerful digital tools in their workflow and make workplaces more efficient and productive.