On the economic heels of COVID-19, businesses are managing a lot of uncertainty. Supply chain problems, the great resignation, climbing inflation, and the war in Ukraine are all having an impact. Subsidies and tariffs are on the rise and businesses everywhere need new competitive advantages.
In Canada, the federal government has funding to help businesses adopt new digital tools. If your business can use these funds to boost the economy, you probably qualify. Visit the government website for more on that.
A digital adoption plan (DAP) is a report that prescribes how to leverage digital marketing, e-commerce, and digital investments to generate business and improve productivity. The plan can be used to attract investment and secure federal funding.
As with any plan, you want to consider your current situation and the next steps. In a DAP, you'll assess how you currently operate and the steps required to achieve your goals. In order to get the most value from your DAP, consider the following must-have information.
Did you cover databases?
You need databases. Everything from accounting transactions to customer support requests exists in a database. Ensure your database can be communicated throughout your organization in terms that are easily understood and have your managers conduct regular reviews of the systems and what they are doing.
Employees need accounts, passwords, paycheques, and ways to collaborate. Sales personnel need customer relationship management (CRM) tools, and multi-location operations need enterprise resource systems (ERPs) to manage capital assets. Every aspect of each of these systems relies on a database.
As managers improve their understanding of data and its role in the organization, security awareness improves, redundant operations are eliminated, and the data you already have works better for you.
Reports, dashboards, and analytical tools
Along with databases, you need feedback. This can take the form of analytics, real-time reports, or alert systems. Feedback from any sensor in any situation is practically measurable. IoT technologies are convenient for limitless tasks from controlling lights, adjusting thermostats, and even tracking grocery orders.
Feedback systems contribute valuable information to the decision-making process. The more information you have, the more likely you are to discover areas for automation. Efficiency is a strong competitive advantage in key business operations.
Geographical distance and cloud-based processing have diversified how businesses collect feedback. Understanding how your business is digitally interconnected is crucial to any DAP.
Keep looking ahead towards foundation models and predictive tools built by algorithms and data in machine learning. Historically, auto-correct and suggestive technologies remained in the word processor, but as more and more data is amassed, governments, big businesses, and companies like yours are watching this space looking to jump at the first opportunity to turn the tides in their favour.
Strategically position your firm to exploit opportunities and mitigate risk. Diversify your organization with people from across the spectrum, but give them the best tools to innovate. Stop tying up your employees in meetings. Provide knowledge, and understanding, and challenge your people.
With all the uncertainty businesses face, a sound digital adoption plan and the resultant posturing towards digital technologies will best prepare Canada for the next game-changing event.
If you are intrigued or would like to continue the discussion further, please feel free to leave a comment below.