Sam Card, CEO of Cards Technology, discusses how you can elevate your business to the next level by optimizing your technology for maximum efficiency and productivity.
How do you see digital transformation taking shape? What advice do you have for business owners?
“Digital transformation” is just a fancy way of saying we are using computers more. Almost every business uses computers, so every business is a technology business these days.
Digital transformation manifests as technology creating value for the organization primarily through automation, which increases efficiency and productivity. There are 4 levels businesses typically go through in their digital transformation. These are:
- Accounting systems: Digitizing your accounting and payroll systems is often the first step for most businesses. For example, while a beach stand may not require computers to do business, their payroll processes can be simplified through a digital payroll system. It all depends on the business’ needs.
- Operational software: Operational software, or line-of-business applications, to run your business is the next logical digital step. For example, a marina has software to manage boat slip rentals and to sell retail products; an MSP has a ticketing system. At this point in your digital transformation, technology enables you to get faster access to decision-making metrics that can affect your business strategy going forward.
- Marketing automation: After establishing the previous systems, organizations usually implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system or a sales management app to track clients and prospects. The systems automate sales and marketing communications.
- Human resources & finance: Mature organizations have regulatory processes automated through technology in compliance-based areas like finance and HR. These systems not only ensure the company is meeting its regulatory obligations but provide you with data to use for results-based decision-making.
How has technology changed in the digital age and how can business owners leverage increasing acceptance of technology?
People expect automation now, and they reject anything complicated or difficult. If technology is causing headaches, it’s not a good fit. Simplicity and speed are key to digital transformation.
What tips and tricks do you have for making it easier to include more technology in an organization?
Finding a managed service provider who understands your business goals, technology infrastructure and your readiness to move toward more digitally-based processes is the best advice I can give. An MSP can then make the appropriate recommendations for your organization to meet its needs and goals.
You need to determine the processes you have now that you would like to be technology-driven. These can include services like payment processing, setting up forms on your website for prospects and customers to request information, or using marketing automation to reach your audience.