What is required for successful business digitalization [3 components of business process]
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to fully cover this topic within one or even two articles, as the subject is very vast and fundamental. In this material, we will talk about basic issues, observe the top of this Iceberg. In the following articles, I will go deeper into those details you find the most interesting.
Let’s begin with answering the question of why one should start thinking about digitalizing his business.
Pandemia has irretrievably transformed our society, including business. Most people moved into the world of online work, online shopping, and online chatting. And if one does not adapt to modern realities, he can be left behind. In terms of business, it is vital to stay flexible and correspond to clients’ demands. And a contemporary client needs online access to everything he may want.
A few statistics: in 2020, online retail gained 189 billion dollars, which is 33% more than in 2019. According to Forrester’s research, more than half of the audience prefers to carry most of the interaction online (this is 52% of respondents), a quarter of respondents — order via mobile devices (26%), and less than one-tenth (8%) — want to deal with “real people”.
And this data concerns only eCommerce. But there are also such branches as info products, service sector, etc. If we analyze the market as a whole, the real index will be more significant.
This is the reason why the majority of businesses experience the need for digitalization.
In business processes, such things can be digitalized:
- The product itself, which means what you produce
- Processes of control and management
Let’s focus on each of them.
I want to specify one moment right away in order to evade misunderstanding. In business, a product does not always stand for one item or service. In fact, it should be emphasized that sometimes the product corresponds to the idea, service, or good. It can even be a group of goods or services, or the whole line of a brand. Product is a core, the basis of any business.
If to try and give the definition, I would say that product is an idea or an item that creates a foundation for an entrepreneur to form the company’s structure on. And it’s crucial that it would correspond to the main requirements.
The first criterion is the audience’s interest. What does it mean? The product must be unique and in demand on the market, otherwise, it will never be sold.
But uniqueness does not always have to do with only the product itself. It is often a packaging, a presentation, a service around and so on that make the product unique. It’s similar to the restaurant: even the simplest dish can be served gorgeously and deliciously.
The second criterion is connected with the profit the product must bring. It means that the production expenses mustn’t exceed possible income. In such a way, it’s necessary to study the audience and make the most attractive offer, with the most suitable characteristics, in order to have a successful product.
The client is a representative of a business’s target audience. It is a person experiencing a direct need for goods, services, or company’s information. He is also the one who may potentially have a request for your business’ product.
The company’s aim is to satisfy the client’s requests, providing a high level of service and interaction as well as a quality product.
The client can thus be described as:
- an individual ordering or using the services of another individual (consumer, client, customer, visitor)
- an individual dependent on someone (patron, master, lord, boss, etc.). In this sense, all employees of an organization are clients of employers, and the majority of suppliers are clients of their clients and later on
- an individual using the services of another individual, thus entering into business relations
Processes of control and management
In the most common sense, a business process is a combined consequence of actions to transform means into the final product being of value for a consumer.
Every business process has:
- a particular purpose corresponding to the global company’s goal;
- an owner who can manage the resources and is in charge of the process implementation;
- a system of quality control and bug fixing;
- a system of process’ indicators.
It’s the meaning of the process control I would like to give a more detailed explanation of. The controlling over business process stands for monitoring of the process’ indicators and the analysis of the structure of the “actual” process as well as the effectiveness of its participants’ work.
All these three components fall into a similar algorithm, namely, there are:
System → Direction → Group → Unit
The given algorithm implies that we move from general to particular, and vice versa. Let’s consider a particular case.
Let’s imagine that we should create a website. The first step is to understand how the system works. In order to do this, we should divide it into stages. Which means that we know the place of start. We move from the client’s request to a finished website.
And later on, we define the stages we go through, for example, brief, collection of primary data, formation of technical task, structure and prototype, mood board and stylistic design sketches, and later the design itself, copywriting, backend, frontend, testing, pre-release and release.
Each stage is marked with the approval: internal (within the project team) and from the client’s side. They all are a system’s elements and the way they are interconnected.
Group means the way these elements are grouped and the stages involved.
A unit is a functional unit of each stage, for example, a functional unit of copyrighting is a text given in Google Docs with specific criteria of quality and relevance.
I want to repeat one more time: it’s better to follow the method of deduction — from most to least. We take the system apart into the nodes, and nodes into the details. And only when all the smallest details were established, they can be used as parts of a constructor.
It’s a basis of constructive thinking. And constructive thinking, which means thinking through practical activity, is a rhetoric of a new type.
An ideal constructive image of an object that needs to be created helps synchronize numerous various works on its creation thereby saving time and decreasing constructing expenses.
The first step — realize and establish the task
The key moment is the following: if we have a task to find a tool for digitalizing — promotion using internet-technologies or online — first of all, we must realize that this task has to be defined, and also understand the nature of our product and our client… And what and how we are planning to control.
Otherwise, we will work with God-knows-what, and if it is not clear what to promote or what needs to be optimized [e.g. what technical process], the task is technically infeasible.
Moreover, the volume of services and products supplied or developed also needs to be specified. It’s important to understand the technological process connected with each of these products — how it is created, what it consists of. And only after all these steps are done, it’s time to think about the ways of improvement.
The same with the client: you need to understand who your client is and whether it is your client. For example, he can fall into the target area in general but does not correspond to the ethical profile of your company.
And as far as we are talking about the optimization of the control process, a particular formula can be used in order to achieve such a goal. In the following article, I will explain this formula in more detail. It will happen quite soon :)
To sum up, it has to be mentioned that in the modern world it’s not only possible but also vital to keep developing and optimizing your work. And in modern realities, optimization mostly has to do with digitalization. It’s essential to realize the need for it as early as possible and start implementing without delay.
But it’s better to go about it meaningfully as well as to everything in this world. Initial system analysis is the foundation of every process. And before fiercely implementing all found and heard recommendations on business digitalization, it would be wise to figure it out.
Now that we established the basic concepts, in the next article, I would like to talk about a simple formula of control process optimization. I defined it empirically, trial and error. And soon I’ll tell you about it in greater detail.