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20 Digital Transformation Benefits in 2022

20 Digital Transformation Benefits in 2022

Written by Timothy Ware

Digital transformation is all about using the latest technologies to enhance the efficiency of your organization. There are many digital transformation benefits, but they can be summarized as higher revenue, lower expenses, greater productivity, and more profitability. 

In this article, we go through all the benefits of digital transformation and what it looks like in different industries. 

To make SignTime part of your digital transformation plan, sign up for a free trial today.

What is digital transformation? 

Here’s a simple definition of digital transformation:

Digital transformation definition: Digital transformation is using new technology to change the way your organization operates for the better. 

Why is digital transformation Important?

Digital transformation is necessary for businesses to survive and thrive during difficult times. With a looming recession, it is more important than ever to maximize the efficiency of your organization. 

By enhancing your company’s systems, processes, workflows, and culture, you can reduce costs, increase revenues, and improve margins. All of this gives your business the best chance to come out of the recession stronger than the competition.

What is a digital transformation framework?

The goal of a digital transformation framework is to provide an understandable visualization of your roadmap. By visually showing why your organization needs digitization, and how it will work, you have the best chance of gaining stakeholder buy-in to your digital transformation plans.

Here are the main components of a good digital transformation framework:

  1. Digital culture
  2. Stakeholder engagement
  3. Process and innovation
  4. Technology introduction
  5. Data collection and analysis

The ultimate goal of a digital transformation framework is to get everyone on board with a digital transformation roadmap

What is a digital transformation roadmap?

Generally speaking, all organizations are in the process of digital transformation. However, to achieve the most benefits from digital transformation, it needs to be codified into a digital transformation roadmap.

There are two ways to formulate a digital transformation roadmap. First, you can go through the entire process for each stage of your digital transformation, that is as part of onboarding every new tool or new digitized process. Second, you can create a single high-level digital transformation roadmap to plan out years of digitization. 

Whichever path your organization chooses, here are the stages of a success digital transformation roadmap:

  1. Collect data and understand what it is saying
  2. Get buy-in from the leadership
  3. Set goals and objectives
  4. Build a digital culture
  5. Procure the needed tools
  6. Review the results

How does SignTime fit into your digital transformation roadmap?

SignTime is an easy early win in any digital transformation. As a non-disruptive technology, e-signatures don’t require a large consulting project to start.

SignTime supports Microsoft PowerPoint, Excel, and Word, in addition to PDF, has an easy to implement SaaS model, and you can send e-signature requests via email or SMS. SignTime fits into your existing processes and makes them more efficient.

Finally, SignTime offers all of the tools you need to digitize your contracting processes. Create templates, send them to one or a thousand people at once, and then store them securely in the cloud forever.  

The ease of use and focus on user experience mean that employees will quickly uptake the SignTime suite of tools, making the entire transformation faster. You’ll realize the positive ROI and digital transformation benefits of digital contracting in no time.

To see how SignTime provides fast digital transformation benefits, sign up for a free trial today.

What are the goals of digital transformation?

Digital transformation is undertaken to improve the efficiency of businesses. We list 20 digital transformation benefits below, which can be summarized into four main categories. 

Most digital transformation projects are undertaken for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Lower costs
  2. Higher productivity
  3. More revenue
  4. Better profitability 

Lower costs

Digital transformation lowers costs in many ways. First, many new tools are designed to automate processes. This can reduce a business’s reliance on labor for basic tasks. Automated processes also mean that it is easier for companies to ramp up (or down) their workforces with freelancers. 

Second, better design tools and product tracking can reduce shrinkage and wastage. This reduces the overhead costs associated with a company’s products and services.

Higher productivity

One way that digital transformation brings about higher productivity is through automation. Previous tedious tasks are now accomplished by equipment, or increasingly, software. These tasks often involved collecting and analyzing big data.

While higher productivity does not necessarily lead to lower costs or more revenue, it is usually a required step. 

More revenue 

Digital transformation helps companies find new customer bases. It also helps small companies go international, or at least move their brick-and-mortar operations online. 

Here’s a simple example: A local clothing company uses a service such as Shopify to have a dual online/physical retail shop. A host of other tools then help automate online advertising, fulfillment, and all of the other related tasks. A shop that once sold to 30,000 people within a 50 mile radius now potentially sells to 8 billion people worldwide. 

Without being able to exploit digital transformation tools, this would require countless new employees and a large amount of money to support the business through an expensive internationalization. Now, any shop can reap these digital transformation benefits.

Better profitability

Better profitability is the ultimate goal of any business decision. Whether it comes from reducing costs, improving productivity, or more sales, companies are looking to earn more money for the owners. Digital transformation is the latest front in profit-seeking business adaptations. 

What does digital transformation look like in different industries?

Digital transformation is occurring in every industry, and not just in profit-seeking ones. Even education and healthcare settings are looking to improve their business processes because it creates a better experience for students and patients, respectively. 

Digital transformation in retail

Digital transformation in retail has largely been associated with the rise in e-commerce. More recently, this includes multi-channel e-commerce. For example, a business will sell not just on their own website but also on Amazon, Walmart, and a host of other third-party marketplaces. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the rise of hybrid e-commerce shopping models to help push more product classes online. For example, many supermarkets now offer online ordering with curb-side pickup. As another example, third-party ordering and delivery apps are making it possible to order from almost any restaurant online.

You can read more about digital transformation in retail here.

Digital transformation in manufacturing

Manufacturing and logistics are experiencing compounding crises: unstable shipping costs, lockdowns in China, the war in Ukraine, high fuel costs, etc. This has led to unstable supply chains and unpredictable costs. This is forcing companies to find efficiencies to reduce costs wherever possible.

On the other hand, consumers are looking for personalization, which is not traditionally a strong point of large-scale manufacturing. In addition, customers are increasingly expecting companies to uphold their moral beliefs, for example on sustainability and human rights. 

Digital transformation is helping manufacturers cut costs, work more efficiently, improve their environmental impact, and add predictability to their shipping schedule. 

You can read more about digital transformation in manufacturing here.

Digital transformation in education

Education is reaping digital transformation benefits in the form of improved learning experiences for students and faculty, higher student engagement, and improved accessibility. While pandemic measures have mostly been lifted worldwide, the enabling technology remains. 

This allows, for example, sick children to keep learning at home or for schools to remain in session during labor actions.

You can read more about digital transformation in education here.

Digital transformation in healthcare

Digital transformation in healthcare is focusing on the entire patient journey. Patients are being diagnosed, monitored, and their health managed in new ways. It’s also become much easier to receive personalized care from many different practitioners through the enablement of health information sharing. 

Since healthcare information is particularly private, digital transformation in healthcare has cybersecurity as a main element.

You can read more about digital transformation in healthcare here. 

Top 20 digital transformation benefits

There are many digital transformation benefits. All of them combined lead to lower costs, higher productivity, more revenue, and better profitability.

Here are the 20 digital transformation benefits considered here: 

  1. Lower expenses
  2. Higher, faster, and easier sales
  3. Better profitability 
  4. Higher productivity
  5. Higher customer satisfaction 
  6. Data-based decision-making
  7. New monetization possibilities
  8. Better user experience
  9. Streamline communication
  10. Enhanced collaboration
  11. Fewer human errors
  12. Enables international growth
  13. Promotes scalability 
  14. More agility
  15. Find operational efficiencies
  16. Positive and quick ROI
  17. Increased data collection
  18. Expand more quickly
  19. Onboard faster
  20. Use more freelancers

Lower expenses

The fact is that automation leads to lower costs, and digital transformation is often focused on automation. For example, there are multiple tools available to help you sort through LinkedIn profiles that match your ideal client profile, download their information, find their work email addresses, and sort the data in an Excel file for salespeople. These tools can replace a sales coordinator or sales enablement assistant. 

Automation related to data acquisition and analysis can indirectly lower costs as well. Data-informed decisions are going to be better. While an experienced executive’s hunches also have great value, they are no match for a deep understanding of the market. Digital transformation can reduce the barriers to using data in decision-making, leading to lower costs.

Higher, faster, and easier sales

When you are looking to drive sales, you need to remove all of the sales hurdles you can. There are many legitimate hurdles to a sale that cannot be removed by technology—the value proposition, cost, etc. All of these need to be addressed by the salesperson. 

However, some of the hurdles are process-related and can be mitigated through digital transformation. For example, we like to say “SignTime is for sales” because no one should have to wait days or weeks in an international print–sign–scan–send contracting process. 

SignTime gives your sales team the flexibility to draft, revise, send, and receive signed sales contracts during a sales call. This helps you close more deals, faster, and without all the contracting troubles that can arise.

To see why SignTime is for sales, sign up for a free trial today.

Better profitability 

As mentioned above, the main benefit of digital transformation is improved profitability. This is accomplished through a combination of higher productivity, lower costs, and/or increased revenue.

Higher productivity

Automation is mentioned above as the main driver of higher productivity. However, it isn’t the only way that productivity increases as a result of digital transformation. 

One interesting way productivity can increase as a result of digital transformation is through inter-departmental cooperation. Traditionally, when workflows cross department lines there are delays, lost projects, and other process disruptions. Through better tracking, tools like Asana and Notion make sure that projects aren’t lost in the cracks between departments.

Higher customer satisfaction 

Customer expectations are sky high. They want a personalized product, through channel-agnostic buyer journeys, from a company that shares their values. That’s no easy task, but one major digital transformation benefit is higher customer satisfaction. 

Even though the bar for customer satisfaction is higher, there are many tools that make it easier to achieve. Churnzero, for example, lets your customer success team know exactly which customers need a little extra service to keep them loyal.  

Data-based decision-making

Most managers want to follow the data in their decision-making. The problem is that data can be hard to collect, tedious to clean, and difficult to interpret. Many managers end up skipping over the whole process and following their gut. 

The managers who do still use data in their decision-making tend to skim along the surface. They collect the easy data and make superficial inferences. A major digital transformation benefit is that data becomes more accessible. 

There are many great tools that help you collect more data. These same tools can do most of the data cleaning automatically and then visually display the results. This makes it possible for even “old school” managers to understand the story beneath the data and make data-informed decisions. 

New monetization possibilities

Products and services have been sold on the market for longer than money has existed. However, processes have only recently been marketized. Software as a service (SaaS) is the selling of subscriptions to use software instead of selling the underlying software license. This has expanded to many other derivatives—VSaaS, PaaS, IaaS, etc.

However, this isn’t the only route to monetizing processes. Many people create fancy templates and Google Sheets to simplify their work life. Now, websites like Gumroad allow you to sell all those templates and sheets for profit. 

Digital transformation creates secondary markets for the processes that make your business efficient. 

Better user experience

User experience/user interface (UX/UI) was once considered an afterthought. Of course customers care more about functionality than easy of use, right? 

The fact is that poor UX leads to employee unwillingness to incorporate the tool into their workflows. A confusing UI can eliminate any time savings. Here’s another way your business can benefit from digital transformation. 

There are tools available that can help you improve the UX/UI of your websites and apps. 

Streamline communication

There’s a popular joke in offices today that goes something like “this meeting should have been an email.” When thinking about business communication, we can break it down into two types: synchronous and asynchronous. 

Synchronous communication means it is happening directly in real time. Chats programs like Slack and video conferencing ones like Zoom are enabling synchronous communication across continents. 

Asynchronous communication is one-directional and not reciprocated in real time. Chat programs can still be used for asynchronous communication, but so can email, SCRUM boards, and agile tools like Jira.

Enhanced collaboration

Collaboration is key to business success. However, it can be difficult to get all the key people together in a meeting room for cross-team collaboration. Remote work environments spanning time zones makes this even harder. 

Enhanced collaboration through digital transformation is a great example of why culture change needs to be part of the process. Your team needs to see collaboration as a goal unto itself and not just a way to accomplish other business tasks. 

Fewer human errors

How many times have you entered the wrong number in an Excel document? How many times do you think software has done the same? The fact is that humans can “fat thumb” a number in a way that a computer can’t. 

While automation mistakes can cause processes to spin out of control, if automated processes are properly set up, they will never make an error. Once you target processes that can be automated, it is important to rigorously test the automation.

Then, you can enjoy a labor-saving, error-free process forever. 

Enables international growth

It’s never been easier to go from local to international. The right tech stack can now give the appearance of an entire international supply chain, with matching international sales and enablement teams. 

Open up a Shopify store that matches your local one. Find drop-shipping opportunities on Alibaba or similar sites. Sign up for sales and enablement outsourcing teams in India. Now, your mom-and-pop shop can compete on equal footing with international conglomerates. 

That’s a huge digital transformation benefit. 

Promotes scalability 

Scaling a business can be hard, both economically and practically. Let’s look at them separately. 

Scale economically

Let’s say you have a target of one customer success manager (CSM) for every $2,000,000 in annual recurring revenue (ARR). As you reach $8,000,000, things are fine with four CSMs. 

However, at $16,000,000, things become complicated. Now you need eight CSMs as well as a manager. At that team size, it is no longer reasonable to expect the VP to be running the departmental operations and directly manage the staff. 

By $48,000,000, you’ll probably want tiered customer service, managers, a director, and some sort of coordinator. 

Where’s the problem? 

Well, ideally, the money spent servicing accounts should decrease not increase with scale, but the managerial requirements are causing negative returns to scale. That’s a problem. To accomplish this, you need to find ways for CSMs to solve customer problems more efficiently. 

Chat tools, a help center, and other assets, all of which can be enabled with digital transformation tools, are ways to make this happen. Using these tools, it then becomes possible for each CSM to manage a higher amount of ARR.

Scale practically

Looking at the same example above, how do you actually find those employees? Where do you find them? If you start your business in a secondary American city, there might be 200 local people who are qualified to be CSMs at your business. 

When you need to hire four of them, there shouldn’t be much difficulty in accessing the labor market. If you need 40 CSMs, it’ll be hard to find them locally. It’ll also be expensive, and you will probably need to hire more talent acquisition staff than your ARR can support. 

Digital transformation can help you expand your search across the country, and outsource some of the talent acquisition as well.

More agility

Digital transformation allows companies to ramp up—and ramp down—when needed. Companies traditionally grow slowly, and only grow. However, sometimes the market provides real, but short-term, opportunities. 

There are now tools available to help companies grow rapidly to take full advantage of those advantages without being burdened by infrastructure or employee counts that cannot be managed after the market conditions return to baseline.

Find operational efficiencies

We establish above that one benefit of digital transformation is more efficient operations. A second one also mentioned above is data-based decision-making. Being able to find operational efficiencies is the overlap.

Collecting and analyzing data is a way to see which processes are working, as well as which ones could be improved. Digital transformation can help companies identify the parts of the business that are ripe for disruption. 

Positive and quick ROI

Digital transformation is an ongoing process. It requires identifying processes that can be automated or tools that can add efficiency to processes. Some of the identified tools may take months or years to onboard. Others can be added in a few minutes without any consultation. 

SignTime has all of the tools required to add e-signatures to your business. You can sign up for a free trial today and see positive ROI within minutes. 

Not only does this benefit your company directly, it builds the case for further digital transformation by adding positive ROI immediately. 

To see how SignTime offers ROI in no time, sign up for a free trial today.

Increased data collection

Almost every digital transformation tool you see includes data collection. This has become a core function for services today. SignTime, for example, lets you know who has already signed their contracts and gives you the ability to follow up with those who haven’t. 

All of this leads to more data to take advantage of during decision-making. 

Expand more quickly

Scalability is important. It’s what allows your side hustle to become a real company. Digital transformation is helping small businesses grow at incredible rates. This is done in several ways, two of which are discussed further below. 

First, e-commerce is allowing businesses to get their products and services in front of more potential customers. Tied to this, internationalization further expands the potential client base for businesses. 

But it isn’t just about finding more customers. To expand, you need to be able to hire more people, increase production, add capacity, etc. 

Amazon’s cloud service AWS, for example, gives service companies the ability to increase their computing capacity instantaneously to any level required. That’s much easier than setting up new servers whenever you want to onboard more customers. 

Onboard faster

One of the great digital transformation benefits is the speed at which you can onboard customers and employees.

Let’s look at these separately.

Onboard customers faster

Onboarding customers is easier than ever. In addition to the computing scale mentioned above, there are tools to help customers really understand how your services work. 

For example, Scribe makes it easy to make how-to guides. You can then automatically send them to clients daily during a free trial to make sure that every new customer is finding value in your program.

Onboard employees faster

If you use the “buddy system” to onboard new employees, then you are going to have trouble scaling quickly. Each person will be paired with a new employee for weeks or months, so they can’t help with the next new hire. 

Gong can help you create a library of self-serve videos that new employees can watch to learn about your company, its products, and how they are sold to customers. 

Use more freelancers

One way to scale up and down rapidly is to use freelancers. There are now many freelance markets available where you can find content writers, graphic designers, software developers, and data scientists, among many others, who can help you scale your business. 

Since these are the kinds of roles that often have sine curve-type requirements, freelancers are a great way to reduce the risks associated with overhiring. However, it was not always easy to onboard freelancers, or find them, or confirm their qualifications. 

As a final digital transformation benefit, it is now possible to source freelancers, verify their credentials, get them up to speed, and deploy them in your business.  

Make SignTime part of your digital transformation

Digital transformation has many benefits. Higher revenue, lower costs, improved productivity, and overall better profitability can be attained through the onboarding of new tools. 

Many digital transformation tools are expensive, require huge changes to company processes, and therefore necessitate a long consultation process. This can mean that they can fail before they even get off the ground. 

It can be hard to get upper management buy-in for big projects, and employees may not be inclined to implement the acquired tool if it means changing the way they work. 

This is what makes SignTime so great. SignTime is an all-in-one digital contract and e-signature tool. It fits into current processes and makes them smoother. You can implement our solution without a lengthy consultation process or training program. 

To see how SignTime can be onboarded without a consultation project, sign up for a free trial today.

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