• Joe Vandervest

Small Business - Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation isn't just something for business executives in large enterprises to discuss, pursue, and lead. It's something that's available to you as a small businesses owner.

Thanks to services like Zapier and others (Discussion on Quora) digital transformation is accessible, affordable and practical for small businesses. These services act as middle-ware linking web services together.

So what is Digital Transformation? I’d offer up this definition: employing digital services, solutions, technologies, and digitally enabled people to fundamentally alter organizational structure and processes. All of which result in more effective and efficient customer, supplier, and employee experiences and transactions.

That seems like a mouthful of business speak.

Simply put - “digital transformation” is an ongoing evolution of an organization resulting from the use of cloud services and technology that stimulates changes in how they are structured, how they do things, and how they interact and succeed.

Most small businesses have engaged cloud services to affordably solve spot problems or meet specific needs so they have already started the digital transformation process.

These small businesses end up with a mix of different cloud services, each somewhat isolated from the other. These different services do a great job providing things like CRM, Point of Sale, Accounting, Email Marketing, etc. You know things like: Constant Contact, Sales Force, MailChimp, Quickbooks, etc. But they often can't talk with one another.

A small business can accelerate digital transformation by linking these services together so that they become an integrated, functioning solution. Each interacts with the other updating and acting as needed based on your business rules.

For instance, a new online subscription to a newsletter triggers a new record in CRM, which triggers an alert to sales, which in turn can trigger changes in fulfillment when a sale is made. In other words no manual updates from one system to the next.

Once these systems and services are talking with one another using tools like Zapier or custom interfaces, change can really take off as process automation kicks in as work interactions change.

The advantage of this for small businesses is that they can avoid the cost and risks associated with buying ONE service or application that does all of these. Think ERP.

Using the service integration approach, your organization and its functions can focus on best of breed services that meet their needs.

Of course this means that there are constraints on the selection of services to ensure that services can interact with one another. Using the principles present in our Software As A Service shopping guide - you should be well on the way to selecting modern, integration oriented services.

We can help your business leverage tools like Zapier to integrate the services you already use so that your business can realize help your business transform itself.