Becoming a Digital Enterprise: Four Key Practices for Tech-Focused Firms
This post takes a look at the best practices of middle market firms who are successful when it comes to their digitization efforts. For the full research report, see How Digital Are You?
Digital companies are efficient, streamlined, and able to make better-informed, faster decisions, all of which drive competitiveness, giving digital firms a significant edge over their less tech-savvy peers.
To realize these advantages, digital organizations go beyond implementing a handful of digital tools or automating select business processes. The National Center for the Middle Market’s research suggests that these firms adopt a digital mindset that influences every aspect of the company. From how the organization keeps its books and manages the back office, to how it brings products and services to market and interacts with its customers, to how it innovates and plans for the future, automation and integration are core components of these firms’ DNA.
While digital enterprises come in all shapes and sizes and span all industries, the firms do share a number of signature characteristics.
Here are a few of the best practices that set digital firms apart:
Digital enterprises proactively resolve customer concerns.
Most companies solicit customer feedback in one form or another. But digital companies go the extra step by quickly responding to that feedback and working with customers in real time to solve concerns sooner rather than later. By leveraging email and social media channels, digital firms stay on top of customer sentiment. They work around the clock to keep their customers satisfied and continuously improve the customer experience.
Digital firms enjoy a single view of their customers.
The better you know your customers, the better you can meet their needs and exceed their expectations. Digital enterprises take advantage of technology to aggregate all customer insights, knowledge, and data into a single, comprehensive view of the customer. This visibility makes it easier and more efficient to understand the customer throughout the course of their relationship with the company or brand, ultimately facilitating stronger and longer lasting customer connections.
Digital companies embrace data and analytics to drive innovation.
Technology makes it possible to quickly collect, analyze, and interpret data, which can be collected through testing and experimentation. Digital enterprises proactively pursue this data and use it to improve internal processes and drive innovation across all areas of their firm. As a result, digital firms are better positioned to more efficiently and effectively deliver on their customers’ wants and needs.
Digital enterprises seek out the best digital talent.
The Center’s research indicates that for many middle market firms, a lack of internal talent is an obstacle to digitization. Digital enterprises overcome this hurdle by making a point of actively pursuing and recruiting digitization experts. Once on board, these leaders can help create buy-in for the digital mindset across all levels of the firm, and they can help with prioritizing and fast-tracking digital initiatives and digital transformation. With the right talent in place, firms can become digital leaders in their industries and can more quickly and successfully become streamlined, automated, and efficient organizations.
If your company is looking to move beyond individual digital initiatives and adopt a larger scale digital approach, these key practices are a good place to start. You can also learn more about digitization best practices in the middle market by downloading the Center’s full research report, How Digital Are You?