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It is easy to believe that all businesses have already embraced digital technology and there is no need for change. The youngest generations have never known a time without smartphones, the internet, or the cloud. However, there are thousands if not millions of companies still clinging to their old practices, and refusing to move on.
An enterprise by definition is a business that operates to generate a profit. It may manufacture its own products or sell goods from different suppliers, or it might provide services. It could be a start-up run by a sole entrepreneur, or it could be a large corporation with a board of directors at its helm.
Regardless of how the enterprise operates, it needs to be forward-thinking and ready for the future. The only way to achieve this is through digital transformation.
Why is digital transformation essential for enterprises?
You would expect today’s start-ups to be fully digital, however, the term enterprise doesn’t just refer to new businesses. Many established firms still have practices left over from years gone by, and change doesn’t come easily to some.
Digital transformation brings many advantages to an enterprise company, and here are just some of them.
Digital transformation allows real-time data sharing
Introducing systems such as enterprise resource planning software can lead to centralized data management and improved practices across the board. The SAP S4 Hana Services from Accely help implement the systems to link all aspects of an enterprise together in real time.
Decisions can be made through data analysis that brings positive change and improves everything from product control to inventory management. With an ERP there is no need for spreadsheets open to human error or numerous departmental reports.
Digitization saves money
Paper in the form that you know was first used in AD 105 in China. The term paperless office was first coined in 1978 by Micronet, an automated office equipment business.
Yet, thousands of years after paper was invented, and decades after the prediction that the paperless office would become reality, 82% of companies are still spending billions on paper. And the hidden costs of managing paper could be as much as 31 times the cost of buying it.
American enterprises spend $8 billion to manage paper records each year. On average, a misplaced document costs $120 to locate, and $20 to file. And, if a document is truly lost it will cost another $220 to reproduce on average.
Paper drains productivity and profits and produces waste
Studies have shown that highly trained, and valuable knowledge workers can waste half of their time just searching for information. Digital technologies allow smart searches for data and records, saving unimaginable time and costs.
One reason that virtual data rooms are so popular today is that they can hold all the information needed for deals such as mergers where due diligence is required. It isn’t practical in modern business to have thousands of paper records stored in filing cabinets.
Going paperless reduces waste
In 2021, scrap paper exports increased by 14%. While paper production is largely sustainable these days, transporting scrap by sea could offset any benefits that recycling brings.
Digitization saves space
It is estimated that businesses produce another 65% of new data every year. Imagine how many filing cabinets a medium-sized business would have to invest in each year to store all the new data next to the existing files.
Digital technologies are better for the environment
Conduction business online instead of racking up road and air miles produces fewer carbon emissions. This can help with consumer opinion too.
87% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase goods from a company that holds similar views and beliefs that they do. This is especially true with the environment, and social responsibilities. Conversely, 76% of consumers will avoid enterprises that have views that clash with theirs.
How can you introduce digital transformation into an enterprise?
In the case of SAP or another ERP, you would need to find an approved vendor and preferably a gold or platinum partner. Implementing an ERP and managing digital transformation can be difficult. Expectations need to be managed, a migration strategy must be put in place, and there will be employees and management who push back at change.
Software such as digital adoption platforms can help with this transformation, as will ongoing support and training. As employees realize the benefit of digital transformation, they will likely see the benefits. Employees become empowered through digital transformation, and job satisfaction increases, as does productivity.
Digital technology, the web, the cloud, and the internet of things is transforming business today. ERPs and SAP help enterprises take control and manage decision-making through real-time data reporting. Changes can be made instantly as problems in production are identified, and processes can be automated.
Digital transformation brings improvements to productivity, staff satisfaction, stock control, environmental responsibilities, cost savings, and profits. Without the use of digital technologies, enterprises will struggle to compete and will fail to reach their growth potential.