Digital transformation is the latest effort huge numbers of businesses are making to modernise, following on from cloud, web 2.0, digital business and others. As part of the drive to make all data part of their analytics foundation to help the business act faster and react to changing conditions, with chatbots just one of the many tools to that can help.
Digital transformation is being touted by just about every vendor, all of them offering solutions to modernise traditional processes. They aim to help businesses add AI and cloud services to make data more accessible, to rationalise and streamline processes, and help the company compete in the upcoming 5G, Internet of Things era.
Already, businesses are showing positive results from transformation initiatives, and as businesses look at another round of upgrading their IT, adopting cloud and becoming more data and digital-first, digital transformation seems like the road that most will go down.
While that might sound like another trend for many traditional businesses to ignore, pretty much all firms are now increasingly dependent on integrated services technology from smart energy meter readers to auto companies getting analytics direct from the car. Smaller businesses also lack the staffing for many traditional roles and are relying on automation and virtual services to pick up the slack.
Chatbots and digital transformation are taking over
Chatbots, as part of the drive to artificial intelligence, are popping in huge numbers on websites and social media as automated customer service and engagement tools. Businesses with established digital transformation are using them to help overhaul customer call center services, saving money. Banks use them to generate revenue and help customers save money by offering smart advice and directing them to better products, driving retention and winning new business. Airlines and flight bookers use bots to speed up transactions.
Every business, whatever the market, has similar areas where digital transformation can help. The key to DT initiatives is that it makes the whole business, across offices, departments and teams work harmoniously together, with all their data joined up, providing better insights for the business and making planning for the future less fraught with guesswork.
Using a mix of cloud services, robotic process automation and artificial intelligence as the glue to build new tools to save time, cut costs and build new products, any business can benefit from transformation, just as every company adopted the spreadsheet in the 70s/80s, databases and Internet in the 90s, and digital services since the turn of the century.
What is digital transformation?
Through a range of changes, such as increased automation, reliance on data and changing old processes for digital ones, a complete digital transformation will see a company rebuilt better equipped to run and evolve using IT, digital services and whatever is to come in future. A transformation might take months or years, depending on the size of the business, and needs to be done with consideration and planning, but the rewards are huge.
Many workers might think digital transformation is coming for their jobs. Instead, as the rise of spreadsheets, databases and online services have proven, it will create many new roles, help people expand their skills and build whole new companies. So, any digital transformation effort has to be one that gets workers onside. And chatbots are one of the key tools to do so.
For example, many human resources departments are moving whole processes to be managed by chatbots. They are taking over on-boarding, holiday and equipment booking and other tasks, no jobs are being lost and workers quickly get used to them. One recent example is Teliopti’s Grant, an Intraday Automation Service helping empower employees.
As these and other bots become more visible, and lead to better gathering and use of data, they can help in the “gradual, then sudden” adoption that many businesses feel when adopting transformation, keeping workers included in the process.
The growing number of AI-based tools help the business work smarter and they produce results faster than say moving from servers to the cloud, or replacing a CRM suite. AI services are also updating fast, adding new services and features that can help a business in its day-to-day operations. All of which will help as companies transform into an IT-led business, accepting that IT services and data-based analytics will dominate how all industries will perform, and by measured by in future.
Digital transformation is the dominant business issue beyond keeping-the-lights-on and affects every market from farming to shipping, retail to energy giants. It also allows startups who are likely digital native to grow faster than previous companies. CEOs, CIOs, CTOs and plain old middle management all see it as the way to improve efficiency and become more or all digital.
Chris Knight writes about where technology will take us next, from the power of neural networks, artificial intelligence and chatbots, to the endless worlds promised by augmented and virtual reality. From the latest in gadgets and hardware to how digital businesses can use technology to grow, Chris makes the future clear and understandable to all.