Increasing numbers of businesses, even entire industries, are shifting toward predominantly digital experiences – the digital economy. Some, such as Amazon, Facebook, and Uber, practically owe their existence to online transactions. Are you prepared for similar growth, or struggling to survive?

What is the digital economy?

Digital data has played a supporting role in the economy since the rise of commercial mainframe computing 70 years ago. But today’s economy increasingly puts digital transactions at the heart of operations and profitability. Digital transformation empowers organizations to keep pace with rising customer expectations prompted by the upsurge in web, mobile, and social connectivity.

And with success gauged by increasingly stringent turnaround times and ROI demands, solutions tailored to the unique demands of the digital economy are more essential than ever.

In retail, for example, digital transformation facilitates virtually all aspects of brick-and-mortar, click-and-mortar, and web-based operations: Lean manufacturing. JIT supply chains. Customer-centric relationship management, promotion, order processing, and fulfillment.

How prepared are you for the digital economy?

According to a recently published report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, the pace of digital transformation lags behind industry’s recognition of its need:

  • 28% of survey respondents said that the point of digital disruption to their industry has already occurred.
  • 56% believed the point of disruption would occur within the next three years.
  • Only 16% said the point of disruption would occur after 2020.

By contrast, the actual rate of digital-technology adoption struggles to keep pace with that perceived urgency for digital transformation:

  • Only 16% of respondents reported that their organizations are primarily supported by digital technologies.
  • 61% use a hybrid mix of digital and non-digital technologies.
  • Yet 23% are virtually non-digital, with few, if any, products or operations relying on digital technologies.

Planning for successful digital transformation

In the digital economy, timely access to empowering data is essential. Although it’s possible to pool data from independent systems, an integrated solution offers greater advantages for streamlined processes and accelerated success.

Prepare to leverage operational (ERP) and customer (CRM) data seamlessly. Support customers and associates wherever they are, with convenient mobile access at all levels of sales and service. Nurture your brand by providing consistent customer experiences, regardless of their preferred channels of access.

Finally, maximize the value of digital data to exceed customer expectations. Digital solutions that incorporate business intelligence and analytics can pay greater dividends in terms of customer service and profitability.

Implementing your digital transformation

One comprehensive option for streamlining your transition to the digital economy is the cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. It addresses all aspects of technical implementation, enabling you to:

  • Satisfy customer needs. Deliver all customers expect from their digital economy experience – easy access, convenience, and personalized service.
  • Streamline efficiency. Improve finance, operations, CRM, and other functionality, using shared data within one unified database.
  • Capitalize on built-in mobility. Facilitate better outcomes with data and services delivered via computer, smartphone or tablet – wherever digital access is available.
  • Elevate user experiences. Build your brand and customer satisfaction through consistent user experiences, regardless of how they engage.
  • Exercise built-in intelligence. Empower decision-makers at all levels to manage data for their unique needs – in customizable reports, personalized spreadsheets, or with help from built-in Power BI or Cortana intelligent analytics.
  • Keep pace with evolving opportunities. Going digital through the cloud, without large up-front capital investment, provides flexibility to scale business operations up and down for seasonal peaks or organic growth.

Experience digital transformation in action.

Discover new strategies for utilizing the digital economy, from AlfaPeople’s online webinar series. Or, for a limited time, access free consulting services for a technical assessment and upgrade roadmap – whether you currently use Microsoft AX or use other ERP/CRM solutions.