The Case for Digitization Is No Longer About if, but When

Today, mid-market companies are putting more effort into digitally transforming their businesses. No longer content with simply automating the back office, CEOs are digitizing functions such as customer service, business analytics and strategy development.

Rob Rich, Managing Director of TM Forum Insights Research, says that before these transformations happen, businesses must determine the type of company they want to be, what services they want to offer their customers, what the digital user experience will be like be and how it will engage the customer.

“Digital transformation will take a reskilling of employees, which could take time and money up front.”

Rich also notes that while this transformation will reduce costs, it will take a reskilling of employees (which could take time and money up front). Rich says that a digital transformation is an urgency for all companies, no matter the size.

According to The National Center for the Middle Market (NCMM) and Magneto Commerce, the fastest-growing mid-market companies are placing the strongest emphasis on going digital. They are utilizing digitization to help streamline processes, maximize their efficiency and promote growth.

Implementing digital processes helps companies facilitate a real-time operating and decision-making environment, making them more productive than their less digital competitors. Companies that are more digitally focused are able to connect with their customers more easily, increasing customer satisfaction and increasing growth.

The NCCM report, ‘How Digital Are You?’ showed that 63% of mid-market leaders rank digitization as very or extremely important compared to their other business priorities. Despite placing this premium on digitization, just 36% of mid-market leaders actually consider themselves digital leaders.

The pace of digitization is slow in the middle market, because companies are finding digital transformation to be a slow-going process. It takes years for digitization to pay off (about three on average) but many mid-market companies say they are finding it takes even longer than three years to see a return on their investment. For most companies, digitization is simply impeded by a lack of resources.

Despite these roadblocks, experts like Rob Rich say that the digital transformation process can be simple. He says that companies need to emphasize and prioritize digitization. A singular focus can make a big difference: How do companies want to engage with the customer? Tailor reskilling to this end, and things can be much smoother and simpler. By prioritizing, mid-market companies may be able to remove some of their roadblocks and get on the digital track much more quickly, and see a payoff more quickly, as well.


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