What are the benefits of building a more connected business?

Over the past decade, large scale tech migrations have become commonplace as new cloud technologies and systems have become widely available.

However, for a business that is thinking about digital transformation, it’s sometimes easy to jump straight to the negatives. For example, I don’t have to go into much detail on TSB and the disruption that its online banking customers went through during a move to a new platform for you to know exactly what I’m talking about.

The fact is, digital transformation isn’t about IT ‘plumbing’ hidden in the background, it is something very much in the spotlight and involves everyone’s buy-in. It’s important that people throughout the company understand that it’s not all about the challenges and that there are actually multiple benefits.

One way to get people on board is showing how digital transformation can make your business more connected, and ultimately help employees work more effectively.

First, it is key in today’s competitive business climate that companies can easily work with their partners. A business that has moved to the cloud will find it much easier to communicate with suppliers. It’s essential that companies of all sizes are part of a wider ecosystem where they can communicate with partners instantly, without interruption – whether that be email, phone or messenger.

Having a connected business also enables a company to provide outstanding experiences for customers. For example, with the right system in place, staff can resolve a query first time as they are able to invite the best experts into a call or chat – gone are the days of customers being passed from pillar to post searching for the right department to speak to. With the right tools employees can also view a customer’s entire history on screen with just one click and therefore have the knowledge to inform responses without repeating questions that could have already been asked – something customers find very frustrating.

Connected businesses can also bridge gaps that may have existed historically within an organisation. For example, a cloud platform that contains one set of data, one workflow and analytics engine that anyone in the business can access creates complete transparency between departments. This type of technology also makes it easier for staff to communicate with one another – as a result you have a more productive workforce.

Children go a long way before writing their first letter or first word. As parents, knowing minimally how our children learn to write can make the difference between encouraging or frustrating their efforts, and even more so if it is writing in English. When we write we are making our thinking visible. But writing is just one of the many channels we have for it, and it is important that we value the different ways in which children perceive the world around them and make it clear. They may reflect what they think on a temporary basis, for example through imitation play, dancing or music, or with something more permanent, such as paintings, drawings or plasticine figures. When the little ones begin to represent their experiences and ideas by these means, they are developing abstract thinking, which is the ability to think about things that are not present at that time. Knowing the process by which one learns to write helps us as parents to adjust our expectations to the abilities of our offspring and their degree of development. If your child is small and is still developing the abstract thinking and fine motor skills needed to control the pencil, it makes no sense to put him to copy and write letters to "teach" him to write in English, especially if he has not yet shown, no interest in writing and he just think "pay for someone to write my paper online", or if you just started learning this language. It is common to make the mistake of thinking that, if our children do not write, they are not developing literacy or learning the language. So calm down: even if they haven't started writing in English yet in class, they will be doing many other activities more in line with their development that will help them lay the foundations for adequate long-term learning.

Companies that embrace digital transformation and become a fully connected business are not only capable of providing truly outstanding customer service, but can also break down communications barriers internally. This means employees that are better equipped to do their jobs – and are happier doing so, which brings multiple benefits across the board.

Visit the 8x8 Communications Cloud page

Adapted from 'What are the benefits of building a more connected business?', written by David Chase and originally posted to the official site of 8x8.

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