Most business people don’t sit around thinking, “I really need another plan”. As a pragmatic consultant, I don’t go out of my way to suggest unnecessary plans, after all, who needs another binder to collect dust? So why might you need a Digital Adoption Plan, and why is now the perfect time to do one or better yet to get one done by a Certified Digital Advisor?
Aligning your team and your digital efforts will give your business a competitive edge. It has been proven that Small and Medium Sized Businesses on the path to digital transformation outperform their peers.
In a 2021 Report by SMB Group, titled, SMB Technology Directions for a Changing World.
“There’s a strong correlation between digital transformation and business results. SMBs with a digital transformation in place and initiatives underway were three times more likely to have enjoyed an uptick in revenues from 2019 to 2020 than those with no plans.”
Further, “They are also 2.5 times more likely to expect revenues to rise in 2021 than SMBs that are planning for digital transformation but have yet to start executing on it. SMBs that have plans in place are more likely to forecast revenue increases than those that have no plans in the works.”
Again, not being one to focus on plans for the sake of having a plan, I want to share why A Digital Adoption Plan is essential right now. The Business impacts of the Covid19 Pandemic were often mitigated by government agencies offering funding, interest free loans and other support to help businesses invest in their Digital Footprint. Many businesses used these funds for one aspect of their digital presence – perhaps an online reservation system, e-commerce tools, or cloud-based computing to name a few typical investments. While the funds certainly propelled that one area of business and created efficiencies in one customer facing area or one department, discrepancies in other areas limited growth or caused bottle necks. We all know the expression that we are only as strong as our weakest link.
A Digital Adoption Plan looks at all business functions, all departments and addresses the corporation's use of technology across the board. It gives you a score card, a real assessment, action plan, road map and budget. The plans I create even give you a concrete current score on your Digital Maturity as well as an anticipated score once you implement the action plan.
What’s more, earlier this year, the Government of Canada announced the $4 billion Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP) to help get your business online, give your e-commerce presence a boost or help digitize your business's operations.
Eligible businesses can leverage the grant to pay for the services of a digital advisor. These advisors will work with companies to recommend digital pathways and strategies that will help them achieve their business goals and increase their competitiveness in the digital economy.
The grant covers up to 90% of the eligible cost of retaining the services of a digital advisor, up to a maximum grant value of $15,000 per SME, to develop a digital adoption plan.
Businesses also can secure a 0% interest loan from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to facilitate the acquisition of new technology. In addition, applicants can leverage the help of talented post-secondary students and recent graduates through subsidized work placements. Learn more here.
While some plans may collect dust, this Digital Adoption Plan is not only a gateway to a competitive edge, but also opens the doors to further funding and support, all in the name of digital transformation.
You may wonder, what is it like to work with a Digital Advisor anyhow? What is their role in coming up with this plan?
Many organizations can relate to the image on the left – they are using digitalization in more areas of the business, but it is scattered, and all over the place.
There are Four Major Forces that are touching "digital" in their organization with internal resources and partners including: IT, Accounting, Sales & Marketing, and Operations. The CEO's and leadership team are charged with aligning those departments, people, and vendors who do not have time, methods, or resources to manage that, this misalignment can lead to chaos. These forces can be aligned by a Digital Advisor with a Digital Transformation or Digital Adoption Plan. A Digital Advisor is the digital right-hand side of the CEO.
As an independent advisor, the digital advisor operates on the outside ring facilitating the planning process, recommending solutions as a generalist for all aspects of digital transformation.
By following a proven process and plan, a Digital Advisor will help truly leverage the power of digitization and create synergy among departments as seen in the right-hand side of the graphic.