Let’s face it: we’re accustomed to instant gratification in the Internet Age. With the expansion of technology, Amazon order confirmations arrive in email inboxes instantaneously, while hungry customers track the location of their much-awaited pizza delivery each step of the way.
Instant gratification is a sign of the times!
Likewise, if you want to run a sustainable, profitable business in 2019, then digitization is not only useful– it’s necessary. And it’s easier than you think.
Did you know that 30 percent of tasks involved in over half of all jobs could be automated using technology that exists right now?
According to McKinsey & Company, a global management consultancy firm, this number will grow even higher as technology develops–which is great news for your business, your employees and your profits.
And no, we’re not talking about robots coming to take over your job (although some pretty cool robots exist). From automatic “Abandoned Cart!” emails to payroll and employee onboarding, automation is already a mainstay of modern organizations.
So, looking for inspiration? Here’s just a few of the amazing ways to automate your business.
Artificial intelligence is taking over the world–and it should be taking over your daily processes. Machine- and deep-learning AI provides a cost-effective solution for both carrying out mundane day-to-day tasks and engaging with customers.
For example, AI-powered bots are revolutionizing customer service abilities by providing 24/7 assistance for regular inquiries and troubleshooting.
Meanwhile, SiriusDecisions, an industry analyst firm, found that sales reps spend only about one-quarter of their entire work week actually selling to customers. The rest of the time–approximately 27 hours each week–is spent on administrative tasks like data entry.
These duties tend to consume a lot of time and energy. Instead, by automating the process, employees could spend their time closing deals and making connections to new leads and investors.
Customer and Employee Relations
At its core, CRM, or customer relationship management, includes all the technologies and strategies involved in these relationships, like email marketing, telephone calls, mail and social media marketing
If it sounds like a lot — well, that’s because it is. Manually logging all customer data (accurately) throughout the sales funnel is time-consuming and subject to human error. It’s also nearly impossible to maintain communications with every single lead. In those cases, both the business and the customer suffer.
Thanks to automated email responses, data collection and communications, these problems are a relic of the past. According to a study by Enterprise Apps Today, over 60 percent of respondents believe that automation boosts customer experience. Digitization not only eases business processes, but it improves B2C ( business-to-consumer) relationships, too.
Hackers and cybersecurity threats are growing more complex and common every day. Automating your data security systems with AI machine learning can provide a base level of protection while freeing up IT professionals to focus on progressing your business’ systems or confronting only the most complex of threats.
According to McKinsey, digitizing data-heavy processes within businesses can cut costs by up to 90 percent. You can automate everything from employee and customer onboarding, legacy-system integration, data migration and far more.
Although the initial implementation of automation can take time, effort and money, the payoff is well worth the investment.
Where Should You Start?
To figure out where to start digitizing your business, there are a few questions you should be asking yourself, like: what would improve my customer’s experience and, how can I better communicate with customers?
Further questions such as: which tasks can I automate to save time and cut costs; and finally, how you can ease the daily tasks of your employees in order to better utilize their skills (productivity) are also important points to consider.
Whether you begin with cybersecurity, automating payroll and onboarding, or equipping your site with AI-powered technology, digitizing your small business will lead to happier employees, satisfied customers and a profitable structure for the future.
As a small online business, it makes sense to ensure that what you are selling is very easy to access. This is especially important when offering something that is common. The purchasing process should be practical and aesthetically pleasing to your clients.
Your online shopping cart software creates that important connection between you and your customers. It must therefore help you achieve three goals:
-Deliver the best and most secure experience for your users;
-Make it simple and desirable for them to complete transactions;
This percentage has probably increased since then. Therefore, delivering experiences that embrace mobile best practices has to be one of your primary concerns as you choose a solution.
Some other salient things a good online shopping cart solution should pay attention to:
TRUSTis obviously a huge part of establishing a valuable relationship. Your shopping cart software is an extension of your brand, and your buyers must trust it with their personal and financial information.
As buyers avoid using direct credit card purchases (due to increasing fraud and data breaches) in favour of more secure methods. Your company must be prepared to offer new payment options.
Customers appreciate the SECURITY and ease of mobile wallet payments, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. This is because they can complete purchases using a single-use virtual credit card number.
Give them the ability to use these alternative payments and if possible, do not exclude Cryptocurrency!
It’s not often that we readily endorse a product or company. However, when the nature of work they engage in is considered ground-breaking and has a positive impact on our lives – it most certainly warrants a mention.
The rationale for considering such tech-driven projects as highly significant is neither due to ‘gut feeling’. Nor that it is simply fascinating and therefore must be an excellent product. This project actually has a value proposition for you!
We are indeed well into the information age and while we have written extensively about data, its importance to marketers and its fragility when used and abused by unscrupulous third-parties for their financial gain.
The issue of data security is however, quite a serious issue. You just need to pay attention to the news to become even more aware.
Data breach incidents
In Europe, the where security is supposedly more advanced, we have seen the likes of renowned airline British Airways, being hacked. Several hundreds of thousands of customers’ personal data compromised.
These were followed by hacks on other major airlines such as Cathay Pacific. Aside from airlines, other business outfits have suffered a similar fate.
The perpetrators are getting a lot more brazen and very recently, a cable car, used as public transport in Moscow was hacked, leaving vulnerable passengers terrified and stuck high up in the air. And this probably to the amusement of the pranksters (hackers).
Can you imagine the chaos and commotion that would be caused if their control systems of driverless cars were to be hacked?
The digital intrusions get even more sophisticated.
This time, affecting the very wealthy: private yachts are now being hacked and taken into the pirate waters, all via uniquely coded signals, reading data from their antennas!
On the issue of data security, you often hear about extra protection but not just anti-virus and anti-phishing software. The more secure and heavily encrypted Blockchain technology is, however, making waves in the digital sphere.
It is mainly for the escalation of its once shining star by-product designed for discreet transacting – the Bitcoin.
Blockchain technology has also triggered several other technologies based on its digital cryptology technology to ensure that your information is kept safe from prying eyes while stored, used or transferred online.
Blockchain products such as cryptocurrencies, however, are not completely safe from hackers!
The company we chose to highlight uses a unique vault system and is called Zortrex. It has adopted one of such Blockchain technologies dubbed tokenization. It will be using it to ensure that highly sensitive data online is kept safe.
“Our tokenised solution would have protected their customers’ personal identification information (PII) details. Instead the hackers ran off with the date of birth; passport numbers; financial data etc,” says Susan Brown, Chairperson of Zortrex – relating to the British Airways incident.
Tokenization is the process of converting rights to real-world assets into a digital token on a blockchain.
Brown’s background in data privacy systems as well as her devoted passion for the protection of PII, financial and healthcare data led her to start up and chair Zortrex.
“Companies have disrespected your data for over 25 years, and if left unattended, there will be nothing left to protect,” Browns says.
Thanks to new laws like the European GDPR law which is now imposing the data protection, data breaches and abuse of customer data is now met with hefty financial penalties.
Companies now think twice about consent and how to use and share your data digitally. But is it enough? The simple answer is no.
The authorities just do not have the resources to investigate every complaint nor to actively enforce all data breaches – yet.
We have ingeniously invented systems that automatically align with financial messaging, payments and securing information. All of which require data.
“However, we should and need to go a step further to secure all the PII details with tokenisation so that in the event of a hack, the cookies and trackers will only be following a ‘useless’ token as there is no real identification on it,” Brown explains.
Zortrex would naturally like to tokenise all healthcare data so that vulnerable people living outside of major cities can also feel assured that their privacy is protected.
In a previous blog, we wrote about the new Internet of things (IoT). All those devices being built for it. They would all need their IP addresses and the serial numbers tokenised for instance.
The application of the all-powerful blockchain is not limited to use in the financial sector and will be applied via the supply chain to all industries that deal with data – especially the most sensitive ones.
An angel investor or any investor for that matter looking to get onto the next best thing since Amazon would therefore be unwise to pass up the opportunity to back the Zortrex venture given its scope.
Furthermore, regulations are currently being implemented primarily in the pharmaceutical sector.
A tokenised supply chain such as what Zortrex offers would be ideal for this new law which is planned to be implemented by 2023. A judiciary blockchain, for instance, would enable the police to “talk” to the prison service, who in turn, will communicate with the legal sector or public health institutions (NHS).
Forensic evidence would in such instances be tokenised and kept secure (away from tampering) during legal hearings. In another practical scenario, Smart Contracts(which are touted to replace lawyers) can spark off legal aid assistance.
You court cases will be heard quicker and be more efficient. Protection registers can also be protected with tokenisation rendering it more secure.
Blockchain technology offers quality assurance making sure that no shortcuts are taken. The smart contracts specifically, trigger any possible malfeasance.
This will enable the monitoring and tracking of any data sharing to third parties once it is tokenised. The third party apps would only gain access to the data once the trigger has been activated.
Like other pioneers and visionaries, Brown’s futuristic hope that every child being born will have their name, date of birth, blood type data being tokenised, might seem farfetched. However, given the nature and rise of data breaches it is evidently necessary.
Zortrex wants to use their technology to put the hackers out of business!
Tokenisation cannot be mathematically reversed and thus it will least it will stop the hackers for a while.
For such high ambitions, the creators of Zortrex’s software have adequately ensured that the technology used is fully scalable. One stumbling block many Blockchain projects now face is what is referred to as scalability – which in tech terms, is the ability of a network or software to grow and manage increased demand.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum specifically – which is used to build a lot of Distributed Applications, however, have massive scalability issues.
The growth in demand for DApps is crippling those systems. They need to investigate the incorporation of alternative technologies, upgrade or split their platforms to cope with such high demand.
Someone must take the first step in securing this data forever. You should be able to purchase what you want without being harassed by trackers and cookies.
The need for tokenisation is endless and further, down the line, celebrities and government official’s PII can be secured by it to protect them from damaging schemes, ‘bad press’ and scandals.
In a previous blog, we “prophesized” that data is the new commodity – like gold or oil. However, the actual value with that data will lie in its privacy, the ability to store it securely and unlock it only with legal permission by its rightful owner.
One often hears the phrase “technology is your friend”.
To what extent the friendliness/support is, depends on how you embrace it.
It can be the most effective “companion” to assist you to cope with your daily activities or business plans.