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Five ways to accelerate digital transformation

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Last editedMar 20235 min read

Accelerating digital transformation could help to take your business to the next level, by utilizing the power of technology to make the processes the business is built around quicker, simpler and more user-friendly. The simple truth is that any business which isn’t accelerating the focus on digital transformation is going to find itself being left behind by the competition. According to a 2020 report published by tech giants Cisco, more than 70% of small businesses globally are accelerating the speed at which they integrate digital solutions across their operations. In large part, this rush to digitalization was fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the degree to  which various levels of social distancing and lockdown across the world forced people and organizations alike to turn to digital solutions. Post-pandemic, customers in virtually every sector are likely to expect the improvements introduced by digitalization to still be in place and to deliver a customer experience which is constantly evolving and improving. 

There may be a temptation amongst those businesses which have already delivered a degree of digital transformation to think that the job is done and they can concentrate on the core functions of their business. In the 21st century, however, digital transformation has to be treated as a core function in its own right, impacting everything from customer services to supply chain management and production techniques. 

Why should your business accelerate digital transformation? 

The overarching benefits of accelerating digital transformation encompass customer delivery and streamlined processes, but specific impacts you’ll be able to enjoy when you speed the introduction of technologies across your business include the following:

  • Responsiveness – if the pandemic taught businesses any lesson above all others it was that they need to be able to respond quickly to unexpected circumstances. While it’s to be hoped that nothing as drastic as COVID-19 will happen for a long time, the ability of your business to respond at speed to any change – from the emergence of a competitor to a shift in customer expectations – will depend upon the degree to which digital technologies are embedded within core processes.    

  • Improved customer service – when it comes to enhancing customer service, accelerating digital transformation can help to remove friction and pain points from each stage of a customer journey. In simple terms, the right technology used in the right way can make it easier for customers to spend money with you.  

  • Efficiency – digital processes help to remove the risk of human error from much of the activity carried out by your business, increasing efficiency and freeing up employees to concentrate on high value activities rather than the kind of repetitive tasks which are easily automated.  

  • Costs – increased efficiency across your business as a result of accelerating digital transformation will naturally reduce costs, which, combined with the improvement in customer service, will boost cash flow and profit margins. 

If you’ve already embraced digital transformation and are now looking for ways in which to accelerate digital transformation to stay several steps ahead of the competition then the following tips could prove to be extremely useful:

Sourcing the right technology

It’s highly unlikely that genuine acceleration of digital transformation is something that can be delivered using the technology which is already in place in your business. The speed with which digital technology advances and improves is such that sourcing the best new technology is a key part of accelerating digital transformation. The best way of going about this is to work with an expert digital transformation company with the knowledge of exactly what the latest available technology is. In partnership with a company of this kind you should audit your business to decide exactly what your requirements are, by identifying pain points and processes which could be managed more efficiently. At the time of writing, the key focus for many businesses will be based around utilizing the power of cloud storage and developing strategies for mobile technologies and the growing trend for distributed workforces. Once technologies which meet the requirements of your business have been identified, they need to be tested in situ, preferably by senior management, in order to ensure that the right technology has been chosen, and to embed an understanding of that technology from the top of the business down.     

Embedding change

Embedding change was mentioned in the previous tip, with regard to choosing the right technology for your business, but it’s important enough to be a piece of advice in its own right. Even the best technology in the world won’t help you to accelerate digital transformation if your employees don’t buy into the changes being introduced from the very beginning. Bringing your employees along with you as digital transformation accelerates is vital, and requires careful planning. Changes should be introduced incrementally, with small steps being taken individually, and employees given the time to fully understand each change before the next stage of digital transformation happens. The temptation may be to institute a ‘big bang’ approach and adopt full digital transformation at speed, but this is likely to lead to confusion amongst employees and a poor deployment of the technology. The other key component of embedding digital transformation involves training employees in the use of new technology, and keeping the lines of communication between general employees and any IT team you have in place open at all times. If employees have questions about digital transformation and the technology which facilitates it then they should feel able to ask those questions, and should receive answers promptly.   

Cultural change

It’s tempting to view digital transformation as simply a technological challenge, but the truth of the matter is that accelerating digital transformation involves changing the culture of an organization as much as the technology which is being used. The ideal culture for the embrace of digital transformation is one in which employees are encouraged to constantly learn, seek out training and embrace new technologies and methods. If a culture of this kind is in place then the push for accelerated digital transformation won’t come as a massive culture shock, and will be something which employees feel able to cope with and deliver.  


Automating as many aspects of your business as possible is a key component of successful digital transformation. According to a global study of automation published by Deloitte in 2020, 73% of CEOs were looking for intelligent automation solutions for their business, a figure which was up from 58% in 2019. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system within a business can be automated to pull together all of the data gathered on customers into one place, making it easier to analyze that data  and make accurate predictions about future customer behavior, or spot problems before they become entrenched. Automating processes such as invoice payments through a partnership with GoCardless can help to reduce the admin your employees have to cope with and improve customer service.    

Focus on innovation 

Digital transformation often involves utilizing the power of cloud computing to greatly enhance the computing power available to your business. The sheer size and scale of the computing power on offer via cloud solutions maximizes flexibility, with new technologies being integrated as they emerge, and the scale of computing power on offer able to quickly scale up or down as demand dictates. Computing power of this kind makes it easier for a business to prioritize research and development and push innovation in the products and services being offered.  

How GoCardless can help

Although we are not a digital transformation company, GoCardless can help your business to accelerate digital transformation by transforming the way in which you take payments. The demand for direct bank payments is growing year on year in the US, with 6.8 billion payments made on the ACH network during just the third quarter of 2020. Working with GoCardless means that your business can meet that growing demand, offering customers the kind of payment option they are looking for. Even better is the fact that GoCardless makes it much easier to deal with failed bank payments. We use the Success+ system which means that any failed payments are automatically retried, with 75% being successful after an initial failure. By utilizing digital technology to remove pain points from the payment process, GoCardless can help you to accelerate digital transformation in your business.  

We can help

GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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