Market Watch

How traditional companies can compete with born-digital companies?

Today, two types of business coexist: those born in the digital era and those born long before, “traditional” businesses.  According to Gartner, digital businesses are defined as “organizations founded after 1995, whose operating model and capabilities are based on the exploitation of information from the internet age and whose digital technologies are considered a main competence “. Given this definition, many “traditional” companies are closer to being “digital” than they think they are.

Yet traditional businesses still tend to believe that they can’t enter the digital world, at all. They worry that digital companies have a head start because they started small and digital as start-ups. It is easier for them to operate on a different model or to experiment with new things. They believe that digital companies also have fewer employees, so it’s easier for them to handle change and that they can afford failures.

To prove that these beliefs are misconstrued, Gartner takes the example of large, successful companies like Amazon, which has been around for more than 20 years, or Google, which employs around 60,000 people. They are the epitome of companies that have been able to adapt.

So how can traditional businesses persevere? Below are some tips to help traditional businesses to stay competitive in this digital world.

3 tips to help traditional companies to stay in the race

To stay in competition with digitally native companies, traditional ones have no choice but to innovate, even if they can’t go totally digital. Here are 3 ways to do it.

  • Get inspired by digital companies

Traditional businesses can learn from their little digital counterparts to determine what technological change is possible. By looking around to see what is being done elsewhere, and applying those best practices, is a good way to start. This ensures a certain level of success without too much risk , but above all, it gives their users what they have come to expect. Just think with the arrival of websites at the beginning of the Internet, today, there isn’t a company that doesn’t have one.

  • Partner with digital companies to fill in the gaps

For companies that want to start their digital transformation but can’t immediately digitize their products or services, the solution may be to partner with a digital company.

In the race to digital, the most important thing is to adapt and stay true to the needs of one’s customers, as most are already in the digital world, especially when it comes to their purchases. It is therefore imperative to digitize to meet their needs. Choosing a digital partner can help traditional businesses fill the digital gap. For example, companies that offer ECMs to store documents on a server, can partner with companies offering cloud solutions. Thus, the offer diversifies, becomes digital and innovative without needing to restructure the company’s whole business model. It’s about joining forces to develop a more complete offer. One needs only to look for the right partners!

  • Take advantage of technology to leverage data

According to Harvard Business Review, leading digital companies have a different approach to their business, for them, data and its analysis is a key element to their success.

By collecting data about their customers, businesses can better understand their digital behavior and make better predictions. Beyond the transactional aspect, it also fosters a real relationship with the customer. They can then maintain it by personalizing communications: either by customizing the medium, by calling them by their name, or by adapting the content with customized promotions and targeted advertising according to the interests of the client.

The data is also important for the health of the company. Again according to the Harvard Business Review, leading digital companies are 1.5 times more likely than traditional businesses to optimize their production based on demand predictions. Thanks to technology, it is now easier to get hold of and use this data.

Do you want to start your digital transformation ?

For traditional businesses, the transition to digital can be done smoothly, without considerable effort and without changing all their systems. Many companies have already embarked on this process, why not you? In order to stay in competition with companies born in the digital age, we can accompany you, step by step, in your digital transformation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation!

A big thank you to Antora-Fani Dima for her wonderful help with this article

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