Although a trend long before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation has nonetheless picked up pace as office workers have moved to work-from-home.
At its most basic, digital transformation is the move to all-digital workflows. But this simple concept hides the profound change that the trend brings to business; when all parts of a business are digital and presumably in the cloud, other trends gain a foothold. These include data-driven decision-making, increased business agility—and employees that work from home.
As businesses embrace digital transformation and fully move toward work-from-home employee setups, the need for new tools that support it emerges.
With that in mind, here are five of the best tools for firms that are digitally transforming today.
Objective and goal setting is a fundamental of business, right up there with making a profit. To help with that process, Objective and Key Results management solutions (OKR) such as Profit.co were developed.
With Profit.co, businesses can more easily set, communicate, track and measure both goals and results across teams and physical locations. Profit.co delivers a hierarchical view of how a team’s objectives are aligned with overall business objectives and key results, and an alignment score gives a clear picture of how a business is aligned with its key performance indicators and stated objectives. As befits a tool of digital transformation, Profit.co also comes with automation for OKR tasks.
Profit.co helps with employee management, too, facilitating guided team check-ins, worker appraisal, work culture reviews, and both talent identification and nurturing.
What’s especially nice is that Profit.co integrates with other popular remote work tools such as Jira, Slack, and the Google Suite. Profit.co also comes with great support for getting the most from the software, having an unheard-of 100 percent Capterra score for customer support.
Better project management tools are needed for the typical business in the process of digital transformation since employees are now no longer meeting in a conference room with a whiteboard. One incredibly helpful project management tool for digital businesses is Quire.
What makes Quire special is that it makes it possible to start with a series of user-created checklists that can then expand and turn into more formal project management tracking. Quire also places a lot of emphasis on visual project management, allowing teams to view their project either in Kanban-style boards (think Trello), or as a list. From within these views, team leaders and employees can arrange, prioritize and focus on what matters more easily.
With a Gantt-chart view, Quire also makes it easy to manage project timelines. Team leaders can quickly see how tasks fit together over time, and make adjustments through Quire’s drag-and-drop interface. Project lengths can be stretched or shortened, moved around, and generally adjusted in ways that were just not possible before the digital revolution. Once businesses and project leaders start using a tool such as Quire, it is hard to imagine what project management was like before such tools.
Quire enables dynamic workflows, too, by allowing the organization of action items into nested task lists that breaks ideas down from big goals to digestible tasks.
If Quire isn’t to your liking, another work management platform you should definitely consider is Kantree. With Kantree, task management is organized by customizable cards, fields, and views, making it flexible and highly adaptable depending on how your company’s teams work.
The Kantree card system can be used to represent tasks, persons, product, or just about anything else. On cards, you can include descriptions, assignees, due dates, labels or even file attachments. All the fields can be moved and customized, and card layouts can be adjusted with drag-and-drop ease.
These are not just regular project management cards, however. With Kantree, cards can also be created by email, real-time comments can be added (using the platform as a basic Slack replacement), there’s a notification system, and there are customizable views, forms and reporting, among many other features. Kantree offers so much that most of its features can’t even get mentioned in a few paragraphs.
Idea management is a relatively new software category, but it is essential for distributed teams (read: businesses that are digitally transforming). With idea management software, businesses can capture, discuss, organize and evaluate ideas and processes more efficiently and even when employees are not together in the same space. Brightidea is one of the leading lights in this category of software.
Used by the likes of Nike, Amazon, Southwest, and Adobe, Brightidea helps businesses collect ideas through an always-on suggestion box. Businesses can then organize these ideas and create innovation pipelines that help structure idea review. Think idea mapping software, but for groups.
A simple drag-and-drop interface makes Brightidea easy to use, and its features include the ability to track return on investment and business impact through an analytics engine that produces informed insights based on submitted ideas. If you are looking for more innovation at your firm, Brightidea is an easy way to get started.
5. RingCentral Office
When workers are distributed and mobile, as is the case with employees at businesses that embrace digital transformation, the traditional office phone system becomes obsolete. Instead, businesses need a modern unified communications solution such as RingCentral Office that brings together the various communication platforms and works from any location and not just the office desk.
RingCentral Office serves as a modern business communications platform that includes telephone, video conference, instant messaging, file sharing and task management—and brings this office communication platform to anyone with a laptop or smartphone regardless of location.
Consider RingCentral a 2021 version of the office telephone system that dominated business before the digital revolution. RingCentral is a complete cloud-based private branch exchange (PBX) and business voice-over-IP (VoIP) solution and includes digital fax capabilities, artificial intelligence integrations, and integration with other digital office tools such as Google Drive and Box.
Some businesses might be tempted to cobble together pre-digital transformation tools or use basic consumer services such as those offered by Google to achieve the same results as the above-mentioned tools. Resist the temptation. Digital transformation is about more than just going digital—it implicitly involves a fundamental redesign of how businesses and their employees operate.
The tools mentioned above enable that kind of process transformation, and they help businesses fully embrace trends such as work-from-home that epitomize the true nature of the digital revolution. Invest in the right tools for digital transformation, and transform your business.
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