11 Must-Have Tools to Support Digital Transformation (2023)
To stay competitive in 2023, you need a software ecosystem. Digitally mature companies see 45% revenue growth, and for good reason. Digital transformation empowers businesses to optimize repetitive processes, streamline teams, and solve customer problems more effectively.
The good news is that you don’t need to be a tech expert to take your business through the digital transformation process. There are plenty of tools that help facilitate digital transformation in different business areas. And we’re going to cover all of them below.
What are the essential tools to drive digital transformation in 2023?
- Digital adoption platforms (DAPs)
- Digital workplace suites
- Team collaboration & communication tools
- Social intranet tools
- Cloud CRMs
- HCM platforms
- Employee self-service platforms
- Cloud storage tools
- Project management software
- Digital accounting tools
- CMS platforms
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the process of implementing technology into every area of a business. If performed successfully, it affects the organizational structure and operational processes greatly.
Complete digital transformation is achieved only through deep changes in organizational processes and culture. Throughout this journey, you’ll need to select a digital transformation model, assign responsible leaders, introduce new workflows, create documentation, train employees, and control the execution of your strategy in the long run.
Treat digital transformation as a process of forming a new habit. Your employees will most likely fail to be as excited as you are about the upcoming changes. You will face resistance to change and overall skepticism. But it won’t last long if you clearly communicate the benefits of a new setup and enable them to make the most out of it.
11 Essential Next-Gen Tools to Enable Digital Transformation in 2023
Technology transforms the way your employees collaborate, communicate with customers, perform tasks, and manage operational processes. It also allows organizations to meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers.
By using the right tools, you can not only save your team’s time but also make them more engaged at work. Here are 11 tools that you’ll need to adopt to achieve it in 2023.
1. Digital Adoption Platforms (DAPs)
We’re purposefully opening the list with digital adoption platforms.
Digital adoption is the key digital transformation challenge. Did you know that one-third of all CRM implementation projects fail? You can expect similar success rates of software adoption in areas other than CRM, such as project management, collaboration tools, etc. without a proper adoption strategy.
The problem is that companies hardly ever take time to train their employees on new technology. Digital adoption platforms solve this issue.
A digital adoption platform is software that integrates with any system in your internal toolkit that allows your L&D and digitization leaders create customized in-app guidance such as walkthroughs, task lists, smart tips, and tutorials that help users to navigate the app. DAPs are particularly effective during employee, customer, and user onboarding.
What’s best is that DAPs allow you to monitor how users interact with the tools and see which features people typically struggle with. A DAP allows you to track user behaviors within applications as well as the history of the usage of specific help content.
If you’re looking to test a digital adoption platform, there’s no better place to start than Whatfix. The platform offers a range of solutions for smooth user onboarding, employee training, feedback management, and in-app behavior analytics.
Companies are empowered to create product tours, provide contextual tips for every type of user, control the visibility of help widgets, and more. Instead of explaining workflows or helping with troubleshooting over and over again, simply embed Whatfix’s Self Help widget into your apps – allowing employees or users to search for answers to their questions and find support documentation in the moment of need.
To help you complete digital transformation in all areas, Whatfix integrates with CRM systems, HCM platforms, knowledge base software, collaboration platforms, and other tools used by your teams.
2. Digital Workplace Suites
Digital workplace suites offer digitalized alternatives to in-person office environments for distributed teams. They not only play the roles of physical offices but also go beyond what a traditional workplace can offer. Tools such as eXo Platform enable more effective cross-departmental communication, ensure a high level of data security, allow for effortless knowledge management, and provide innovative employee reward programs.
Breakroom has gone further. The Metaverse platform delivers immersive digital workplace experiences. Instead of offering 2D collaboration tools, the platform creates fully customizable 3D workplaces.
3. Team Collaboration & Communication Tools
Team collaboration and communication platforms are more than messaging apps – they’re digital workplaces where most of the business processes take place.
Your company may be fully remote, hybrid, or full-time on-site – an online collaboration tool is critical for you in any scenario. Even if your employees work from one room, it’s counterproductive to make them distract the whole team when they need to ask a question or discuss a project.
Remote, hybrid, and on-site companies will need to approach the digitalization of internal communication differently though. While remote companies fully rely on their online collaboration tools, organizations following a hybrid work model need to find a way to keep everyone involved informed of the discussions going on both offline and online.
Simple communication tools, such as Slack or Discord, are good for companies of all sizes and types. Inside the platforms, companies can create separate channels for different teams and projects, share files, create custom bots, etc. These tools are typically chosen by fully remote teams and are complemented by a dedicated project management platform.
4. Social Intranet Tools
Social intranet tools are next-level collaboration tools. These platforms connect your business applications to an intranet portal and allow you to access your suite from one dashboard. In a way, it’s a custom social media channel for internal use.
Although many say intranet software portals are irrelevant and outdated, they’re so far the only way to consolidate all the devices and channels used by businesses. By using a social intranet tool in combination with a communication platform such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, you can build a strong employee-centric intranet.
- Create a Newscenter with company updates, news, social media activity, etc.;
- Design a Leadership Corner – the leadership communication tool;
- Provide an HR Portal where HR news, FAQs, job boards, and surveys are displayed, and many more.
5. Cloud CRMs
Adopting a cloud CRM solution is an inevitable part of the digital transformation process. Customer relationship management platforms (CRMs) help businesses to:
- Generate and store leads
- Map out sales funnels
- Shorten sales cycles
- Manage customer interactions
- Align marketing and sales teams
- Cross-sell and upsell customers
- Increase customer retention, etc.
Most often, enterprise CRM systems don’t limit their features to simply a CRM. With tools such as HubSpot, you can access all the features critical for marketers, salespeople, and support teams in one interface. There’s even CMS software built in the toolkit.
HubSpot CRM is great for companies that want to enjoy its free version and large businesses that are ready to invest heavily in building a custom solution with the HubSpot API. But as a small business or early-stage startup, you’d better choose a less complex solution, such as SugarCRM or SuperOffice.
For large, enterprise companies, there are more powerful CRM platforms to look at. Like HubSpot, enterprise CRM software can act as an ecosystem of tools and be a foundation for an entire organization’s marketing, sales, and customer support teams. Platforms such as Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, or Freshworks CRM are all great solutions for enterprise companies.
Even though 91% of companies with over 11 employees use CRM tools, end-user CRM adoption rates are still low. The issue is caused by the complexity of solutions and the lack of product-specific training.
6. HCM Platforms
To support digital transformation within the HR department, you need to invest in the HCM software.
HCM stands for Human Capital Management. It’s a practice of streamlining and optimizing the following processes:
- workforce planning
- recruiting and hiring
- reporting and analytics, etc.
Workday, BambooHR, and Zenefits are the most popular HCM platforms among HR reps. These platforms help to organize all the data gained throughout the employee lifecycle – from recruiting to offboarding. Onboarding, benefits, payroll, and PTO can be managed directly through a single interface.
7. Employee Self-Service Platforms
Employee self-service portals are aimed at giving employees the power to update their personal data, get the necessary information, and access benefits info without the need for HR support. Often, you can access these features inside HCM platforms.
The full list of features of a dedicated employee self-service platform might look this way:
- Onboarding: signing documents, connecting with new hires, going through the inline onboarding tour;
- Time management: check-ins, time tracking, scheduling shifts, schedule change management, vacation scheduling;
- Compensation and benefits: travel expense reimbursement, benefits enrollment, savings management;
- Company knowledge base: employee handbook, company updates, corporate policies, discussions;
- Help Desk: requests to HR, IT, finance, or other departments.
For these features, check out SP Employee Self-Service Portal or any of the above-listed HCM platforms.
8. Cloud Storage Tools
Using cloud storage tools is the only way for you to prevent data loss and access the necessary assets whenever you or your team members need them.
It’s critical that you require all your employees to upload everything they work on to the cloud. Without it, it’s impossible to complete digital transformation.
Free and paid tools offering cloud storage services are:
9. Project Management Software
First, it’s worth saying that not everyone needs project management software. When you have a sophisticated collaboration platform, such as Miro, investing in a dedicated solution for project management might only overcomplicate things.
But if your teams still collaborate via Slack, adding a project management platform to your tech stack is a must. The tool will enable your teams to assign and complete tasks, structure projects, track efficiency, and provide reports to managers.
Your choice of the platform depends on your existing toolkit. Aside from typical project management features, some platforms include functionality for marketers and sales reps. For instance, if you haven’t implemented a CRM tool yet, you’ll want to consider monday.com as an option. The platform combines project management and sales CRM capabilities in one interface.
For simple Kanban boards and checklists, businesses choose tools, such as Asana and Trello. Jira, in its turn, is a tool geared toward software development. It’s particularly good for managing tech teams.
10. Digital Accounting Tools
Digitalization in finance and accounting is a challenging but critical step for any business in 2023. If you haven’t done it yet, it’s time to choose, implement, and what’s most important, adopt a digital accounting tool.
When choosing one, it’s best to consult with your finance department. What tasks do they solve every day? What do they struggle with? How do they manage payroll now? There are tons of digital accounting tools that may fit your accountants’ specific needs.
Small companies and freelancers looking for a user-friendly interface and simple features enjoy Freshbooks, easy-to-use accounting software. Meanwhile, fast-growing businesses that need a scalable solution often go for QuickBooks Online and Xero. These tools provide a view of your accounting, automate invoicing and reporting, manage payments and bills, and more.
11. CMS Platforms
Do you need to create and manage digital content? You won’t go far without a CMS platform.
A content management system (CMS) is software that allows you to upload, customize, and publish content on the web. Instead of writing a code to make changes to your website, you can use intuitive features of a CMS platform, such as pre-built templates and drag and drop editors.
It’s likely that you already use some CMS platform to maintain your website. However, there’s a chance it doesn’t fit your needs perfectly. WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla are developer-friendly solutions that allow for deep customization.
For content managers with little to no technical knowledge, we’d recommend HubSpot’s CMS Hub. The platform offers over 3,000 templates, drag and drop modules, and a range of integrations with HubSpot’s tools.
For more straightforward projects, you may also consider more simple (yet intuitive) website builders like Hostinger.
As we mentioned earlier, digital adoption platforms are at the core of all digital transformation efforts. DAPs help facilitates change and drive the adoption of new digital tools, as well as provide on-demand performance support for the ongoing employee, customer, and user training and support.
While it’s true that all of these platforms provide incredible intelligence solutions for enterprise organizations – without a proper adoption and end-user support strategy, your employees and customers will be lost. They’ll feel overwhelmed and frustrated with new processes – which in turn will kill productivity and performance, and cause customers to churn
Support all your digital transformation efforts with Whatfix’s digital adoption platform to provide your users with contextual, in-app guidance – at the moment of need – to find the true ROI of your digital transformation efforts.
Request a demo to see how Whatfix empowers organizations to improve end-user adoption and provide on-demand customer support