LinkUp Studio has been working with entrepreneurs, helping them to build successful digital products and gain technology advantage, for more than 8 years. So we talked to its CEO and founder Andriy to find out why digitalization is a must-have nowadays, how it helps businesses and how different it is from digital transformation.
Digitalization is about applying technology into the existing business to improve processes, while digital transformation means integrating technology into all areas of your business, fundamentally changing how you operate and bring value to your customer.
No doubt, digitalization helps to survive, and a banal, but truthful example of such chaos is our situation with Covid-19. Those who worked on digitizing their processes before, were more likely to adapt to this new seemingly crazy reality.
Let’s take an example. One of our partners, a company from New York, gets hundreds of inquiries from people around every day. Their employees need to proceed with those requirements and move them to the next steps, and then operate them again and again — up to 10 different steps further. In the beginning of the 20th century, they would need to have hundreds of employees who work very hard every day in order not to miss anything.
But we don’t live in the 20th century, and LinkUp managed to develop such software, that they only need 10-15 employees to do things fine and generate up to $5 million per year. This software automates all the processes, which could be routine: basic analysis, basic decision-making, and only in case the software cannot make its own decision, human mind is needed.
Developing software like this always starts with deep research. First, marketing research — not in the sense of competitors, but in terms if someone else has solved this problem before. Sometimes we don't need to develop software from scratch to help our partners digitize their business. Once we were asked to build a custom CRM for a company to manage its employees and their orders. We decided to show them Google spreadsheets, and that's it, we solved the problem and saved at least $1,000 of their money. No need to reinvent the wheel. After marketing research, business and UI/UX research should be done. Things should be good in usage.
But even good research is not enough to get started. You should also build trustful relationships with your partner to let them know that neither robots will take their place, nor you will get control over everything they-ve been working on for years or even decades. It's about freeing people from routine and giving them more time for creativity or rest.
The job of digitalization is to run business in a much more efficient way. It is a great investment, but it also needs time, not only money. If you’re a business owner, you need to let somebody dive into your business and understand how it works. This is another challenge, because you have to be really transparent.
In case you will hide something from those people, for whatever reason, they will not bring you the best solution. So, this is about finding the right partner to bring the great synergy together. And you should be open-minded, as during those procedures, you may realize that some business processes are supposed to be totally changed.
So it all starts with finding the right partner, knowing your plan and focusing only on those things that will generate your value as soon as possible, give you money, and only then going to the next step. You may want to change the whole platform, but before that, we need to be sure your business can survive till that point.
In case everything is done in the right way, your business will win, and there are a few important points here:
- Increasing productivity and lowering operational costs.
- Saving money on inefficient processes.
- Saving your employees’ time, freeing them from a routine that can be automated.
If you’d like to find out more about cases of Linkup Studio and approaches that we use, check our second podcast.