If you look back over the last few years, you’ll notice the changes in the way we work, interact and live our lives. Digital technologies have become even more strongly integrated with our day-to-day activities, so much so that we spend a significant portion of our time online – shopping, taking classes, working, playing games, paying bills, communicating and interacting with friends, family, colleagues and community, and so on! In such an online landscape, digital literacy has become an essential skill, and embracing it has become necessary to navigate the digital space with confidence. The same holds true for businesses – to not just survive, but thrive in today’s tech-driven economy.
Adopting new digital technologies is all about a shift in mindset, and not just about learning new tech skills. This digital mindset includes a set of attitudes and behaviors that enable people and organizations to visualize how technology can bring new opportunities, improve their lives and create strategies for success in this evolving digital landscape. Developing this mindset takes some work, but it is definitely worth the effort. For businesses, it is especially advantageous to have leaders with such a digital mindset, who can place the company in a better position to recognize business opportunities and react swiftly to shifts in the market. A culture of learning, coaching and training goes a long way in cultivating such a mindset among employees.
Success is built up of many small steps, and digital literacy has proven to be crucial in each one. Here’s a look at why digital literacy is important for businesses and what people can gain from adopting a digital mindset:
1. Save time
As a business owner, you no doubt have a number of things to do within the limited hours of the day. Digital tools and apps can assist with various tasks, saving you time and making work more streamlined and efficient. For instance, you don’t need to jot down appointments in your diary anymore; a calendar or scheduling app can do it for you. Tools that track your website’s performance can give you the statistics you want at the press of a button. In large companies, project management and collaboration could be managed by a mobile app that helps the team keep track of progress in projects. There’s no doubt that technology can give you back a few hours within which to fit in other critical tasks that need your mind and methods, which cannot be outsourced to machines.
2. Connect with people
While nothing can replace face-to-face interactions with people, it’s a huge advantage to communicate across timezones through various platforms including email, video conferencing, instant messaging and social media. Faster, smoother communications could lead to more efficient workflows. This is especially useful in digital marketing, where you can instantly share your brand’s message with a large audience through social media and newsletters.
3. Focus on the ‘what’
Digital literacy takes the stress away from how to do something, giving you the chance to pay attention to the ‘what’ in your business. What do you want to say, what do you want to show and what do you want to do for your audience?
For instance, if you run a fashion house and want to showcase this season’s collections, technology gives you various options to do so – through your website, social media or email marketing. All you have to do is decide on what you want to do as part of your business or digital marketing strategy and then leverage technology to do it most efficiently.
4. Make informed decisions
Digital tools provide businesses with valuable data and insights which assist decision-making. This becomes the basis for strategic planning in various areas of the business. For example, one could use technology to gather data to study market trends, analyse customer behavior, measure a website’s performance or social media reach and so on. These provide valuable insights for a course correction of strategies or for building new ones for improved business outcomes. Knowledge of these tools and their application is thus favourable.
5. Improve creativity and innovation
Digital literacy enables businesses to leverage technology for developing better, faster, and more innovative ways of doing things. It can also unleash creative potential to produce high-quality content.
Technology is ever-evolving, which necessitates a commitment to continuous learning. It begins with overcoming the mental hurdle of accepting change, and viewing it as an ally that can make life easier. Digital literacy also enhances personal and professional development, helping people engage better with the world around them. This ease and confidence to successfully navigate the digital space, which comes from the acceptance of the changing digital space and the willingness and enthusiasm to adopt digital knowledge and skills, is, in itself, a big accomplishment. All these reasons make digital literacy important, not just for businesses, but for everyone. If you’re interested, you could read our earlier article on how to become more tech-savvy.
Through our concept of friendly digital at Them You & Me, we aim to encourage and empower others to learn and adapt to the digital space using friendly words, in a way they can understand and also enjoy the process. As a certified life coach, it is also my aim to help clients explore and introspect, deepen their self-awareness, and gain clarity on what they want to share and say about their business when marketing it online. I am passionate about leaving people better than I found them and offer a kind and safe space where they can be truly heard, seen, supported and encouraged. I kindly invite you to connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how I can guide you and support you as a life coach and digital marketer.
*Please consider our content as recommendations and not concepts to apply as is, without questioning it. Every business is unique, so find the solution and strategy that works especially for you. You may keep what you need and disregard what you don’t.