How do you pick from so many options available?

With the constant rise of new technologies every day, it’s easy to get lost in this vast ocean of innovation as keeping pace with the latest apps, software or digital tools can get incredibly tiresome.

This then begs the question - What tools should my business be using for its digital transformation? 

While the answer depends on a company’s individual needs, the criteria for choosing them can be tied back to a few areas (discussed in the next section) to help you narrow it down to an easily understandable list. 

So, let’s jump right into the important details of this article.

Before You Start

Undergoing a successful digital transformation can sometimes be tricky and complex if we don’t have a clear understanding of what the intended results would look like at the end of said transformation.

For example, how much more productive and efficient would my staff be if I invested in tool X? 

Thus, setting up a team to guide and provide the company with the necessary support and recommendations throughout this process will help ensure the transformation is both smooth and successful. 

In addition, it’s important to get the buy-in from relevant parties and stakeholders before proceeding with using any of these tools as their concerns and priorities might differ from you and your team.

By doing so, you can avoid any potential internal resistance which could impair or jeopardize your business’s digital transformation journey going forward.

Now, here are some factors to consider before investing in said tools: 

a) Objectives - The types of results you intend to create from using these digital tools. 

b) Security - The amount of protection offered to safeguard confidential company information during its use  

c) Adoption - The degree to which employees will utilize such tools to carry out their tasks, roles & responsibilities on a predetermined basis. 

Example: How often would the sales team use this software on a day-to-day basis?

d) Technological Literacy - This refers to how familiar or comfortable one will be when using such tools.

It takes into account a person’s past experiences with previous technologies by comparing it to the one currently being considered. 

Example: An employee with programming knowledge (i.e. HTML) may be more comfortable with using a tool that offers ‘developer features’ than those without a programming background.  

e) Integrations - The types and amount of third-party software or applications allowed to be integrated into the tool.

Example: A company reliant on Google Calendar to set up meetings would choose tools that allow them to schedule appointments and meetings from the new software itself, without needing to access Google Calendar at all. 

Alongside that, one also has to measure the success from using these tools to determine if the investment made was sound and justifiable, which means regularly reviewing and collecting feedback from users that are most involved with its usage.

As such, these factors can act as a good starting point for evaluating the benefits of each tool, while also helping to establish a clear understanding on how they can help support your digital transformation efforts. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, we can move on to specific examples of digital tools businesses can use.

1) Communication

One of the most important business processes is to establish a centralized platform for all employees to easily and quickly communicate with each other. 

As obvious as it sounds, having in place a structure for internal communications not only ensures each individual and department is able to function smoothly and effectively during normal times, but also prevents confusion and disorder in crises and emergencies. 

This is especially important during a business’s digital transformation journey as they need to regularly communicate important updates while encouraging employee engagement towards the transformations’ various initiatives and activities. 

Clear examples would be email (i.e. Gmail), the company’s intranet or even instant messaging apps (i.e. Whatsapp). 

While some are content with this decentralized approach, there are several drawbacks to this such as: 

  • Important messages getting missed  
  • Difficulty in tracing back or tracking specific conversations   
  • Unable to find certain messages due to long conversation threads 
  • Inbox clogged with unnecessary emails 
  • Unanswered questions from employees

In this situation, having a digital tool dedicated for private messaging and team chats can help solve such issues, such as Chanty.

Some features included are: 

  • Individual / Group Messaging (Includes file sharing & emoji support) 
  • Private & Public Channels 
  • Audio & Video Chats (Includes Screen Sharing)  
  • History Search for Messages 
  • Several Security Features (E2E encryption, custom user permission and more)
  • Open-Source (Perfect for internal IT teams to integrate custom features based on your needs)   

Supported Platforms: iOS, Windows, Android, macOS and Linux

From 1-on-1 meetings to large virtual town hall gatherings, teams can easily stay updated with each other via text, audio or even video, while easily tracing back important messages without having it be buried in long conversation threads. 

Even more so, the various security features provide a peace of mind against cyber-security concerns as businesses can spend more time on their work and less time on safeguarding their companies against such threats.  

Other Alternatives:

2) Cloud Storage   

Next, businesses need to have an infrastructure for storing vast amounts of files while easily accessing them at a moment’s notice regardless of their location.

This means utilizing cloud storage, in which teams can easily upload or retrieve said files whenever necessary to continue business operations without relying on servers located in physical offices.

One common example is Google Drive as most have gotten used to the application in their everyday lives, which creates a reluctance to move away and try other alternatives. 

While most businesses are either comfortable with its default storage size or have already put in place their very own servers, others might need something more comprehensive as they have to deal with issues related to regulatory compliance or file-sharing and retention policies

Thus, one potential solution is Box: 

Box Cloud Storage is a tool that helps businesses sync and store their files in a single content platform. 

It provides individuals and teams easy access to their files regardless of their device, while offering various built-in security and compliance features such as threat detection, device security and DLP (data loss prevention) to name a few.   

Some of their features include:

  • Seamless File Access Across Multiple Devices (web, desktop or mobile) 
  • Built-in Security Features (i.e. automated threat and malware detection) 
  • Process & Workflow Automation (i.e. contracts auto-routed for review) 
  • 3rd Party App Integrations (i.e. Office 365)  
  • IT Administration & Controls (i.e. custom permissions)   

Supported Platforms: iOS, Windows, Android, macOS and Linux  


Other Alternatives: 

3) Project Management  

Another important part of a business’s digitalisation or digital transformation journey involves creating a ‘digital workspace’, which helps employees manage their tasks and stay on track with project timelines regardless of their work arrangements. 

The most common features offered within these tools are: 

  • Planning - Easily plan, assign and delegate tasks to individuals or teams. 

It also allows one to assign a ‘priority level’ to certain tasks based on their urgency while offering different methods to visualize it’s progress (i.e. calendars and workflows).

  • Time Management - Tracking completion time and scheduling deadlines that are either one-off or recurring.
  • Communication & Collaboration - Messaging, task approvals and file-sharing between all individuals and teams.
  • Documentation - File storing backed up with different versions of it and keeping records of all user actions (i.e. file access) and conversations.

With a project management tool, businesses won’t just notice higher productivity and more frequent collaborations among employees, but also enhanced clarity on their decision making process as they can better forecast the end results of each project.  

One popular choice is Clickup

Alongside the features mentioned above, Clickup provides users a well-designed interface that helps them easily track and stay on top of all their tasks without unnecessary clutter. 

This makes it easy for businesses to quickly get an overview of all projects currently running while also diving deep into the granular detail of each task without much difficulty.

Supported Platforms: iOS, Windows, Android, macOS and Linux   

Other Alternatives

4) Collaboration   

Also known as collaborative suites, in which a set of web tools are integrated together on one platform to provide a wide range of solutions such as messaging, video conferencing, file sharing, project management, employee onboarding and more.  

Put simply, it’s several tools combined in one application to meet various business needs, which eliminates the need to use multiple software at one time to carry out various tasks by relying on a single tool to get everything done instead.  

One example is Google Workspace

It provides teams with various features such as:

  • Instant messaging (individual, group, private & public channels) 
  • Audio and Video Call 
  • Project management (i.e. assigning tasks)  
  • 3rd Party App Integrations (i.e. Google Drive)

Supported Platforms: iOS, Windows, Android, macOS and Linux

Other Alternatives:

5) Customer Service 

While client acquisition and retention are often associated with sales & marketing, customer service teams play a crucial role in ensuring businesses are able to meet such objectives. 

This is done so by utilizing customer-relationship management (CRM) strategies, which combines data collected from sales, marketing and customer service to skyrocket profits, decrease cost and build long-lasting customer loyalty.   

One of the solution preferred by most is JivoChat:

The main reason for its popularity among many businesses across the world doesn’t just lie in its innovative features and or its integration with various messaging platforms, but also in the ease of its usage and the setting up of the application itself. 

A notable aspect of this tool is that it allows businesses to integrate various messengers into one single platform while also allowing support agents the ability to read a customer’s message before it’s sent

For instance, if a company has several queries coming from Apple Chat, Facebook and Whatsapp throughout different hours of the day, customer service will have to be familiar with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of each messenger and jump between them to in order to keep up with the ‘messaging traffic’ from each individual platform. 

Moreover, ‘chat bubbles’ are a typical function of live chat software, to which support agents usually have to wait for their customers to finish typing before they can respond, which slows down the overall time it takes to address any single query.  

While some may be used to such a demanding routine, others will find it to be a costly problem as this not only leads to the potential of ‘missed messages’ from notifications that weren’t shown by the individual messenger apps themselves, but also a decrease in response speed and efficiency.     

By compounding these tiny flaws and slip-ups over time, businesses will eventually notice their customers perceiving the company in a negative light.   

That’s because the service they received (with regards to their customer support hotline) plays a significant role in influencing whether they’ve had a positive or negative experience with the company. 

By doing so, this ultimately affects their decision to either purchase their products and services or leave for someone else who’s willing to provide them a more pleasant experience regardless of how great their offerings are. 

On the other hand, when everything is integrated into one single messaging platform, customer service can just focus on one single area and tend to each customer query quickly and efficiently. 

While this benefit seems simple on the surface itself, it frees up the teams to concentrate on what they do best so they can provide accurate answers to each customer in a timely manner without the physical limitations restricted by technology itself. 

This not only eliminates the need to switch between different applications in order to answer the various questions posed by customers, but also improves the overall response time in addressing multiple queries.  

Through that, businesses will be able to create better customer satisfaction which results in long term brand loyalty that can end up boosting the overall financial performance of the company.

After all, several statistics have shown that great customer service is one of the main factors behind increasing client acquisition and retention, as word-of-mouth and reviews by existing customers are indicators for whether a company has a great or bad reputation with its customers.     

As such, it’s clear why companies are turning to this award-winning tool to address large volumes of customer queries faster with minimal difficulties, while creating the perfect tool to drive more sales, acquire better leads and retain more customers in the long term. 

Besides that, some of its features also include: 

  • Chatbots, Auto-complete & Language Translation
  • Call Recording & Routing
  • Visitor Analytics 
  • Client Record Storage   
  • Chat Carry-overs (i.e. Continue previous whatsapp chats in Facebook messenger)
  • 3rd Party App Integrations (i.e. Gmail, Wix & Shopify) 

Supported Platforms: iOS, Windows, Android, macOS, Web-Based, Cloud and SaaS

Other Alternatives: 

6) Human Resources (HR)

To create a pleasant employee experience, HR teams will require tools that assists them with certain processes such as recruitment, onboarding, payroll and other relevant tasks.

One example is Collage:

Combining its ease of use with a modern interface, HR teams will be able to cut down repetitive tasks (i.e. vacation requests) while also greatly reducing costly errors made in areas such as recruitment, benefits and compensation management.  

Some features include:    

  • Automated Job Postings & Candidate Management 
  • Automated Leave Approval & Management 
  • Digital Onboarding (i.e. getting required documents entirely online) 
  • Employee Record Integrations (i.e. Storing & updating data from anywhere)

Supported Platforms: Web-based, Cloud-based, SaaS

Other Alternatives: 

7) Finance 

Managing the financial health of a business is no easy task, which means individuals and teams in this department require softwares that helps them with tasks related to accounting, budgeting and forecasting to name a few.  

A suitable tool to consider would be Quickbooks:

From day-to-day expenditures to yearly financial reports, this software helps businesses take the hard work out of tracking their finances while also acting as a billing and invoicing tool if needed. 

Its user-friendly interface is also a major benefit as most companies won’t have the time to dive into the technical know-hows to understand the financial health of their companies, alongside any emerging trends and opportunities to help them maximize their performance in the coming quarters or years.    

Some features include: 

  • Financial Reporting (i.e. Profit/Loss Statement & Balance Sheet)   
  • Sales Forecasting & Projections
  • Billing & Invoicing
  • Bookkeeping & Inventory Management

Supported Platforms: Web-based, Cloud-based, SaaS

Other Alternatives: 

8) Information Technology (IT)   

With the world becoming increasingly reliant on technology, the role of IT will grow to be evermore important as they require innovative tools to manage various hardware and software within a business while ensuring proper governance, infrastructure and functionality

One solution would be Solarwinds:

Through that, companies can easily monitor the conditions of all their IT infrastructure, which allows them to identify any potential bottlenecks and failures before it happens, while getting up-to-date alerts and reports of their system’s performance in varying levels of detail.

Some features include:    

  • Network & Systems Management
  • Application & Database Management
  • Security & Service Management
  • IT Automation Software
  • Integrations with Various Licensed Managed Service Providers  

Supported Platforms: Web-based, Cloud-based, SaaS, Windows, macOSX, ChromeOS

Other Alternatives: 

9) Sales 

In a ‘digital-first’ world, it’s common for sales teams to deal with large amounts of customer datasets as they have to track the ‘closing’ progress of each business deal while servicing existing customers on their purchased products and services.  

Thus, it becomes impossible for any individual to carry out prospect outreach, lead selection, deal-closing and other sales related tasks all at the same time.   

A tool with the potential to meet such needs is Pipedrive:

This software helps businesses visually track the progress of each business deal with a simple user-friendly UI, which allows them to get a quick overview on each prospect, lead and customer. 

By doing so, companies can easily understand each situation without spending hours on going through large amounts of data to get a full picture of said business deal.  

Moreover, it also provides automation features for sales teams (be it desktop, tablets or mobile) by sending them ‘on-the-go’ appointments and reminders to follow up with interested prospects so they can focus more on selling and less on managing their data.   

Some other features include: 

  • Lead Generation, Nurturing & Management
  • Sales Report Forecasting
  • Customer Analytics & Engagement Functionalities
  • 3rd Party App Integrations (i.e. Website Analytics)

Supported Platforms: Android, iOS, Web-Based, Cloud and SaaS

Other Alternatives: 

10) Marketing 

While sales heavily focus their attention on closing customers, marketing is tasked with acquiring prospects or potential clients in order to boost the overall revenue of a company.  

Thus, they require tools such as content creation and lead generation (often associated with digital marketing) to assist with customer acquisition and if possible, client retention.

To meet such needs in a digital-first globe, Marketers will require several tools to help with: 

a) Email Marketing - To track interests from leads and prospects through your email channels.

Considerations: MailChimp, Omnisend & Sender 

b) Social Media Marketing - Similarly to email marketing, but tracking the interests in various social media platforms instead. 

Considerations: Buffer, Later & Loomly

c) Search Engine Marketing - To track the performance of your ads in search engines (and sometimes social media as well)

Consideration: Google Ads & Facebook Ads 

d) Search Engine Optimization - To monitor your website’s traffic and the behavior of your users when they’re within your site. 

Consideration: Google Analytics


To summarize, these 10 tools can act as a good starting point for most companies when thinking about which applications and softwares to adopt within their digital transformation journey. 

While each of them are innovative in their own respect, it’s important to bear in mind that the technology used should not be the ‘end-all, be-all’ solution to solving the various challenges businesses face today. 

Instead, real change begins with a deep understanding of one’s business needs and how technology can be integrated into one's overall digital transformation efforts to support the company in both the ‘now’ and its ‘future’. 

For more info about the benefits of digitalisation for businesses, click here.

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