Business must embrace a digital future for multiple reasons: to avoid falling behind competitors, to strengthen security and cut down on security breaches, and to remove the reliance on legacy software.
We know it is important, but where do you start with approaching digital transformation? In this handy guide, we explain and break down digital transformation, as well as offer tips to success with going digital and unlocking future success.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is when an organisation implements a digital-driven approach to the business. Different businesses will have slightly different implementations of digital transformation. For various reasons, some aspects of a businesses may not be able to have a digital approach, but broadly speaking, digital transformation would be implemented across the business as widely as possible.
Focusing on fundamental change, the process is implemented to digitise previously non-digital products, goods, or services, and revolutionise how you interact and deal with customers.
The goal for the implementation of digital transformation is to increase efficiency, have a more streamlined and efficient operational process and unlock new value for employees, customers and shareholders.
Digital transformation goes further than simply investing in new technology, with cloud services among the sweeping changes.
Industry experts Technology Services Group say of the process: “Digital transformation is a must for the modern business. With the right cloud strategy and solutions, we can help your business to securely do more, streamline processes, save money[BO3] , and add value.”
Digital transformation will change company culture, objectives and goals. Change, of course, can be difficult but is essential to drive a company forward. Some of the key steps are outlined below.
Shift Your Company Culture
For digital transformation to be successful, the entire organisation must understand why it is happening, how it can benefit the overall company, and subsequently become invested in that change.
Change can be daunting for many, and attitudes must change in order for it to work.
Your workforce is going to be affected by the change, as you bring in more technology, and they need to understand how this is going to have a positive impact on their daily lives.
Bring the team together and gather feedback, and have a dedicated team focused on the implementation of change.
The company needs to know where changes need to take place, and although the process is company-wide, there will be areas requiring a total overall and others requiring small tweaks. Knowing what is needed where is a key part to achieving effective change.
Have a Strategy
It is key that once your whole organisation is on board with the future change, to outline how you are going to make it a reality within the business.
Why do you want to do it? Are you fearing being left behind by competitors, or are you wanting to be the leader in the market and shake it up?
Do you simply want to modernise outdated processes, and create a more efficient way of working? Whatever the reasoning for the change, a strategy will help it run smoothly.
There is also the argument of letting customers have a say on the strategy, and looking to utilise data from consumers. Although customers could have a say, be wary of over-promising – they are customers after all, they are going suggest everything!
Who is going to be in charge of it, what is the overall goal, what are you actually going to get out of digital transformation and what do you need to bring in, in order to make it happen?
These are all important points to consider as part of a strategy, and if you have answers to those questions, it will give the implementation a stronger [BO4] chance of running smoothly.
Invest in Technology
Of course, digital transformation requires and relies on having the appropriate technology and systems in place across the business.
Having a strong IT system in place allows you to focus on the success of your organisation.
Implement infrastructure and technology that can grow with you is important to ensure you have the appropriate level of service – enabling the infrastructure and technology to grow with the business helps avoid costly and disruptive migration further down the line. In addition, it ensures efficient and effective operations, and accommodates for your future growth.
After all, one of the benefits of a digital transformation is to ultimately save money, so the last thing you need is unnecessary and avoidable costs.
Cloud services are the key to innovation and enable employees and stakeholders to access information and data anytime, anywhere.
This makes working from home more efficient, and in a way [BO7] that your employees and wider business will benefit from the implementation.
Investing in the technology is one way that the process can save money – virtual storage allows for the consolidation of multiple servers and applications onto a single physical server. The benefits of this include the reduction in hardware costs, as well as power consumption and maintenance expenses.
The use of virtual storage introduces a more scalable and flexible storage solution that can easily be adjusted to meet changing storage requirements, without the need for physical upgrades.
Make it Happen
With all of that in mind, it is time to make digital transformation happen across your business.
It is a process [BO9] that requires investment of finances as well additional time from stakeholders. Ensure everyone is on board with the process, plan it methodically and invest in the technology you need.
It may be scary and daunting, but change is good.
Digital transformation of course has a cost, but it is a far smaller cost than can be caused by the decision not to implement it.
Barry’O Donnell is CTO at TSG