DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION – THE NEW NORMAL
Digital transformation is much more than simply adapting your business processes, business model, product and service offerings, and culture to new technologies and trends such as 5G, AI (Artificial Intelligence), or hybrid working. In essence, it means using digital technology to revolutionise the way you work and unleash the power of your data. Investment in digital transformation is expected to surpass $2.3 trillion by next year. So how do we define this phenomenon? One take on it, as published in an IBM report, claims:
“Better living through software—that’s what digital transformation is. How’s that for a definition?”
Put more succinctly, digital transformation is the process of adopting technologies to change your business operations and thereby fine-tune customer and employee experience. Mobile devices, social media, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing are the primary drivers of digital transformation, all underpinned by the expectations and desires of your customers.
Digital transformation is not a constant and not something that you can buy off the shelf like Office 365 or G-Suite. As implied by its namesake, it is constantly evolving. According to the MIT Sloan Management Review:
“Digital Transformation is better thought of as continual adaptation to a constantly changing environment.”
That said, digital transformation will enable your business to evolve and respond to the changing – and often unpredictable – needs of your customers. With its promise of ‘better living through software’, digital transformation opens a world of new opportunities and enhances resilience to change.
WHERE WE ARE IN 2022
At present, digital transformation in business has four distinct areas of focus:
- process transformation
- business model transformation
- domain transformation
- cultural and organisational transformation
That’s quite a lot to take in in one sitting. This time we’ll focus only on the process transformation aspect.
Nowadays, almost every business on the planet relies on some form of digital technology, from using the cloud to e-commerce, virtual bookings, and much more. Process transformation is using your existing technologies to improve and automate your existing business operations. At a basic level, this could involve the automation of your data capture and entry. At the top end, you could implement AI to streamline decision-making and even transform your procurement, supply chain management, and general administrative functions. Optimising your processes through digital transformation will mean greater efficiency, reduced capital expenditure, and overheads, and significantly improved employee productivity. Moreover, you’ll know what your customer wants and when they want it.
WHAT ARE MY NEXT STEPS?
Digital transformation amalgamates the vision, initiatives, projects, and processes of your business so that you achieve a true state of digital capability. You may already be on the digital transformation road but still have some way to go. So, what are your next steps? Firstly, define your success and strategic direction. You can then identify and address any areas that need to be changed or optimised or possibly eliminated. Holistically scoping your processes and deciding how to digitise them comes next. The three types of business processes that are scoped are typically:
- operational – these are core processes that develop and deliver your products and services
- managerial – these are the systems that track budgets, KPIs, quality assurance, project management, communication processes and even your decision making
- supportive – these include technical support, administration and dealing with any customer issues or complaints
Once you know what to digitise and how you will do it you are set to go. Always keep in mind the reason why you are implementing digital transformation by keeping your customers at the centre of decision-making and business strategies.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
We’ve already mentioned that digital transformation will almost immediately save you money and streamline your business by making it more efficient and productive. Some other far-reaching benefits include:
- being able to make decisions more quickly
- easily and seamlessly tracking performance
- having deeper insight into the needs of your customers
- improving customer experiences
- creating innovative and novel products and services
LET ME HELP YOU TRANSFORM
For those of you that know me, I love IT and anything and everything digital. With more than 20 years of experience in the provision of professional IT management and support, I can help you transform your business through digitisation. Whether you need advice on cloud computing strategies, scoping your business processes or optimising your existing technologies, I am always here to help. Now is the time for change. Contact me today to find out how.