What’s all this talk about Digital Transformation?
June 12, 2017

Change. Revision. Upgrade. Metamorphosis. Evolution. Whatever way you want to look at it, digital transformation is about shaking up the status quo of your organisation, aiming high, planning big and remaining competitive in the digital era.

To keep pace with your competitors and disruptive technologies, organisations must fully embrace transformation by utilising next-gen computation, the internet of things and connectivity to digitalise activities through the value chain, including production, marketing, and the provision of after-sales service. With cloud becoming the key to delivering these crucial changes, the epicentre of a future-proof, change environment is one hundred percent online.

Yet, many businesses are still unsure of how to start the proceedings; afraid of what it might entail.

The good news is that preparing for great things and aiming high doesn’t mean complexity with complications to match, in fact quite the opposite. Perhaps the trend for ‘digital transformation’ should be renamed ‘digital simplification’ because after all that is what it’s doing. As well as cleaning data and releasing cash streams from constantly patching-up messy legacy systems year after year, there’s a lot to be said for simple streamlining and automating processes.

The good news is that preparing for great things and aiming high doesn’t mean complexity...

First step in your digital transformation, and perhaps the only complication worth mentioning at this stage, is how you as an organisation define what digital is. Until you do, how will you know what needs to evolve?

This problem is so prevalent that even the corporateVice President of Microsoft Services and Microsoft Digital, Anand Eswaran says “If you put 20 [executives] in a room and ask them to define ‘digital,’ you are guaranteed to get 20 different answers,”. This was backed up by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in their ‘2017 Global Digital IQ Survey: 10th Anniversary Edition’ where they noted, for example that only 5% of respondents thought of data and analytics activities as digital, and only 6% thinking it (digital) went ‘beyond technology alone and embraces constant innovation’. At the other end of the scale, 32% thought it related only to ‘technology innovation-related activities’ and 29% stating only ‘synonymous with IT’.

While there is an obvious lack of consensus here, this insight is nonetheless valuable. In short, if you can get a firm handle on what your digital parameters are and eradicate any internal uncertainty, in theory you could get the jump on your competitors; and a firm lead on your GDPR change strategy.

If you put 20 [executives] in a room and ask them to define ‘digital,’ you are guaranteed to get 20 different answers. Microsoft Services and Microsoft Digital VP, Anand Eswaran.

So how do you evolve a strategy for coping with this kind of change or transformation? Next step is to implement a robust health check, a situational analysis if you will to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats inherent in your digital assets, which cogs to swap out and which ones to grease. The results of which should act as a blueprint for your organisation to digitally reinvent processes, operations and ultimately your company culture. By waving in the future in this way you can create space for greater profit margins, better product uptake, greater market share:- whatever your KPIs may be.

Ultimately the key to coping with the need to revolutionise your digital processes is accepting that change needs to happen if you want to survive, let alone grow. It’s totally natural to resist change on an individual and organisational level, and feel frustrated when all you want is to be a leader in your field for the quality of the work you do, not how tidy your back-end systems are, or how secure your data is. But to survive in constantly shifting, business arenas we must accept change for what it is, the natural evolution of things. Survival of the fittest. He who is most adaptable to change, doesn’t just survive, he thrives.

In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment. Civilisation past and present. by T. Walter Wallbank, Alastair M. Taylor and Nels M. Bailkey.

Could your digital assets do with a Health Check? A consultation with our expert teams could help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, an important step in your organisation's digital transformation.

Whether it's for GDPR compliance, or because your business is growing, if
you’d like to discuss a digital transformation call us on 028 9087 2222 or drop us an email using the contact form below.

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