Four key tips for getting digital transformation right

(Source - Nick Ismail - Information Age)

It is the digital age of engagement, interaction and collaboration. Older IT architecture is typically outdated when it comes to security, making it more exposed to potential breaches. With this in mind, businesses need to focus their attention towards digital transformation and restructure their components with digital technologies. This will not only safeguard against the mounding security threats but will also ensure that businesses can streamline processes and ultimately remain competitive.

Digital transformation is a visible whole scale restructuring of business processes to avoid a tipping point caused by digital technologies and downstream market efforts. It can often take a significant amount of time to entirely restructure a business and can use a huge amount of resources, especially for large organisations.

Keeping a competitive edge

Businesses of all industries and sizes can benefit from undergoing digital transformation. One key benefit is that it allows businesses to optimise their end-user engagement and experience through providing them with the best systems and tools.

From dwindling budgets to time restraints, there are various reasons why businesses are yet to embrace and embark on digital transformation. On the whole, there is currently a lack of organisation wide information and collaborative approach. Each individual division within an organisation needs to ensure that they are working together through the process of digital transformation in order to efficiently upgrade their systems.

Digital transformation can be a time-consuming process, which can also be costly and require a significant amount of resources. It is important that business correctly implement the process in order to optimise their resources. In order to ensure that businesses can get digital transformation right, they should bear in mind the following four key points.

1. Automation is key

In the last few years, there has been a significant rise in processes that simplify manual tasks. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning have already made a huge impact and technology such as chatbots are enabling AI to integrate to everyday life. Companies across all industry sectors are now able to use AI and machine learning to utilise the data available in a business to effectively complete tasks.

Before embarking of business transformation businesses must consider the capabilities of AI and Machine Learning and evaluate the tasks that can be ultimately automated and ensure that these are at the forefront of their mind during the entire process. Businesses must ensure that the vision has to be the guiding force behind each decision during transformation.

Automating manual tasks ensures that day to day processes are streamlined, saving businesses time and money and ultimately giving staff more time to focus on other tasks which will help to drive the business forward.

2. Enable innovative working

The workforce is the most valuable asset of any business, and it is vital to ensure that employees are prioritised during the process of digital transformation. Technological progress offers the chance to introduce a new, innovative type of working. Working hours are becoming more flexible and employees are increasingly able to organise their working day themselves.

Besides interpersonal relationships with colleagues and superiors, flexible working times are the most important factor for employee motivation. They not only want to decide when they want to do their work but also from where.

Flexible working is now easier than ever due to a huge increase in innovative solutions, which enable staff to work from anywhere. There are now readily available collaborative tools which help employees who are geographically separated, to work together virtually and be more productive without compromising on their work-life balance. These technologies can grant employees more freedom by letting them organise their own working hours.

This requires a relationship of trust between staff and employers. Since employees are only sporadically present at work, their companies experience a loss of control over them. In addition, a technical foundation has to be created to be able to introduce and offer modern modes of working.

3. Data led decision making

Along with allowing automation and flexible working, digital transformation also allows data led decision making. Data is extremely valuable to every business and it is crucial that organisations wake up to this and utilise the data at their fingertips in order to monitor their customer’s behavioural patterns

Digital transformation allows businesses to make real-time decisions based on updated data. One example of how this can be beneficial is for sales teams. They are able to view any changes in the buying behaviour and make quick strategic decisions to accommodate for such changes. Businesses can change the pace of their strategy in line with the behaviour of their customers.

4. Enhancing customer needs

Businesses should also acknowledge that digital transformation is not just about a technology refresh and updating typically outdated systems but it is also about the human aspects and an improvement on workplace culture. However, there can often be negative backlashes from the digital transformation from employees, who do not see the immediate benefit and are concerned about getting to grips with the new systems. Therefore, it is important that customers and employees are kept at the centre of any decisions that are made.

However, once employees see how upgraded infrastructure can ease their daily tasks and free up their time, employees will quickly realise the value that digital transformation has.

It is important that organisations begin to focus their efforts towards digital transformation and move away from out-dated processes and technology that are typically more prone to security risks.

By following these four tips, businesses can ensure that they correctly implement the process of digital transformation and through carrying out the process in the best possible way, they can avoid an unnecessary drain on their time and resources.

Neil How
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Neil How

Neil ran his first SAP transformation programme in his early twenties. He spent the next 21 years working both client side and for various consultancies running numerous SAP programmes. After successfully completing over 15 full lifecycles he took a senior leadership/board position and his work moved onto creating the same success for others.

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