Are we on the cusp of true digital transformation?

October 24, 2018
by Lawrie Breen

In the technology space, it can seem that new terms are invented almost daily. For business owners and senior managers, it can become a minefield trying to work out what the hell some terms actually mean.

Digital transformation can be one of those terms. It’s ambiguous enough that it can mean just about anything. For me, it’s about using technology to drive your business forward, automating and improving the way you operate. It can touch every part of your business, from sales and marketing to back-end operations and customer delivery.

Every business is looking at how digitising processes can help them grow. Whether it be cloud-based software solutions or automating an entire job function, the opportunity is there. The challenge is that some businesses risk being left behind, stuck doing things the same way as they always have.

It poses a question: Are we really on the cusp of true digital transformation, or does it still seem like a bridge too far for some?

Why is this important?

My answer is that technology is something you might want to ignore, but it won’t make it go away. You’re better off taking the view that it’s something that you should invest your time in, rather than waiting for your business to fall behind.

The reality is: The future of your business is digital. All of your customers will run digitised systems. Keeping costs low will be digitally driven. Your employees will want to work where technology makes their lives and jobs easier.

So where do you start? Ownership of this really rests with the leader(s) in your business. A top down approach is crucial to driving and encouraging your team to want to be a part of the change to a digital future. It also helps to keep them focused: If it’s a priority to you, then it will be to them as well.

Transforming business doesn’t have to be difficult.When I think of businesses that haven’t embraced digitisation, for me it comes down to a fear of change. Nobody really loves change; it’s always uncomfortable. But it’s something you need to overcome if you are to really drive a future-ready organisation.

What should I look at in 2019?

To help you look at digital transformation, I read a recent article on what the future of this looks like, coming into 2019. Here are a few of the key take-outs for me:

CEO lead: As I mentioned above, it’s more and more incumbent on the leaders of businesses to really drive the change. Communication on why change needs to happen, and your team’s role in it, is something that all business leaders need to think about.

Getting the right skillsHaving the right skills in your team to both execute and ultimately utilise digital is vital. This doesn’t necessarily mean hiring new people; upskilling the right members of your team should be an option.

Better integrationOne challenge is in trying to do too much at once, meaning that different parts of your business rush off to digitise a process without thinking about how it’s all going to link together. My advice: Don’t operate in a vacuum, get all the stakeholders together early and avoid having IT projects that clash.

Cloud is still importantIt amazes me that some businesses aren’t looking at how the Cloud can revolutionise what you do. Redefining your IT strategy and how cloud fits in it will become even more important in 2019.

Improved customer experienceUltimately, the whole idea of digital transformation is to improve the experience of dealing with your business for your customer. Customers will demand a faster, more seamless level of service…and they’ll be getting that from other businesses, potentially even your competitors!

Interested in discussing how your business can embrace digital transformation? Click here!


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