Digital transformation is defined as the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses through replacing non-digital or legacy technology with newer digital processes
It fundamentally changes how an organisation operates and delivers value to its customers. What’s more, digital transformation requires a cultural change that involves companies changing the status quo, experimenting with new technologies and taking risks.
Over the past 18-months, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the urgency in achieving digital transformation goals, forcing many organisations to speed up their efforts in a short period of time. Technology that was once a “nice to have”, quickly became a necessity for remote employees. However, as we move into 2022, businesses are changing their mindsets from doing digital to being digital.
The successful implementation of a digital transformation strategy is a marathon, not a sprint, with 70% of digital transformations falling short of their objectives. For the best chances of success, businesses should look to execute the following steps:
1. Defining the digital transformation goals
2. Building an integrated strategy
3. Creating a flexible infrastructure
Defining the digital transformation goals
One of the biggest digital transformation challenges is a lack of well-defined goals. Generally speaking, organisations select a variety of technologies that are popular at a given time, rather than those that help achieve the clearly defined goals of the business. More often than not, these technologies will not get used sufficiently by the team, don’t integrate with the rest of the IT infrastructure or fail to meet the needs of the businesses departments.
With this in mind, it’s important to research and plan the transformation goals, as well as the tasks, technologies and processes needed to achieve them. These objectives may include optimising business processes, gaining a competitive advantage, increasing growth and improving the customer experience. Companies also need to establish benchmarks for success and specific outcomes that allow them to measure if they have achieved their digital transformation goals over time.
Building an integrated strategy
Following this, a company’s operational system relies on a network of business components that are seamlessly integrated across the whole corporation. For many organisations, the reason for digital transformation is to streamline multiple systems and processes to drive success. Ultimately, the more a company automates and integrates each element of its operational infrastructure, the better the employee productivity and efficiency in the long term.
When establishing an integrated strategy, it’s important to reach a consensus amongst the team on any digital transformation strategy and technology. Without the backing from the senior executives and wider team, the goal of building an integrated digital transformation strategy will be difficult to navigate. The result will likely be a disjointed process that leads to overspending and larger challenges to overcome.
Creating a flexible infrastructure
Another element of digital transformation success is maintaining a flexible and agile infrastructure. In today’s marketplace, the most popular method to increase flexibility is to update legacy technologies with modern cloud-based systems. By nature, these applications can help businesses achieve greater agility, scalability and efficiency, as well as often being highly cost-effective in the long term. Furthermore, organisations need to monitor the market, business and technology developments to ensure they are up to date with the latest trends and can respond to new conditions as quickly as they can for optimal flexibility.
Part of this infrastructure also involves hiring and training the right people. This is a critical element of the digital transformation process and employees need to have a solid understanding of the emerging technologies, what’s best to use in different scenarios and where the technology space is going in the future. For existing employees, companies need to provide regular training to ensure they can all use the technology effectively within their daily routines.
Digital transformation best practices
Whilst these steps may seem daunting to businesses who are at the beginning of their digital transformation efforts, there are a number of companies that have seen great success in line with the market changes post-COVID-19. Now is the time for businesses to invest in digital transformation to lay the foundations for long-term resilience to future crises, as the global pandemic has demonstrated the importance of prioritising these strategies as we move into 2022.
About the Author
Alan Hayward is Sales and Marketing Manager at SEH Technology. SEH is a manufacturer of high quality network solutions. With over 30 years of experience in printing and networks we possess broad and profound solution skills in these areas for all types of business environments: The most comprehensive print server portfolio for all types of networks and all types of printers, copiers, and scanners. Network print appliances for scalable and cost-efficient spooling solutions.
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