Bob Bailkoski, CEO of Logicalis, explains how Digital Transformation is a critical component for a business to succeed. He said companies must optimise their operating environment, guided by their long-term strategic goals, to remain resilient to future challenges and to realise optimum benefits.
Digital Transformation has shifted from a nice-to-have, to a necessity. It has been critical to implement remote collaboration tools and duplicate business data in the cloud, to empower global workforces to continue business as usual. Indeed, research suggests the pandemic accelerated companies’ Digital Transformation efforts by seven years.
For many companies, the rapid move to Digital Transformation left gaps in their digital strategy. It isn’t enough to simply migrate to the cloud and support remote working. Companies must optimise their operating environment, guided by their long-term strategic goals, to remain resilient to future challenges and to realise optimum benefits.
Why businesses need Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation brings a myriad of benefits to a business, not least of which is employee empowerment. Over the last year, we have seen how digital tools have allowed employees in different countries and time zones to collaborate and engage with each other in new ways.
From team calls to collaborative editing, employees use Digital Transformation benefits to work more productively, flexibly and collectively. As many employees wish to remain either partly or wholly remote even after the pandemic, investment in Digital Transformation will be vital in making sure teams can continue to operate in the ‘new normal.’
Comprehensive Digital Transformation also allows businesses to engage more effectively with customers. Two-thirds of organisations state that they are competing mostly on customer experience. A strong and holistic Digital Transformation effort that lets businesses learn more about their customers’ needs will give companies a significant advantage over competitors to create sustainable business growth.
Agile companies are outperforming others in adapting to the effects of COVID-19. Therefore, it is important that companies can recognise and adjust to changes more quickly. Changes to operating processes enabled by data and digital tools allow businesses to remain nimble and flexible.
In fact, McKinsey recently revealed that businesses using Big Data saw a profit increase of 8-10%, with the Big Data industry itself estimated to be worth US$77 billion within the next two years. Putting data at the core of your business allows you to surface insights and set measurable, deliverable goals, all while tracking your progress in real-time.
Achieving success – what does it look like?
Setting aspirations for Digital Transformation means being clear about why you need it: What are the targets you want to meet and the value you hope to create? How will you know when you have completed your goals successfully? This is often where companies struggle, with 57% of executives admitting they don’t understand what Digital Transformation is.
An absence of awareness and expertise can lead to a lack of buy-in across the organisation. Understanding the basics of Digital Transformation comes not only from studying them, but also from engaging with experts.
Digital Transformation does not mean implementing a paperless office or never holding another in-person meeting again. It means placing data and digital tools at the heart of everything you do within your business. By committing to an on-going evolution of your processes with data at the core, companies will reap the benefits, future-proof their organisations and enjoy significant growth.
On a practical level, getting the job right requires drawing up a clear Digital Transformation roadmap to desired business outcomes, which defines and manages the process in a structured way. A successful digital roadmap begins with an assessment of the digital maturity of the organisation and moves on to define the digital vision. To know where you are going, you need to know where you’re starting from.
The best roadmaps are those aligned with business objectives from the top-down and the bottom-up. From the top-down, the big picture goals need to be broken out into executable tactics and translated into significant business outcomes. And from the bottom-up, user insights need to be fed back to executives who can monitor progress and make necessary adjustments.
However, many businesses don’t have the in-house skills or technical capabilities required to execute a full Digital Transformation strategy. Technology solution and managed service providers (MSPs) that have strong, established relationships with experienced tech vendors can provide this service to help when businesses navigate their evolution. By partnering with an MSP to deliver the best business outcomes, companies can concentrate on day-to-day responsibilities while the provider brings the technical knowledge and expertise to ensure success.
Digital Transformation is a journey, not a destination. It is a continual evolution of technology innovation, that aligns with business objectives to give companies a competitive edge, accelerate growth and meet future goals. By committing to Digital Transformation, a company is ready and prepared – no matter what the future may bring.