What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is all about getting the most out of your business technology. It is about empowering your customers and employees. But how do you define digital transformation?
Digital transformation is driven change in purpose driven enterprise

Digital transformation has changed the world of work. Do you remember the feeling when you first accessed your email from your phone? You unwrapped your new Palm Pilot or Blackberry smartphone with the anticipation and excitement of a 5-year-old on Christmas morning. This little device would mean that going to work no longer meant being stuck at your desk. How the world of work was going to change. And it has.  

The new industrial revolution

We are now in the 4th industrial revolution. This era of digital transformation began with the invention of the internet and the roll-out of the first mobile phone networks. Remember CDMA? These technologies and others have fundamentally changed the way people interact at work. They are the enablers of cloud computing. They have caused a radical shift in the world of work.  Thousands of new software products are launched and updated every year. Apps on our smartphones have changed the way we communicate with our team and our customers. The shift to cloud software has enabled many new capabilities such as:  

  • Processing your team payroll at a click of button saving hours per week 
  • Communicating across your organisation, easily and consistently.  
  • Collaborating with team members and customers without the tyranny of distance 
  • Managing your workforce from anywhere, anytime   
  • Saving thousands of dollars on the costs of computer equipment and technology.

Digital transformation is more than technology 

Digital transformation however is much more than new technology. It is also about process and people.  

Your business software is baked into your operations. When you change these systems, you also need to adjust the way that your team works.

Consider for example, that your sales team is using email contacts and spreadsheets to keep track of customer information. As a result, your customer information is spread across multiple and often disconnect locations. It’s very difficult to keep track of who are your best performing employees and customers. Furthermore, you have no ability to automate customer notifications or emails. Improving your engagement means setting up a cloud based customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Setting up a new CRM means that your team must also change how they work. Their spreadsheets and emails are now longer effective. Hence, your sales teams needs to learn how to use the new tools, and adjust their channels for customer interaction. This is a simple example of why digital transformation means much more than computers and software. It requires people to fundamentally change the way they work.

Salesforce, the world’s largest CRM software company, has summed it up nicely with this definition:  

“Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements”

Walking your journey

Digital technology is only as good as the people who are using it.  This is true for a laptop computer, a smart phone or a cloud-based system for managing your payroll and accounts. Other challenges of digital transformation initiatives include:  

  • Software evaluation: working out which of the thousands of products on offer is best for your needs.  
  • Business continuity: ensuring minimal interruptions to critical activities such as sales, invoicing and payroll.  
  • Process improvement: redesigning the way of working to align with the capabilities of the new technology.  
  • Cyber security: keeping your information both available and safe. 
  • Job roles: redefining job descriptions to align with the design and function enable by your new cloud software.  

Digital transformation requires a strategy  

Digital transformation is a journey of change across people and platforms.  This It means finding the balance between what your software can do and the skill of your employees to leverage that capability. It is only when you align your platforms and people can you unlock your potential. This begins with having a digital strategy that describes the role of cloud software in your business. Your strategy will explain how your systems work together and the training your team needs. After all, every journey of digital transformation begins with a clear purpose and destination.

Are you struggling to make sense of digital transformation in your business?

Get in touch and let’s discuss how you can thrive in the digital revolution.

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