Digital transformation has been a buzzword in many organizations in recent years. It has become part of the strategic plans of almost every enterprise in the world. Still, the process itself is often challenging.
The COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated that companies need to be more flexible and agile. It is now or never to digitise every layer of your organisation. These tips will help you to get started.
The impact of COVID-19
Most business leaders believe their company has already taken its first steps in becoming more digital. However, a web shop or a mobile application may be nice to have for customers, but it is no true digital transformation. Many enterprises discovered this when COVID-19 started to spread and they had to adapt their operations to a new reality. They all feel the urge to transform their business, but usually have a lack of time, money, or other resources.
To survive in the post-corona era, digital transformation should be your top priority.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste”, Winston Churchill once proclaimed. Do not wait and hope for the old times to return. The following tips will help you make your business future-proof.
1. Define what digital transformation means to your business
Each company is different and has specific needs and challenges. Therefore, you should start by looking at where your business is standing today. What are you doing right and what do you need to reach your future targets?
Always focus on the perspective of your customers. Digital transformation should be about bridging the gap between their expectations and what you are offering them now. Technology has changed our entire society and customers also engage with companies and brands in different ways. Think about how smartphones allow us to interact from anywhere and at any given moment.
Digital transformation should change interaction with your customers and enable you to accurately respond to questions in the blink of an eye. Your employees also need the tools to connect with each other and share information wherever they are.
To keep up with demands, your entire supply chain must be digital. Even your complete business model should be adapted to benefit from digital solutions in this amazing new world.
2. Train your people
Digital transformation is more than buying new technology. This won’t help you unless you also have the right people and processes. It is a new mindset that should be present in every department of your organisation. Even your management team will benefit from a tech-savvy leader who understands what business needs when decisions about budgets are made. You may even have to redefine certain roles and responsibilities to align the structure of your company with these new targets.
Of course, a digital world also requires new skills.
Some of these profiles – think about data scientists – will be hard to find as they are high in demand. Fortunately, many of these new responsibilities can be covered by training and re-educating your existing workforce. Make sure that your people have time and resources to acquire new skills. Part of their routine work can be solved by automated solutions. This will enable employees to focus on more challenging tasks that will bring more value to your organisation.
3. Evaluate the tools you are currently using
Your organisation can only become more efficient if you understand how your people are working today and what they would need to improve. What tools are they using to share information or to communicate with customers? They are probably using software, but is it still the best solution for your company? New technologies can sometimes offer much better support. Identifying internal and external inefficiencies allows you to optimise the experience of both your employees and your customers.
Of course, do not fall into the trap of over-provisioning. Many organisations pay too much for software, tools and storage space. In this new world, consumption-based IT models offer you fast access to new technology and you only pay for what you actually use. HPE GreenLake is a great example of a solution that simplifies your IT operations by delivering on-demand capacity and planning. It combines the agility and economics of the public cloud for all workloads that cannot be transferred to a public cloud solution.
4. Don’t be afraid to take risks
Change never happens unless you are willing to take risks. Most organisations operate with standard procedures that never seem to fail. However, it also makes them very rigid to deal with unexpected events or trends. The most successful brands are the ones that can predict these trends before they actually occur. Create a safe environment that allows for experimentation, even when success is not guaranteed.
Failure offers organisations the most valuable insights about the future. This is another reason why you need an innovative spirit in your management team.
Your main concern as a business leader is making sure that the numbers are right to keep your shareholders happy, but you also need people who are capable of asking questions about the way you are handling things. Stimulate this mindset among your employees by showing them the value and benefits of new technology.
5. Optimise operations and evaluate
Once you have a clear vision and a digital road-map, you can start optimising your operations. This is where the value of data comes in. All enterprises own a lot of information that could improve their operations and services. You need analytical models that use the data to provide insights that lead to fast and efficient decision-making.
Remember that digital transformation is never really finished. Each new strategy should be monitored and adjusted to ensure that it still works. A model that can predict trends today will not necessarily be effective one year from now. By then, your company could have grown and even your entire industry might have evolved. Consistent evaluation is the key ingredient to long-term success.
This way, you can also ensure that your employees are using the best tools to do their jobs.
6. Find the right partner to guide you on your digital journey
Digital transformation is a difficult challenge for many organisations, but it should not be so hard. You don’t have to embark on this journey all by yourself. Most business leaders have enough work to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on their organisation. This is why you could reach out to an IT partner that has the expertise to find the best solutions.
The focus of such a company is to make your own organisation more successful. They understand your business, challenges and needs, and know how to make your company future-proof.
Computacenter is the loyal IT partner of many organisations. One solution we can deploy in your company is HPE GreenLake. This is a consumption-based IT model that gives you fast access to the technology you need for your digital transformation. It enables cloud-like benefits for on-premise infrastructure and you only pay for what you really use.
Want to know more?
Download our free e-book about upcoming IT challenges or visit our website to discover how we can accelerate digital transformation in your business.