While the whole world is struggling with the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, organizations need to find a new and better approach to work and perform while maintaining social distancing and ensuring safety and security of its stakeholders. In this blog, we will talk about why organizations should embrace digital transformation.
But for this, we need to understand what actually is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation can be understood as the utilisation of digital technologies to recreate a process to become more efficient or effective. The idea is to use technology not just to replicate an existing service in a digital form, but also to implement the new developing technologies in a wide area of application. Digital transformation can involve many different technologies but the most approached and talked topics currently are Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things, big data, and Artificial intelligence.
There is a need to be clear about one thing though, digital transformation is not all about technologies, it talks about changing business processes and the employer-employee to employee-employee interactions. Digital transformation projects are deemed as a great way to counter rivals for humongous business giants. These projects tend to be large in scope and ambition, but are not without risks.
While digital transformation is one of the most commonly talked terms in the IT industry, definitions vary. What everyone can agree on is that, beneath the hype, the fluff and the confusion, digital transformation involves some pretty important changes to business culture.
Current challenges for Digital transformations
There are some of the challenges that may blur the achievements of the digital transformation. But yet serious efforts have found a way to solutions for these challenges.
Let us talk about some major challenges of digital transformations:
Lack of Expertise to Lead Digitization Initiatives
Lack of Overall Digitization Strategy
1. Handling Employee Pushback
Times can be tough for the employment sector and there are high doubts about digital transformation in this scenario. People might be unable to completely erase doubt and uncertainty from employees’ minds, but they can certainly have a make-shift belief . Being consistent and transparent is key. It is important to understand that digital transformation is only to ease the issues companies struggle with for years.
2. Development of a Digital Transformation Strategy
Let’s be clear. There is always a need for the correct strategy. As you would with any part of your business, you need to clarify a vision, set goals to reach it and give your whole team a purpose. Without strategy and purpose, you may have been able to keep your head above water but don’t count on it much longer. “The digital transformation journey doesn’t belong to one individual or department”. In fact, success is unlikely when it is designed that way. Departments may be tasked with executing on part of the strategy, but the whole company should be working toward the common goal.
3. Need for organisational expertise
It takes a combination of talent and technology to go through your digital transformation. One without the other will not cut it. If one’s current systems are holding them back, it’s time to reevaluate their technology collaborations and extend reach for greater avenues.
The digital transformation will bring along its own bunch of technical challenges and you need the right people in the team. Training the workforce to be digitally literate and help them build the skills needed for innovation is the step in the right direction.
4. Flexibility in the workforce: A key requirement
The digital transformation is a substantial initiative and may require changes in more than your employees’ daily routines. This may mean changing roles, changing departments or an overhaul of one’s organizational structure.
5. Budget Management
Wouldn’t it be great if there were no financial resource hassles? Unfortunately, most of us don’t have that entitlement. It is practical to expect a cash crunch that may limit any part of your digital transformation journey.
While the digital transformation may require new, and sometimes substantial, investments in your company, people and customers, remember this is not a race. When someone builds their digital transformation strategy, it is important to keep the budget as a reality check to see how much the company can handle.
Digital transformation: The journey
The workforce adjustment to enable digital transformation
It is important to convince your employees before any major changes are carried out in the way of functioning of the company. While the company might want to step up with the digital transformation, their affirmation only can buy the company success. Many see digital transformation as joblessness for them, in reality, it is not. It, in fact, will support the future expeditions of the company.
Taking the path towards digital
One of the main concerns for the company is regulation, in terms of how to manage the requirements which are stipulated by the government when it comes to digital services, especially in the area of data privacy. There's still a lot of uncertainty here for companies. And the other thorny issue is overcoming the mental hurdle of making use of cloud services in general, which means handing over what was formerly seen as critical IT services to a third party. This is really a big step for most companies. Because they need to understand the issues of data sovereignty, security and so on. But if you don't take the steps to the cloud, you won't make the step to the digital world. The cloud is essential. It's a core service model to make use of all these on-top services like Big Data, industrial IoT services, and Artificial Intelligence.
A new approach to IT security
As already discussed, something that we cannot avoid dealing with on the topic of digital transformation is security. prevention is no longer enough when it comes to security. The key message here is that in the past when we talked about security and data security, it was mostly related to having appropriate perimeters – meaning that the data of the company was secured by firewalls or special networks which protected it against external access. Now, with the usage of cloud and other services, we are moving relevant data into the Internet, which means we have a less controlled environment in terms of the perimeter. This doesn’t mean we are less protected, but that there is a new requirement in the security sector. And with the ultimate use of cybersecurity tools, we are crossing these hurdles.
Advantages of digital transformation
Increasing Customer Satisfaction via Improved Customer Experience
Automating these tasks also improves customer and staff experiences as they’ll see much faster turnaround times when they have an inquiry. One of the advantages of digital transformation is enabling customers to access your services and support via their preferred method of interaction.
By leveraging digital tools, you can enable omnichannel support, allowing customers to reach out via phone, website live chat, email, mobile app, or through a support forum. By keeping it all digital, companies can provide multiple touch points, track interactions, and facilitate follow-ups and feedback gathering from customers.
Similarly, organizations can use digital tools and processes to make it easier for customers to gain access to their services via e-commerce, mobile platforms, social media, and other digital avenues. Not only do customers get the benefit of accessing services via their preferred channel, but businesses can also suggest other related offers, products, or services using the data attached to their accounts.
Improved & Efficient Decision-Making Through Real-Time Data Collection
Software-focused, digital processes open up a level of visibility into what is working well and what can be improved. With all data being housed digitally, often in real-time, it makes recognizing patterns and identifying opportunities for enhancements much easier.
Central data repositories can be mined to gain insights on where there are bottlenecks in workflows, which issues resurface the most, employee performance, customer preferences and behaviour, and many other areas. Once a business is using digital tools and develops processes around them, they are much easier to produce reports on and pinpoint areas for improvement as opposed to traditional surveying, sampling, and manual feedback collection.
Companies also drive efficiencies in their supply chain by integrating digital tools at each stage of development to service or product delivery. This can be as simple as tweaking existing processes to include a digital checkpoint or as advanced as automating processes and monitoring the output at each stage via IoT devices.
Increased Flexibility and Scalability
A major advantage of digital transformation is breaking free of restrictive legacy systems and leveraging modern, scalable alternatives. Existing processes in businesses are often based on old technology which requires manual input – creating bottlenecks when workloads spike. Some manual processes simply won’t scale as more and more employees need to process claims, service requests, provide support, or complete other business functions.
Modern software and processes are often easier to integrate so you can connect various parts of your business rather than ‘siloing’ data by department or function. When a task is complete, modern systems can often connect the data or next item to push it forward to where it needs to go – without manual intervention.
Transforming businesses to operate digitally, also allows those organizations to remain nimble and be more responsive to innovations and trends in their market.
Enhanced Reliability and Reduced Risk
As organizations continue to grow, the technology and processes that they’ve relied on for your years can start to fail them. From a technical standpoint, it can be harder to back up, maintain, and protect data within older systems. This can make them more prone to failure or an easier target for cyber criminals.
When hiring, if your existing business processes and operations are based around legacy technology, it can be difficult to find professionals with the right skill sets to maintain them. By upgrading to modern digital tools, you’ll have a larger pool of applicants with the right experience to be able to support them properly.