What is a ‘Digital Transformation?’

14/03/2017
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The tech sector is abundant with buzzwords that can leave you wondering what they mean to your business.  One that you shouldn’t ignore is digital transformation, but what is it? 

Digital transformation is not a new thing.  And it’s not about just digitalising your systems either, it is a strategic and planned organisational change. It is about realising user expectations and making simple, speedy, and intuitive systems the norm. Digital transformation involves taking a holistic view of all your systems, processes, workflows and data to truly optimise your operations.

Digital transformation is more than just new technology

In a culture where innovation is becoming more and more fearless, think Amazon and Airbnb; companies are constantly striving to innovate new tech solutions, to make the user experience better and easier than ever before.

Cancer Research recently trialled ‘smart benches’, following the huge spike in contactless donations.  The benches allowed people to donate £2 by simply using their contactless card, the benches also acted as mobile charging points and Wi-Fi hot spots. Due to the initial success of these benches the charity is planning on placing a total of 100 benches by the end of the year.

However - this technology will not have been adopted in isolation. It is important to remember, digital transformations are not solely about disrupting the marketing with innovation and new tech, many businesses are already ‘doing’ digital transformations. A transformation can come from a website revamp or updates to a customer portal. Where most organisations fall down, is updating the nuts and bolts of these systems. Think about the website or portal, security, the data, the back-end systems - that end to end, integrated process is what’s possible when organisations think digital first.

User Experience - the heart of Digital Transformation

In today’s competitive market, customers expect systems to be aesthetically pleasing whilst being intuitive and quick to use, no compromise. However, it is also not just your customers that have this view. When it comes to innovating your systems, your staff need to remain a part of the process too. 

By understanding your customer and staff needs and putting them at the heart of your business decisions, you can build a robust digital strategy.

How can Digital Transformation help your business?

When your systems aren’t performing as they should, your business suffers. Companies often find their systems begin to become quickly outdated from organic growth such as mergers and integrations, leaving multiple systems in play creating inefficiencies. This can make operations problematic and accurate decision making based on your data, impossible. A digital transformation strategy can help align all of your systems in line with your business objectives, keeping you ahead of the curve. 

A digital transformation project will see systems updated and tailored to your specific business requirements. While many companies believe a digital transformation involves a rip and replace of all systems, starting from scratch is by no means the only answer. There are many options available, depending on your business needs including:

  • Enhancing existing systems
  • Refreshing websites and customer portals
  • Consolidating existing data sources
  • Integrating existing systems with new technology
  • Replacing legacy technology
  • Automating workflows and manual processes

A digital transformation supplier can help workshop which, if any, of the above solutions you need. They typically will assess your entire IT environment alongside user needs to recommend the right strategy for your organisation.

What are the benefits of a digital transformation?

For many companies, the benefits of  digital transformation far outweigh way any risks. Here are just a few for you to consider:

  • Better customer experience
  • More agile working environment
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved decision making
  • Competitive edge
  • Transparency of data

To discuss your technology challenges, or for help starting your business’ digital transformation, talk to us today.

Our Expert
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Graham Douglass

Lead Business Analyst

Graham’s combination of technical knowledge and composure enables him to kick start even the most complex requirements into user-friendly software solutions. Working with clarity and empathy, Graham is consistently recognised by both clients and colleagues for his collaborative approach.

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