Written March 2021
With COVID-19 accelerating the need for a swift transition to a modern, agile workplace, many businesses are looking to implement, or already have, a digital transformation. Rewind a year and this wouldn’t have been deemed vital, but in the wake of the pandemic, this is something that has become high priority on many business agendas – and rightly so. So what is the ‘true’ meaning of digital transformation and how can your business benefit from it?
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation, in a nutshell, is the process of implementing fundamental changes to the way your business works and brings value to your customers by integrating the best new, digital technology on the market. Moreover, digital transformation entails a massive change to the established company culture with innovation, experimentation, commitment and a flat hierarchy disrupting the status quo.
The Benefits of Digital Transformation
The modern business environment is defined by utilising the best technology available to us and understanding what it can offer to enhance your operation and business, such as:
- On-demand services for clients
- Automated systems for better employee efficiency
- Cutting-edge Cyber Security Systems
- Access to valuable business insights
- Enhanced communication and visibility
The Digital Transformation culture
Digital transformation is about much more than just new technology. Rooted in the idea that only when leadership empowers employees to take risks and make decisions will you see your staff work to their full potential, it is designed to change your business from the inside out, until it becomes the best version of itself.
Digital transformation uses the principles of rapid prototyping as a gateway to innovation, encourages agile decision making and promotes the implementation of a flat organisational structure.
Change starts at the top
Leading by example is a determining factor for any area of business, including that of a digital transformation strategy. If senior management isn’t part of the change, employees will see a discrepancy resulting in decreased motivation, lack of commitment and, inevitably, the crash of any digital transformation plan.
Implementing a flat structure means each team member is encouraged to be bold and make decisions, which results in both personal and business growth. A flat structure also relies on complete transparency, building trust and increasings employee confidence, making them more willing to take action and discover new, creative solutions.
Agile decision making
When it comes to digital transformation, changes will happen and they’ll happen often.Everyone who is part of the Digital Transformation must be able to make decisions quickly in response to the volatile, and ever evolving environment.
Digital Transformation strategy
As with any other large business project, planning a Digital Transformation strategy begins with taking an in-depth look into the current landscape of the business and assessing the processes, operations and in-house skill levels. After both pain points and opportunities have been identified, the specific needs of the business turn into clear, measurable, strategic goals.
Lack of clarity is one of the main areas businesses often struggle with when designing a Digital Transformation framework. From being clear on the elements of the bigger picture, such as what a Digital Transformation means to the business culture and the business goals; all the way to clarity in the details of implementation, structure and the definition of roles and responsibilities – it all boils down to having a crystal clear vision from the start.
What is the role of a Digital Transformation Manager?
The role of the Digital Transformation manager is to act as a pioneer for change and establish a solid link between business management and the Digital Transformation team. The Digital Transformation manager is responsible for the successful completion of any Digital Transformation project, from getting the management on-board to designing the full detail of the strategy and the implementation.
Evaluating the available technology
Any Digital Transformation project goes hand in hand with implementing new technology. Deciding whether or not a new piece of technology is right for your business is one of the key areas to focus on, and there’s two main factors to consider:
- Compliance – Firstly, it’s crucial to ensure the new technology that’s being considered is compliant with the existing legal standards in the industry. Similarly, with data breaches and Cyberattacks on the rise, assessing the security risks and potential privacy concerns is absolutely paramount. Once it’s been confirmed that the technology is safe and legally compliant, the Digital Transformation manager can proceed with assessing whether this is the right solution for your organisation.
- Implementation – The next step is if the design and usability of new technology is satisfactory to the company’s standards and how they fit in with your organisational structure and existing processes. Areas to consider are how difficult it would be to integrate the new technology into your current IT system and if you have the skills in-house to support the new development(or if you would have to invest in hiring additional developers).
Organising the Digital Transformation Team
Digital Transformation managers ensure that the correct team organisation is used to reflect the business’ needs.
Smaller companies may be better suited to have one small, dynamic development team (5-7 people) who answer for all IT-related queries. With so few people involved, overseeing the project becomes easier, and with no convoluted hierarchy chain to follow, communication becomes smoother, quicker and more efficient.
For bigger companies and projects, a more robust structure is essential. Several goal-oriented teams who work on different branches of the same strategy allow for a more focused approach, so your developers can concentrate their efforts on finding solutions to specific issues, leading to higher efficiency and faster completion times.
Third-party Digital Transformation services
When it comes to Digital Transformation, it’s no longer a question of whether you shoulddo it, but when. Successfully adapting your current organisational model to the demands of the tech-savvy world we live in will be the difference between business success and failure in the future.
If your business doesn’t have the resources to handle the technical side of a Digital Transformation project internally, outsourcing this to a third-party IT service provider, such as Littlefish, utilises their expertise and people, leaving you to focus on the core running of your business.
Choosing to use third-party gives you access to ever-evolving knowledge and expertise in the digital field, without the cost of recruitment and overheads associated with rebuilding your in-house IT team.