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The business mindsets that could be stalling your digital transformation journey – Part 1

Businesses across the globe have been discussing digital transformation for several years now; you may have seen some of our previous blogs on the topic. At TSG we practice what we preach and our teams, as well as many of our customers, have seen the benefits of adopting a digital-first approach to working.

And according to a recent YouGov survey, we’re not the only ones. The poll of 1,027 IT leaders suggests the country is well on its way to embracing a more digital way of working, with 48% of those surveyed believing UK businesses will be digitally transformed within the next 3 to 10 years. New businesses are being founded with tech at their heart and a shift in corporate priorities has emerged; digital transformation is happening now.

Despite these promising findings, here at TSG we know many businesses are yet to jump on the bandwagon and for some, technology is advancing at such a pace that you may not have been able to keep up (our busting the jargon blog is a great place to start).

It’s okay, you’ve still got time to start your journey, but could your mindset be holding you back from achieving your business’ full digital potential? Here’s part one some of the most common misconceptions around digital transformation

“There definitely won’t be a technology that could replace our company’s manual and paper-based processes.”

Technology has come a long way in recent years and the availability of ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality has increased, offering solutions for a range of business tasks and processes. However, their default models don’t always demonstrate the full extent of the solutions’ capabilities. Many products, such as Dynamics 365, offer multiple options for tailoring the range of features available according to the needs of your business and customers.

Robots aren’t taking over the world just yet and there’s still a need for good old hands-on work done by real people. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for technology in every industry. Most processes can be enhanced or even replaced by automating time-consuming tasks, freeing up more time for your teams to chase those all-important leads or interact with your existing customers.

“My small business isn’t ready for digital transformation.”

Your small business is readier than you think just by knowing what digital transformation is. Your awareness means you’ve taken the first steps in considering how you could use technology within your business; the issue could be your understanding of the efforts required or what we’d call the ‘art of the possible’ – considering not only what's right or what's best, but what your business can realistically achieve.

Digital transformation can now happen in any size of business thanks to the accessibility and affordability of transformational tech, as well as scalable solutions so your systems can grow with you.

“My company is too small to worry about IT.”

No company is too big or too small to worry about IT, end of. No matter what size your business is, technology has become a key player in the evolution of many industries, meaning it’s almost impossible to ignore if you want to grow as a business and gain a competitive edge. Continuing to disregard your company’s IT is an open invitation for your competitors to overtake you and your sector to leave you behind.

It’s also a common misconception that larger organisations are the only ones to be targeted by cyber-criminals - they may be the victims hitting the headlines but approximately 42% of small businesses identified at least one breach or attack between April 2017 and April 2018, according to DCMS. Addressing IT security issues is an important part of digital transformation and one that no business can afford to disregard.

“We can’t afford to make any IT changes.”

Taking a digital-first approach doesn’t have to mean a giant leap. Small steps towards adapting the way your business works could have you reaping massive benefits in both the short and the long-term.

Take Office 365 for example; it’s likely you already use basic programmes such as Microsoft Word and Excel but you may not have explored some of the other tools available to you in the suite. By replacing your old version of Office with 365 as a standard upgrade, you’ll have the ability to implement powerful apps such as Teams and Power BI into your everyday work, setting you well on the way to achieving a seamless digital working environment. Or even better, if you already have Office 365, there’s no time like the present to start exploring the possibilities.

However, to fully embrace digital transformation and keep up with other organisations taking the digital-first approach, companies must start challenging their culture. “Why don’t we have a budget to invest in technology?” and “are we prioritising the wrong things?” should be questions at the forefront of discussion.

“I don’t want my staff to feel pushed out by robots doing their jobs.”

Collaboration is key when it comes to making tech-based investments and decision makers should include employees in the process, as changes to the way things are done could ultimately affect your team in some way. Digital transformation is as much about people as it is technology itself, so get your team’s input early to prevent disruption later down the line.

Those at the heart of your business operations most likely have problems with the way they work that could benefit from new technologies; believe me, people won’t say no to making life easier! Collaboration and increased productivity are the way forward, so you can reassure the sceptics that technology is something to be excited about.

By using innovative programmes to assist with tasks, resources can be freed up to work on areas of the business they are passionate about. In fact, you may find your office getting busier than ever, as the World Economic Forum has projected that robots will create 133 million jobs compared to the 75 million it will displace by 2022. Read more about what this means for businesses.

Hold tight for the final 5 business mindsets that could be stalling your digital transformation journey in part two, coming soon!

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