The key to a successful digital transformation strategy

What do you think of when you see the words ‘digital transformation’?

Do you think of far-out technology that might be out of reach for your business?

Do you think of it as a mere concept with little grounding in reality?

If you’re in finance, you might immediately think of big costs.

But do you think of people?

It’s natural to associate digital transformation with technology, and of course that’s a big part of it. But people are often overlooked when it comes to shaping a digital transformation strategy. That’s arguably why many businesses fail in their efforts. According to Forbes, up to 70% of digital transformation strategies fail because they haven’t been properly implemented.

digital transformation and people

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is defined as the strategic use of technology across all areas of your business to drive strategy and gain a competitive advantage. It’s no longer simply a concept or something to work towards; it’s essential in a landscape where your competitors will undoubtedly be digitally transforming, too.

That still sounds very technology-centric, I hear you say. But who will be driving this strategy, identifying where technology can transform the way your business works? Your people.

Digital transformation strategy

Your people and digital transformation

Digital transformation requires a culture shift in your business. One of the first steps in any digital transformation journey is getting buy-in from your people. And this may be more challenging than it sounds. 3 out of 4 businesses report experiencing a digital skills gap, which presents challenges for the adoption of new ways of working.

The simple fact is that some people will be stuck in their ways when it comes to the way they use your IT systems. Especially if you’ve been using the same clunky, outdated solutions since day one. It’s very easy to get comfortable with what you know. So how do you win them over?

What is digital transformation?

Optimising your people

This is how you should be viewing digital transformation. Yes, you’ll be optimising your technology and processes, but in doing that you’re optimising your people.

How often do you hear complaints about your slow IT environment, or that your people are tired of repetitive and manual processes? How much time do you think that equates to? And what could your people be doing with that time if they were completely unencumbered?

You’ve hired every single person in your business because they’re good at what they do. But are you actually helping them to do their jobs effectively? The answer is no if you’re not taking their IT requirements into consideration. In fact, 35% of people say their job is harder than it should be because of outdated and legacy technologies (The Workforce Institute).

Optimising your people with technology

Becoming a digital business

Addressing your outdated and insecure IT infrastructure is the first step on the path to becoming a digital business. Your people will thank you for it. They’ll also thank you for looking at upgraded or additional resources which can ease the burden on them even further. 48% of employees wish their workplace technology performed like their personal tech; which means they want it to be more reliable, intuitive and easy to use (The Workforce Institute).

The idea of new business systems strikes fear into the hearts of finance departments. But it needn’t.

We’re not advising you to blindly purchase the latest shiny technologies. Quite the contrary. Firstly, you should look at how you can empower your people to be more effective. It might not be the case that you need a flash new tool to increase their productivity and give them time to add value.

Taking a look at the solutions you already have in place, like your finance or CRM systems, is a great place to start. It might not sound exciting or transformative, but it’s all about what works for your business and your people.

Does your current CRM solution have the ability to automate processes? Does it have built-in intelligence that can equip your people with the knowledge to have informed conversations with customers? Does it link to your ERP system for a truly joined-up environment that eliminates siloed working habits and data re-entry? If not, you might want to consider a solution like Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement.

Become a digital business

Driving your digital business strategy

Of course, driving your digital transformation strategy is your people. You will know what your business needs both for its people and in its marketplace. It needs to take into consideration the needs of your workforce, a modern infrastructure and your strategic business goals.

Starting a digital transformation initiative can be quite daunting. You might be experts in business, but not necessarily the technology. But it’s our job to be experts in both.

As your managed IT services partner, we’ll work with you to understand your business requirements and how you can drive your strategy forward to gain a competitive advantage. Because of our business-first approach, we’re uniquely positioned to help you drive your strategy as experts in your business and in how technology can help you reach those goals.

Strategic road-mapping comes as part of our managed IT support offering. We don’t just support your systems and your users; our services contribute to the success of your business.

Get in touch today