So…what exactly is ‘Digital Transformation’ then?

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I can’t seem to go to a seminar or a conference or even every other customer meeting without the words ‘Digital Transformation’ being bandied about.  So what is Digital Transformation?  It seems that different people have different interpretations of what it means.  In the business world, I prefer to use the term ‘Digital Business Transformation’ (DBT).  Many perceive DBT as simple process changes such as shifting away from traditional marketing towards digital marketing or taking a standard paper bill and converting it into a PDF version that now arrives in your email.  Yes, OK, this is a part of DBT but that’s really just the surface of what it’s all about.

We may think technology has made our lives easier but it’s created a whole new layer of complexities for businesses striving to complete in a globalised and everchanging market.  Digital transformation is fundamentally changing the way your business or organisations processes work.  One of the complexities of DBT is the ever changing technology landscape.  Your DBT strategy needs to be developed where people and technology are the driving force behind your business transformation and continuous process improvement. All aspect of your business need to be considered including standard business functions such as HR and operations, admin, logistics.  As it stands, people are what makes the world go round so people have to be at the heart of any transformation process.  When considering your DBT strategy, just a few of the basic questions you need to consider are:

 

  • How do we (internal and external customers) use technology and how will we use technology in the future?
  • Has my DBT strategy considered shifts in technology trends and how people will access data and information moving forward?
  • How can I bring together all aspects of my business into a combined coherent digital strategy?

 

It’s a massive change for traditional businesses.  Businesses that refuse or are slow to change simply will not survive in this new age.  We can all cite poor customer experiences (poor service/ supply chain/ communication etc) with many well known online retailers who’s traditional models are high street retailing.  Yes, they now have an online shop but they still operate with legacy backend systems, poorly connected applications and data disparately spread across their organisation.  This isn’t digital transformation.  This is making a small change without any real transformation.  One of the perfect examples of a fully digitally transformed business is Amazon (some may argue it never needed to transform as it was always digitally based).  Amazon started in the digital age so has a distinct advantage in the market.  Their operation is extremely slick compared to most other businesses trying to operate in that space.  Why?  Because every aspect of their business considers how people use technology, how people want to use technology and they can easily adapt to technology changes as their business has been built with that constant technological evolution in mind.

I blogged about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) a while ago and adhering to GDPR guidelines and creating a DBT strategy are all part of the overall puzzle businesses need to solve.  The bigger and more complex the business the bigger the DBT challenge.  Large organisations are appointing DBT teams.  Smaller businesses can’t afford such luxuries and Consilium UK often talk to businesses of all shapes and sizes about making the changes to a digital age.  We consult in many technologies to help our customers stay ahead so talk to us about your thoughts and concerns.  It’s fair to say some business need to move quicker than others but to ensure continued business success everyone needs to be considering how the world is changing and how their business needs to adapt to this constant change.

Consilium UK is proud to be represented at the Digital Transformation event in Edinburgh on Thursday 23rd of February at Dynamic Earth.

http://www.digifutures.co.uk/

We look forward to seeing you there.

Steven Brown

 

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