2020s will be the decade when businesses get to grips with digital transformation to become more agile and innovative. From what we've seen so far, we don't believe this is optional: no organisation or industry sector has been immune to the disruptive effects of digital and mobile technologies.
While there’s no single blueprint for how to manage your digital transformation programme,
success depends on achieving excellence in one or two areas initially, such as mobile, customer experience or internal collaboration. Organisations can then build out, adding complementary digital capabilities and exploiting the synergies between these different areas. Here we look at three areas that will help you achieve your goals.
Create a digital workplace
For many organisations, the first step in their digital transformation journey is to create a digital workplace that lets you break away from old ways of working and acts as a catalyst for change. Moving to the cloud changes the way your IT is provisioned, but the main benefit is that it also changes the way your users work. It lets them work together more easily and more quickly, and allows the business to develop a culture of collaboration and innovation.
Most companies find the technical transition to be relatively straightforward. There are plenty of migration tools designed for a wide range of legacy systems, while companies like Ancoris offer vast experience of migrating users, data and line-of-business apps to the cloud. The real challenge is changing the mindset of the business as a whole, so that it can exploit the benefits and opportunities of developing a collaborative culture.
When you start working together on shared documents and spreadsheets however, you quickly realise how clunky and slow your legacy systems were. You had to save any changes as a new version and email it back, and someone had to spend time collating all the feedback before sending out another version for another round of edits. With cloud office productivity applications such as G Suite, you’re all working on the same document — there’s only ever one version — and can see edits and comments as soon as they’re made. And you don't even need to remember to save your work as it will be saved automatically and you can revert to previous versions. No more lost work!
Adopting this more collaborative approach isn't just about working more efficiently. It will also help your organisation become more creative and unlock your potential. The most innovative companies, according to a study by the Future Foundation, are those where teams can work together effectively, with high levels of collaboration and productivity at both the team and individual level.
Transform your business with cloud and mobile
Once you’ve understood how a digital workplace, which uses cloud office productivity tools, changes the way teams work together, the next step may be to take a good hard look at your processes and redesign them to take advantage of the cloud. Our customers have transformed their operations — reducing costs, improving customer service and increasing employee satisfaction — by using collaborative cloud solutions to:
- digitise paper-based processes
- speed up reporting
- more effectively manage field workers
That highlights another big change that cloud computing will make too the way you work: providing you with the resources your people need to work at any time, from any location, using any device. Get it right and this flexibility results in a happier, more productive workforce that can provide a better experience for your customers, whether it’s on the shopfloor, in the field or in the back-office.
Finally, because cloud computing changes how IT is delivered, it also changes what you can expect from your in-house IT team. Freed from operational tasks such as provisioning servers, patch management and capacity planning, they can focus on new projects that exploit cloud technology to add business value and take your business further along its digital transformation journey.
Create insights from data using the cloud
Data-driven businesses are more successful than businesses that don't use data to inform their decisions. Research from MIT's Centre for Digital Business suggests they enjoy 4% higher productivity and 6% higher profits than average.
Traditional data warehouse and business intelligence solutions have largely focused on analysing structured data from transactional systems – and only a subset of that data, when you take a closer look. According to a study in the Harvard Business Review in April 2017, less than 50% of the structured data we're collecting is used to make business decisions and just 1% of unstructured data.
The perception is that smaller companies just don’t have the scale to exploit these technologies affordably, due to the expensive infrastructure and rarefied skills needed to manage and operate it. With the cloud, however, this is no longer the case.
Big Data is the next step beyond these traditional technologies. You can finally start making more sense of the data you collect, as well as enrich it with data from external sources. You'll also be well-placed to gain insights from the avalanche of new data that's now being generated, from web logs and social media interactions to video, images and data from the Internet of Things.
By applying highly scalable, but affordable, cloud computing power to the massive amounts of data already being collected, companies are gaining new insights in real time and making data-driven decisions much more quickly.
The award-winning work we’ve done with our clients has demonstrated over and over again that the true value of moving to the cloud lies in transforming not only IT delivery but the corporate culture. If you’d like to find out more about how cloud technology can have an impact in your organisation beyond the IT department, come and talk to the experts in our Digital Transformation team.