At Solid Systems, we talk a lot about digitally transforming businesses and helping them to step into the future with confidence. But what is digital transformation, and what would it look like for your company? After all, no two businesses are the same or have the same needs from their technologies. So, does every company need a digital transformation? Can you not just keep doing what you’ve become accustomed to over the past five, ten or 20 years?
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the adoption of meaningful technologies within a business that see them growing and evolving. Where some businesses focus solely on the adoption part of this definition, at SOLID, we strongly believe in the second part – the growth and evolution that technologies can inspire within businesses. It’s about more than simply putting new technologies in place. It’s about finding the right solutions for businesses that add value and complement their existing strengths. That is when digital transformation has a meaningful impact – when the technologies that are being invested in are furthering a business and helping them to not just achieve their goals, but exceed them.
Why Does Digital Transformation Matter?
Now that we’ve answered the question of what is digital transformation, you may be wondering to yourself, why does it matter? Technology never stands still. Every day, new IT solutions are being developed to make our work easier, help us work more efficiently, and see us meeting market demands more effectively. We live in a digital world, and yet so many businesses are reluctant to embrace technologies. There are risks involved in adopting new solutions, especially if they aren’t the right ones for your needs. But digital transformation is a necessary step for any company that wants to remain relevant not just today, but a decade from now.
What Are Digital Technology Drivers?
The decision to undertake digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. You may have been asking yourself for years what digital transformation is and whether it would be valuable for your company’s unique needs. There are a number of driving factors that see businesses embracing new technologies and uncovering their value. Some digital transformation drivers include:
• Technological Innovation
Technology moves so quickly that even five years ago, it would have been difficult to grasp what today’s technological landscape would look like. There are constantly new, innovative technology solutions emerging that are not just changing the way we work, but the ways we think and live. The developments are exciting, and that excitement and expectation, those new ways of working and living, are a huge driver for change.
• Optimising Efficiency
No one wants to spend all of their time working. It’s a means to an end – to make more money, to be more successful, to make an impact and leave a legacy. And if we can do more, make more, be more with less time and effort, that is optimising efficiency. Technology, the right technology, can help you do just that, and see you living a more fulfilling and meaningful life, spent with the people who mean the most to you. That’s why our purpose at Solid Systems is to further human connection, to make a difference in people’s lives. And digital transformation is just one way we accomplish this.
• Meeting Increasing Demands
As technology advances, so do expectations. We don’t live and work in a bubble. Technology is being adapted into everyone’s lives in different ways, and the people that you work with, your customers, know about the latest technologies and what they’re capable of, which increases their expectations from your business. They want better service, better value for their money, more from you than what you were previously able to provide. It’s not enough to be just good enough – you need to set yourself apart, be exceptional, and digital transformation can help you achieve that goal.
• Staying Competitive
A key to being successful is staying one step ahead of your competitors. And with advanced technologies becoming ever more accessible and affordable, you can trust that your competition is going to be putting new IT solutions to their advantage. But digital transformation means more than just putting new technology in place. It’s about finding the right solutions that are going to enhance your business and help you to reach and exceed your goals, and boost your competitive advantage.
What Are Some Of The Technologies That Are Leading Digital Transformation?
We’ve answered the question of what is digital transformation and looked at some of the areas that are driving businesses to transform themselves, but some of the biggest drivers are the type and calibre of technologies that are being developed. There are four technology drivers in particular that businesses are discovering the advantages of, and are wanting to integrate into their daily operations:
1. Artificial Intelligence
The past three years have seen immense strides being made in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. From writing emails and social media posts, to creating graphics and images, to analysing huge quantities of data within seconds and providing meaningful insights into the ways your humans work, your market, and your customer base, AI has vast potential to enhance business operations and see people doing more with their time.
2. Cloud Services
Cloud computing was taking off well before the COVID pandemic of 2020, but a rise in remote and hybrid working has seen the multiple benefits of using cloud services highlighted even further over the past three years. Cloud solutions are allowing humans secure access to the resources they need to work effectively no matter where they are in the world, and no matter what device they may be using, all without compromising your company’s data protection.
3. Security Solutions
As technology advances, so threats to your business become more sophisticated. Companies around the world are needing to boost their security, and are adopting advanced tools like Defender for Microsoft, backup and recovery solutions like Microsoft Azure, and more to ensure their operations can continue uninterrupted even if a disaster strikes in the form of an attack, a data leak, or even natural disasters like flooding, fire, earthquakes, and the dreaded load shedding.
4. Internet Of Things
It’s not just humans that are getting smarter. Objects are too! Your fridge can tell you when you’re out of milk, your vacuum can start itself, your air conditioner can regulate temperature without human interference. The Internet of Things (IoT) is alive and well, and many businesses are using it to automate mundane tasks and free up more time. And the benefits go far beyond your fridge, vacuum and air con. You can use IoT for monitoring data in real-time, proactively maintaining your infrastructure and more. But IoT objects don’t run entirely on their own, and do require careful management to optimise their effectiveness.
Why Is A Digital Transformation Strategy Important?
When most humans think of digital transformation, they picture an immediate change – an overhaul of everything they do, with a steep learning curve attached to it. But digital transformation doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t, happen all at once. It requires careful planning. It can mean analysing the IT services that are available, and finding the right ones that will enhance your existing operations and make your goals more easily achievable, rather than just doing away with the old and ushering in the new. This is why you need an experienced technology partner by your side on your digital transformation journey – to help you design a strategy that speaks to your unique needs.
What Should Be Included In Your Digital Transformation Strategy?
Digital transformation takes careful planning and forethought, and is about so much more than the technologies you use. It’s about planning for the future and building up a company culture that embraces change and technological advancement. An effective digital transformation strategy will include plans for:
• Business Strategy Transformation
Where do you see your business right now, and where could it be in 10 years’ time? What can you do today that will help you to reach that 10 year goal? Where should you be focussing your efforts, and which technologies are available (and affordable) to further those efforts and make those goals more readily achievable?
• Business Operations Alignment
Once you have a transformation strategy in place for enhancing your business, and you have set goals for the next one, three, five and 10 years, it’s time to look at your operations and where they need to be adjusted to ensure that everyone, from your CEO, to your finance team, to your support staff, have a deep understanding of their role in helping you achieve those goals.
• Adoption Of An Agile Approach To Technology
Transformation can be a long process, and one with a good deal of trial and error. This is why you need to take an agile approach which allows for change and experimentation with new solutions. This will help you to find the right IT services which work best for your unique needs more quickly. Having a process in place for trying out new solutions will also help you to build up a culture of transformation and improvement.
• Your Flexible Technology Core
Some new technologies are going to be adopted as part if your digital transformation, but not everything needs to be switched out. Having a core technology suite at the heart of your business, like Microsoft for example, will help you to make the most of new solutions without as steep of a learning curve. It can be the foundation of transformation, allowing for integration of new technologies, while still keeping your core operations functioning effectively.
• Technology Adoption, Growth And Learning
Adoption can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks when it comes to change. Making sure that your humans buy into the goal behind your digital transformation, understand their role in furthering your business, and see the benefits in how new technologies can improve their lives, will go a long way towards boosting adoption. By incorporating a growth mindset into your company culture and transformation strategy, and focusing on training your teams and helping them to upskill themselves, you can not only bring your humans onboard with your planning more effectively, but can also boost talent retention and ensure that new hires are adopted into your company in the right way.
How Can Solid Systems Help You On Your Digital Transformation Journey?
At Solid Systems, we have been helping businesses to step into the future with confidence through digital transformation for the past two decades. When you work with us as a technology partner, you are investing in more than just cutting-edge IT solutions and exceptionally human IT support. You are partnering with a company that is focused on your growth, on strategic technology planning that has meaningful results, and on empowering you and the humans that are part of your business to do more, be more and make more.
If you are a business with 20 or more employees and this sounds like the kind of partnership that you need, then do not hesitate to schedule your free IT consult. We cannot wait to meet you.