Digital Transformation, What’s the Big Fuss?

As the name suggests, Digital Transformation is the use of technologies to fundamentally change the way an organisation delivers its products and services to its customers.  The end goal is to produce a step-change in results for the organisation.

 At first glance, this sounds like it should be a natural progression of a company’s business cycle, right?  So why is there so much urgency and priority placed on digital transformation projects Today?

 I put it down to the big disruptors in recent times, Airbnb, Uber, Netflix, and the like.  They have all used technologies, that have low-cost entry points, to shake up the way we consume traditional products.  In their wake is a trail of destruction, as long-standing businesses struggle to survive or go out of business.  It seems that no industry is safe.  Recently I heard of a company using a 3D printer to construct a house.  Material waste has been reduced to nil and delivery times of goods now dependent on the output of the printer.  Looks like the building industry is in for a shake up.

 There is a real and distinct shift in the way business leaders now think about technologies and the relevance to their industry vertical.  In other words, they are asking themselves “is my industry exposed to a Taxi – Uber-style of threat?” and so we have nervous business managers not wanting to be the next victim, leading to Digital Transformation projects popping up en-mass.  Technology is clearly seen as the differentiator by businesses these days and I.T. is the new superstar of the office after being labelled the geek for so long.

 Okay, so now we’re all thinking let’s get my business digitally transformed before the next Uber sends us broke! 

 Unfortunately, it is not as simple as it sounds.  Going through digital transformation is different for each business.  It is not a one size fits all approach.

 So here lies the challenges for business leaders:  The choices are endless; big data and data analytics; embracing social media; taking on IoT; living and breathing the cloud; developing a mobile app; converging infrastructure; or a complete tech refresh.  Businesses need to select wisely as these projects can be costly and consume the organisation’s resources.

 Digital transformation is more than changing the technology within your 4 walls.  This is about transforming the entire organisation.  Consider the following table:

 

Business Realm Traditional Digital
People Focus is on cost Focus is on talent and the ideas
Project Approach Predominantly Waterfall Agile and speed to market
IT Function Siloed and autonomous Integrated to business as much as possible
Tech Partners Process driven system integrators Smaller, nimble, niche players able to drive
Technologies Established tried and true Emerging and innovative technologies

The challenge for Companies:  They need to identify the business domains and activities that would most benefit from rapid digitisation and act quickly.

 

Are you ready to take the leap of faith before you are Ubered?  Give Starboard IT a call.  We pride ourselves in getting to know you and your business.

If you’re looking for consultancy services for your next project contact Starboard IT to find out what we can do for you.