While the specific outcomes of each digital transformation will vary based on the unique position of each organisation, the benefits can be grouped into four broad categories:
The organisation can offer new or improved products and services, which were not possible with the previous technologies and operating model of the organisation.
Outcomes are achieved faster, with less effort and cost, alongside the workforce being redirected from lower value tasks like data re-entry to higher value activities like customer service, team collaboration, and innovation.
The customers and the workforce find it quicker, easier, and more convenient to interact with the organisation’s technology and processes. There are also new ways of working and engaging with the organisation that were not previously possible.
Using all of the above, the organisation can remain competitive through ongoing innovation, adaptation, growth, and rapid response to disruption.
While it’s introducing technology that provides many benefits of digital transformation, the additional practices are also very important, as they make an important contribution to selecting, delivering, and embedding these technologies into the organisation. The practices also support the many non-technical changes for people and processes, which required to adapt and improve the organisation through the transformation.
As these practices are used when delivering many other types of solutions, such as Customer Experience and Intelligent Automation, we sometimes refer to them as Shared Practices.
While it’s true that digital transformation is strongly driven by changing the culture and operating model of the organisation, the growth in what has become possible is driven by technology options that continue to emerge and evolve over time. Exactly which technologies an organisation should adopt will depend on their circumstances, but many of the Shared Practices will help to identify and sequence the best technologies for that organisation based on the challenges that resolve and the opportunities they provide. The list of technology types below are common to many digital transformations, as they extend the way in which an organisation can change and evolve.
Commonly associated with virtualised servers and software-as-a-service, cloud technologies encompass a wide range of different capabilities which we cover in more detail on our Cloud Technology solutions page.
They are particularly relevant to digital transformation, as their adoption significantly improves an organisation’s ability to deploy solution changes faster and more frequently, a key contributor to organisational agility outcomes. Cloud-based solutions and infrastructure can also be more robust, with streamlined patching, recovery, and administration, which then allows an organisation to focus their IT staff and partners towards supporting other aspects of the digital transformation.
Early digital transformation efforts were driven by organisations adopting the use of email, scanned/digitised documents, web-based applications, and electronic workflow. The outcome was to reduce the amount of physical paperwork and in-person or by-phone interactions between internal staff, customers, and other partners. Processes could be streamlined or completely redesigned, and in some cases whole new products, services, and operating models could be created.
The current evolution of these technologies brings features that are even more advanced, something we outline further on our Intelligent Automation solutions page. They contribute towards an organisation’s digital transformation by eliminating the risks and delays of using physical paper, streamlining the flow of information and transactions, and improving the experience of customers and staff. They also redirect the organisation’s effort and costs from lower value tasks such as data re-entry towards higher level activities such as customer service and collaborative innovation.
The historical model that informed how business evolved was to start with reviewing the results at the end of each month, quarter, and financial year. Often this also involved manually combining data from different systems and departments to form a more complete view of what was taking place across the organisation, which mean the guiding information was often not available for days or weeks later. As outlined on our Data and Insights solutions page, the speed and sophistication of what is possible has increased across data collection, cross-system aggregation, analysis, and reporting.
For digital transformations, the technologies in this category are providing new capabilities ranging from better real-time support of user-designed ad-hoc queries to sophisticated capabilities supported by machine learning. More importantly, the improved capability to monitor and report in real-time is an essential piece of the organisation measuring the effectiveness of their initiatives and determining where to focus their efforts for further innovation.
Where the internet and web brought application availability and data access to everywhere with an internet connected computer, the capabilities like those described on our Mobile Innovation solutions page have brought access to people wherever they may be.
This capability for customers and staff to interact with solutions from any location, has been a significant element in developing completely different customer experiences and organisational processes. Customers can now transact with the organisation at the time and place they prefer. In addition, management approvals can be made without returning to the office, information can be accessed while staff moving through facilities, mobile vehicle information can be collected in real time, and offline capability provides continued access during periods without coverage.
Organisations are increasingly finding that they are accumulating a large number of non-core solutions that are used only by a small number of internal specialised roles. This can lead to either being a drain on the organisation’s core IT investment or falling into shadow-IT options that pose greater risks in relation to security, continuity, and supportability.
The selective use of low-code and no-code tools and platforms allows the organisation to bring in a shared framework that delivers some control, risk management, and supportability while also redirecting more of the organisation’s IT budget back towards the solutions with a broader usage and bigger impact. These solutions are also positioned across capabilities in cloud, mobile, data, and workflow, which also helps them improving processes and collect additional data into the organisation’s main systems.
The role of other technologies in a digital transformation is driven by the benefits they can bring and the challenges and opportunities they can address. This can vary by organisation, not just in terms of its industry type or size, but also in terms of how it can innovate and discover additional uses in creatively solving challenges.
Newer technologies such as blockchain and the internet of things (IoT) are finding uses in fields such as asset management and vehicle reliability-centre maintenance. While work to improve the data quality on legacy systems that cannot be replaced are improving the reporting and data sharing capabilities of the organisation. Viewing the technology capability of the organisation as complete set of capabilities provides significant benefits to the choices and prioritisation that inform the overall digital transformation strategy.
The team from Diversus bring their experience and expertise from helping many other organisations undergo their digital transformation. As well as helping to select and delivery technology, they can work alongside your own people to provide formal and informal knowledge transfer, further enhancing the development and competency of your own workforce.
Read about our other solutions to find one that best suits your needs.