Insight from Philip White, Managing Director, Audacia.
Digital transformation has become the latest buzzword bandied around boardrooms and, perhaps, has been built up into something far more intangible than it needs to be. Quite simply, digital transformation is the continual deployment of new technology to meet changing business and customer needs.
Buzzword or not, it doesn't have to be a scary process. It can simply be an approach to improving business by implementing modern technology. Rather than viewing it as one large-scale project with wide-scale implications and interruptions, digital transformation should be a constant and measured pursuit of technological improvement. We all know that technology is developing at pace, so one of the key shifts in thinking is to consider improvement as continuous and not just a fixed-term project.
This could be implemented by the creation of a relatively straightforward platform to enable teams across multiple locations to work effectively and efficiently or be wholesale changes to legacy systems that have been propped up for too long and are now having a negative impact on operations. Even if it's the latter, this can still be broken down into manageable chunks to ensure smooth development.
Ultimately, digital transformation is being driven by the expectations of every individual that engages with a business, from customers to employees. Businesses that fail to innovate now will face a very real competitive disadvantage in the future--technological progress is commercial progress. Businesses that succeed have a long-term vision for improvement, aligned with its long-term goals of the organisation.
Too many businesses see innovation as a side project as opposed to one that could genuinely improve the overall day-to-day operations and instead are hiring "heads of innovation" that have no real power in the organisation.
We have also seen attitudes change at a board level, with technology moving from a supporting framework for operations to be a tool for real competitive advantage.
With these changes in attitudes...