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8 Key Benefits of Digital Transformation
In this blog, we'll discuss several key s benefits of digital transformation and how they can positively impact your ...
In this blog, we'll discuss several key s benefits of digital transformation and how they can positively impact your organization's business. Whether you're a large or enterprise-sized organization, performing a digital transformation can take time, and resources and cost a significant amount of money. To realize a return on this investment, it's essential to know more about digital transformation and why an organization might embark on an exercise like this.
What Problems Does Digital Transformation Solve?
If you take a step back from the details involved in any kind of digital transformation project, think about the main things that a digital transformation is trying to solve.
- Technology sprawl. Whether your business is a large organization that has grown organically, or acquired multiple other companies, if you did a software and application audit, you might have dozens of products. Some of these are probably only able to run on specific devices or devices with a specific configuration. It becomes a complex, tangled web when a full audit of this kind is done in many large organizations. Doing one or more digital transformation projects could help consolidate applications into a few products and help with having the ability to use those applications on many different hardware and operating system platforms.
- Business agility. Sometimes moving to a new software application during a digital transformation is triggered because the new software has new features that will help your organization get ahead of your competitors. Sometimes the new, consolidated platforms will mean that your organization can react more quickly to activities that are seen in competitor organizations. Both of these are examples of performing a digital transformation to get more business agility now and in the future.
- Effectiveness and efficiency. Many organizations have multiple software systems to achieve the same results or perform the same tasks. Going through a digital transformation exercise to consolidate or completely replace multiple systems with a new one will help with the effectiveness and efficiency of the users of those systems.
- Compliance. Many organizations need to perform eDiscovery activities from time to time. Having data in many, many different systems makes this more challenging. Consider also that some large organizations still have legacy PST files in the environment. Performing a digital transformation exercise to remove things like PST files helps with compliance issues.
- Reduce risk. Many older software systems may no longer receive regular maintenance, security, and support updates, which puts your organization at risk. By going through a digital transformation exercise and modernizing systems, you'll be helping to reduce the risk exposure of your business.
What is Expected From a Digital Transformation?
Each digital transformation project that we've seen customers embark on has had different expectations. It's hard to generalize them all down to just one theme, but here is what we think:
A digital transformation project can be expected to review, analyze and determine the usefulness of the information in the short, medium, and long term for a business. It will review similar data across potentially multiple data silos and determine a future course of action for the data, whether that's consolidating data into fewer systems or changing/migrating the data into a new system or application.
In the end, it's only by doing due diligence across the users of the data that an organization has gathered can true information be gleaned, and then ultimately a decision can be made about the future direction of that data.
What is The Key Benefit of Digital Transformation?
As we'll see later in this article, there are many potential benefits of a digital transformation project for you and your business. There may be nuances from industry to industry, and the benefits of digital transformation in manufacturing may be different from the advantages of digital transformation in financial services. However, if there is one critical benefit, it is this:
To transform data into valuable information to assist the business with its goals
What does that mean?
The answer is that it means slightly different things to different organizations, but essentially that's the key purpose and benefit of a digital transformation in banking, healthcare, or anywhere else.
Storing data for the long term just for the sake of storing the data doesn't help any organization. Instead, the key benefit of a digital transformation project is determining how that data is used, why it's kept, how long it should be kept (potentially ensuring that data is expired properly when its usefulness has run out), and who needs to use that data.
What is The Purpose of Digital Transformation?
Any digital transformation project probably has several goals. Ultimately though, the main purpose is to stop and think about what data the company needs to keep, how it's accessed, who accesses it, and how long the data holds business value. As mentioned in the previous section, keeping data'' too long'' could be harmful to a company in some situations, so expiring the data at the right time is just as important as storing it and having it accessible to the users of the data.
Seven More Potential Benefits From Enterprise Digital Transformation:
As well as the critical, key benefit of digital transformation, you and your organization might be going through a digital transformation to:
Remove Old Versions of Systems
For example, you might have multiple legacy email archiving systems such as Enterprise Vault, Quest Archive Manager or similar, and you're going through a digital transformation project to migrate that data into Office 365. Those are specialties that Cloudficient can help you with. Find out more here.
Large organizations grow both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. This can lead to the organization as a whole having multiple systems performing the same, or very similar tasks. A digital transformation exercise allows you to consolidate those systems. Perhaps you'll start using one of the systems, train end-users and migrate data from other systems, or you might choose to use an entirely new system to replace them all.
Remove Data That Has Low Business Value
Global organizations can be impacted by legislation and rules in many different geographies. That aside, we often see that organizations are storing significant amounts of data that has no business value. For example, advertisements from 5 years ago, out-of-office messages, and more. With a thorough review of this data as part of a digital transformation project, an organization might discover these pockets of data and remote them.
Cost reductions come from multiple directions as part of a digital transformation project. It could be cost savings in terms of licensing – a newer product, or a consolidation of products could lead to lower licensing costs. It could be cost savings relating to the reduction of hardware – when old systems are retired.
Sometimes reducing cost is a primary factor in performing a digital transformation project, sometimes it's a large beneficial side-effect. In your next digital transformation project, consider the cost savings that you might make for your organization.
Have Easier System Maintenance
After a digital transformation, you might benefit from easier system maintenance in several ways. Perhaps you performed a cloud migration and are now about to retire on-premise legacy hardware and software. Maybe you've simplified the on-premise requirements of certain applications meaning that maintenance times are shorter or eliminated altogether.
Make Training And Education Simpler And Quicker
Having many different systems in an organization can lead to training and education headaches. A simpler, cloud-native application might mean fewer training requirements for your employees.
Having an integrated technology stack can help to automate previously manual tasks, and with the data being easily shared across systems, it can streamline processes and increase efficiency and productivity.
Future Proof The Organization
A digital transformation project that moves some data into a cloud-native application helps with business agility and gives your organization the edge to embrace new technologies in the future. Moving away from legacy systems that don't interoperate with other systems well, are hard to maintain, and have high system maintenance costs, helps with the organizational load in the upkeep of those systems.
Challenges Of A Digital Transformation Project
Taking on a digital transformation project is never easy. Whether you are a small company or a large enterprise company, you may still experience some or all of these potential challenges.
Lack of IT Skills
To make the digital transformation a success, you need to have a strong IT team driving the project. In a small company, you may not have enough people to dedicate time to this project, and in large companies, they may already be working on other projects or not have the required skills.
Lack of Change Management
The whole company, especially leadership, needs to be fully behind the project for it to be a success. It can be hard to implement new tools, processes, and structures if they have been in place for a long time – this will be made even harder if some people resist the change. You will need to put a plan in place and prepare everyone for the changes and how they will affect them. You should highlight all the benefits of the transition to get people on board.
Lack of Strategy
Many companies talk about digital transformation, but they don't always know what it means for them and what they actually need to do. This is where you need a clear strategy of what the digital transformation project means for the company, what needs to change, what tools are needed, how long it will take, what the budget will be and who will be involved. You also need to ensure that all departments are on the same page and ultimately have the same goals and priorities for the project.
Things To Think About Before Starting a Digital Transformation Project
Identify The Key Friction Points For Employees And Customers
Employees and customers should be top of mind when planning any digital transformation project. What are the key issues they are facing? How will the digital transformation help them? If you cannot answer these key questions, you may not be ready to start the project.
Identify a Budget
Before the project can start, it will need to be approved, and for that to happen, you will need to have a budget in place. Part of working out the budget is figuring out what solution changes need to happen.
Can you use existing solutions? Do you need to purchase new solutions? Will you need to hire someone new to oversee the solutions? Will you need to train employees on the new solutions?
All of these factors need to be considered when determining the budget required for the transformation project.
Identify a Timeframe
You will also need to estimate how long the project will take. This will depend on various factors. If new solutions need to be purchased, that will require time to evaluate the options, buy the solution, implement the solution, and train employees. There may also be process changes that need to be discussed, planned, and executed.
Develop a Strategy
Before you start this huge digital transformation, you need a clear vision of the project, what you want to achieve, how you will achieve it, and what the end goal is. You need to plan how you will carry out the transformation. Who will be involved, what tools will be required, how much will it cost, and how long will it take? You need to have answers to all of these before you start.
Select a Partner
As part of the project, you might decide to work with a partner to help with the project. You should review several companies before deciding to ensure you pick the right partner who understands your requirements, needs, goals, and end state.
Select Your Ecosystem
As part of the digital transformation project, you are likely to need to adopt new technologies and/or update existing technologies. You need to ensure that you pick the right tools and that the necessary ones integrate well with each other.
When selecting the tools, you need to think about the time it will take to get them up and running, will you need to train employees on the tool, or maybe even hire someone new to manage them. Selecting the right technology is very important to ensure the project is a success and does improve efficiency and productivity.
As you've read in this article, there are many benefits of digital transformation for large enterprise organizations, regardless of industry or sector. In fact, many of those types of organizations are actively going through digital transformation exercises on multiple levels. In other words, your organization might be engaged in multiple projects, and when they're finished, there will likely be more.
It's an endless circle that we've explained more about on our digital transformation page (Check it out here).
With unmatched next generation migration technology, Cloudficient is revolutionizing the way businesses retire legacy systems and transform their organization into the cloud. Our business constantly remains focused on client needs and creating product offerings that match them. We provide affordable services that are scalable, fast, and seamless.