Digital transformation is high on the business agenda. Some enterprises are closing in on mass digitisation across their processes and technologies, others are earlier in their journeys.
Together they assess what makes transformation projects a success, look at digital services in society in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and also outline the extent to which businesses are likely to digitise in the future.
Mike opens with the perspective that most large-scale digital transformation projects would have had a three-to-five-year project plan prior to the pandemic, but Covid-19 has accelerated this journey.
What is digital transformation?
Previously transformation might have been determined by turning a paper-based process such as signing contracts into a digital process. In the last year this has come to cover anything related to remote working and virtualising the workplace, with the emphasis on securely accessing applications hosted on the cloud.
Because of this rapid turnaround, businesses have done what they can with the tools and resources they have had at their disposal. Thanks to technology and innovations from vendors, even those business owners that were previously apprehensive have embraced digital transformation and thrived.
Looking beyond the enterprise, examples include restaurants offering app-ordered takeaway services, online retailers and other public services enabled by digitisation.
What makes digital transformation projects a success?
Digital transformation clearly means different things to different organisations, but however, a company defines it when it comes to ensuring it’s successful, having a team with vision and a clear understanding of how the technology will evolve is essential.
Comprehensive planning involving the entire team and targeted execution will allow transformation to be driven forward, but it’s important to acknowledge that it will take time and effort.
The pair then talk about how the drive will continue towards more digitised processes and AI-driven decision making and ultimately it’s important to look at the difference between digital transformation and digitisation.
The former takes an existing process and converts it to the digital world, while the latter is about shifting things to meet the needs of the next evolution of digital technology. Transformation is finite, but digitisation will continue infinitely.
The Future of Digital Transformation
When discussing what the future holds, there will always be some sectors for which digital transformation has limits. Government documentation, for example, is challenging because the digital fingerprint is everlasting.
However, as Mike concludes, for most enterprises, a collective drive to execute on a plan with the necessary people, processes, systems and budget, will continue to propel digital transformation forward at pace.
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