Increasingly, large number of organizations will be hearing, talking or getting involved into ‘Digital Transformation’ projects. What is Digital really? There are no definite answers, but the key to understanding how it differs from what gets referred to IT would be to understand some changes which have occurred in the technology space over the past decade or so.
Here is a list of some, if not all, the factors which have caused changes in the tech working and thinking scene.
Companies and individuals using tech have realised the effectivity of open source from both a personal and enterprise point of view. Individuals contribute to open-source repositories not just because they love the art of tech and to solve real-life problems but also to enhance their profile in the job and professional scene. Companies use open source as one of the areas to find prospective solutions or enhancements to their core products and also as one-off tools to help their internal processes. This makes them keen to contribute to the open-source. Creating a culture of contributing to open source also helps motivate internal teams as the individuals get to be abreast with the latest in tech and methodologies and feel good that their company is supporting them in this.
Cloud has been here for a while now and has largely changed the way companies choose to function. It has changed the way software is distributed and used. There are now well-known companies who internally use google’s G-suite to power their email and regularly used apps. Unless your staff works in an area where there is an unreliable internet connection, then it is about time to evaluate which software you really need on your machine. Also with the advent of Office-365, Office which has been a key application for many offices, has become a subscription software. It is no longer the case of buying once and using for a few years – even past the support date. It has moved from cap-ex to cash-flow (or annual expenditure). It is well worth evaluating if using software on your machines, storing on servers and backing them up is still worth the hassle.
Agile is about iteratively building something, validating it and improving it, in small measurable chunks. A large number of companies are working in this manner not only to build solutions but also their thinking. This can help build a competitive advantage by using the agile mindset to quickly evaluate processes and systems and retain the ones which work for the organization.
This is about building systems out of generic components which are available to download as open source and also building products which will readily integrate with other systems. This focus on integration is right from the design phase and not an afterthought anymore. No wonder you see a lot of SaaS applications which are now like platforms and have a multitude of apps which enhance the usage of the core application and make it even more convenient for the user to do related tasks.
Collaboration has become another cornerstone in the Digital way or working. With companies implementing collaboration tools just to facilitate this. Collaboration is not just meant for internal – within the department or company – but also collaborating external companies which provide tools or services to enhance your services. The business advantage of following this is to be able to use best-of-breed/niche solutions which can dramatically increase the productivity and perception of the offering.
Example, a company using “AI for generating requirements” working with another company which uses “AI for custom software development”. Together they perfectly complement each other giving their clients the best outcome which wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.
It is important to note here, that email is not a collaboration tool. (It is more for communication). Collaboration tools help in real-time and non-real-time discussions and decision making which move projects ahead faster rather than getting stuck in email spaghetti.
For businesses, the end goal of using all these is to grow the business, deliver new and innovative value-adds and improve the overall experience for both customers and internal team.
It’s important to note that all these points are not just limited to tech companies but also to companies who offer services in the physical world – example a business I know in the gardens/landscaping field sends before-and-after pictures of the gardens to their clients. This creates a great value-add for them. You to can effectively find such value-adds by pondering on the points mentioned here.
What about you? Are you wondering how digital can improve your business? Or if it can?
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Are you hearing Digital a lot? Or shying away from it? If yes why? We’d love to hear from you.