So, how’s your digital transformation going?
If your immediate reaction is that you don’t have a digital transformation underway you may want to reconsider, since every one of your competitors are going digital.
You’ve Already Had Many Digital Transformations!
There’s a popular misconception that digital transformation is something new. We have been doing business transformation for years. We strive to get better, better flows, better processes, better outcomes. The only difference now is we have really cool tools to do it with.
What you’re really changing in a digital transformation is how you and your people use technology to work better, faster, more efficiently, and more enjoyably. Digital transformation is more about you than it is about technology.
Think back to when mobile phones first came out. The first call was made in 1973, albeit on a hefty handheld device at that time, but it was during the 1990’s that they became much smaller, much more widely available, and really popular.
The phone calls you made were pretty much the same as they were on your wireline phone, but some things had changed. You made phone calls from places other than your office. You didn’t worry as much about missing calls because you always had your phone with you. Instead of waiting to get back to the office before you followed up on the promises you just made in a meeting you started as soon as you were out the door. You, you, you. You changed. Yes, the technology changed, but the more important changes were in how you used the technology.
Not long after the mobile phone began gaining wider acceptance, everyone started transforming how they ran their businesses by putting the new World Wide Web to use across the internet.
Then there were the big changes you could not imagine making, like the introduction of cloud computing. Initially many people were concerned about security, delay, or lack of control. Over the past few years, however, most everyone sees that cloud computing is far more agile, cost effective, and even more secure than most on-premises company networks. They’re glad they don’t have to worry about their own hardware anymore, or their own operating expenses.
There’s Nothing to Be Afraid Of
Some people approach the idea of digital transformation with trepidation. Perhaps they’re concerned it will be expensive. Or they’ll have a hard time learning the new technologies. Perhaps they’re not certain how to get started.
Given that you’ve already done many digital transformations, you should already be realizing there’s nothing to be afraid of.
How to Launch Your Next Digital Transformation
Any digital transformation occurs at the nexus of people, processes, and tools. People wanting to execute those processes better than they already do, typically need new and better tools to help them achieve new efficiency, new effectiveness, and increased job satisfaction.
The very first thing to do is to start thinking of it simply as a business transformation. What processes do you feel most need improvement? Which of your people is in deepest need of new and better tools? Ask yourself how you can transform the way you do business into a whole new paradigm of work enabled by new technologies. It’s not so much what the technology is, it’s what it enables you to do that’s important.
Once you’ve developed a target list of the business operations and functions you feel would benefit most from transformation, the next step is to determine what available technologies could help you accomplish that.
How Do You Know What Technologies Are Available?
You already know that new technologies are constantly emerging and improving. You already have a full-time job, so how are you going to find time to learn about all of them? You’re not.
This is probably the first and foremost reason companies seek out technology partners to help them with their digital transformation. Their full-time job IS keeping current on all the latest technologies and evaluating which are best for what kinds of companies. Armed with your list of business operations ready for improvement, they can immediately start helping you identify the best, most cost-effective solutions for each process on your list.
Selecting that partner should be approached with the same level of care you employ when seeking legal representation, or financial advice. Your partner needs to be someone you trust to provide you with the best information and decisions based on your specific needs, not a “one-size-fits-all” solution that they happen to be authorized to sell. Your best choice of partner is not a reseller of technology products, they are an expert consultancy with professional engineers and technicians on their team.
Start with Something That Will Benefit Everyone Because Everyone Does It
While different people in your organization perform different processes and tasks, literally everyone needs to communicate to successfully perform their job. It’s the universal tool that everyone must have in their kit.
Communication technologies have been constantly emerging and improving since Alexander Graham Bell told Watson he wanted him. Most recently the changes are more profound than ever. Changes in the bandwidth available to communicate more data types — voice, video, text, telemetry, imagery, and more all travel on your network and across the public internet to other networks. In fact, using the internet may someday eliminate need for a public switch telephone network (PSTN) altogether. No longer will companies need to manage two parallel networks, one for telephony and another for everything else.
In fact, companies can choose today to conduct all intracompany communications between offices, between floors, even between cities and continents, all over their own internet protocol (IP) network without having to pay any additional tolls or tariffs. The only time they’ll interact with the PSTN is when making calls to other organizations that don’t have their communications securely connected to the internet.
Today, these technologies are redefining the ways in which people communicate and collaborate with each other, the very definition of a digital transformation. Users can start out checking to see if the person they want to reach is present on the network. Finding they are, they can begin sending text messages to them. As the conversation goes on, they may decide it would be better to talk with each other. All they do is click and they’re talking. Need to add more of a personal touch to the conversation? They can click and add video. They can also share applications and simultaneously work on documents together. Each user only needsa device with camera, microphone, and speakers, or a headset. It could be a computer, a tablet, a smartphone, and they all connect to each other effortlessly.
Speaking of effort, there is no need to hire new staff to install and run this kind of system. Simply open a subscription for each user to Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS). All the servers, storage, connections, and interfaces to services are managed for you by a UCaaS cloud provider. Today’s UCaaS solutions bring email, fax, messaging, phone, voicemail, video, screen sharing, contact center, conferencing, team collaboration, analytics, and more to every device in your organization securely and efficiently.
And the consistency of operations between all these applications means your training and support costs will be significantly lower than when they each stood alone.
It is projected that a third of the $7.4 Billion that will be spent this year on digital transformation is being spent on UCaaS. Beyond that, the immediate benefit enjoyed by every person in your organization will dramatically improve your ability to win buy-in and adoption for your next digital transformation, and your next.
The Strategic Goal of Digital Maturity
In earlier times many companies saw information technology (IT) as a pure expense with no available return. A cost of operations. A cost of doing business.
Much has changed over the past few decades and perhaps the biggest digital transformation companies are experiencing is their progression along the “digital maturity” model, a construct that illustrates how companies may start out using technology ad hoc, wherever its needed, without much planning. Then they begin to achieve some economies by standardizing on some processes between departments or divisions. As they continue, IT becomes part of the fabric of their business operations. Finally, at the far-right top of the maturity chart the company is leveraging technologies as a strategic competitive advantage, keeping them ahead in their markets and contributing directly to the bottom line.
Select Your Best Guide
Every great journey begins with a roadmap. You can’t get where you’re going when you don’t know where that is!
Select your guide, your “Sherpa”, based on their knowledge of business processes, technology tools, and the needs of people. Packet Fusion has been bringing these three key elements together for clients for many years.
Contact us today for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-292-6005
As CEO of Packet Fusion, Matt sets the tone and vision for our company and our customers. His 20+ years in telephony gives him a deep understanding of unified communications and collaboration technology. He is an engaging presenter and has a knack for breaking down the often over complicated VoIP technologies into plain and simple English. Outside of PFI, Matt’s happy place is on the golf course or on a bike ride with his daughters.