Many companies rushed to digitise their customer interactions and supply chain processes during the pandemic, but they are still yet to take full advantage of the potential gains of the digital technology at their disposal.
SoGlos spoke to award-winning provider of IT support and consultancy, Optimising IT, about how improving processes, tasks and tools, as well as embracing emerging technologies can pay dividends for an organisation.
About the expert – Todd Gifford, chief technology officer at Optimising IT
Specialising in all things cyber, Todd Gifford is an ISO27001 lead auditor with CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) certification and more than 20 years’ experience in IT – including seven at Optimising IT.
Through his blogs, he is regularly invited to join in panel discussions on the latest cyber security trends and is ideally placed to advise businesses on best practice.
Why is it important to embrace new technology and what is the goal of digital transformation?
Adopting new technology can lead to material change in efficiency, increased productivity and profitability for an organisation – as well as new products and services.
Couple this with changing customer behaviours and expectations, and it has the ability to truly transform any organisation.
Why was the pandemic a watershed moment for digital transformation?
Many organisations have permanently changed their working practices, with homeworking, working hours and new ways of working now firmly embedded.
The pandemic accelerated 20 years of changes in working practices and consumer behaviour almost overnight.
Employee expectations of modern technology, flexible working and the tools to allow them to work as they see fit, have all added to the pressures businesses face to modernise.
However, when we surveyed 200 businesses in the Southwest on flexible working, 50 per cent still hadn’t modernised their technology and working practices to unlock the potential of digital transformation.
What problems does digital transformation seek to solve?
Digital transformation doesn’t necessarily seek to solve specific issues in the first instance, its primary value lies in unlocking previously untapped potential across products, services and operational capability.
Digital modernisation focuses on replacing legacy systems with modern equivalents. This can also lead to improved operational efficiency and operational capability, but is less likely to completely transform and end to end business process, service or product.
Who stands to benefit?
If you can deliver benefits to your customers, this will in turn deliver improved benefits for the business, its stakeholders and employees.
How does digital transformation apply to businesses of different sizes?
The type and scale of any transformation differs between organisations, as does the underlying technology that will support that change.
Larger businesses don’t tend to be able to change at the same pace as smaller organisations due to the number of stakeholders, the sign-off processes and the time required to inform customers of changes.
A constant, however, is the use of skilled and experienced external resources to help define those objectives, detail requirements and deliver the technology platforms needed to enable the changes.
What outcomes have you achieved for companies?
Most users of cloud-based platforms, like Office 365, only use 15-20 per cent of the available functionality. We have helped organisations utilise the full capability of their existing systems to maximise value, while completing thousands of full transformations including:
• Modernising cyber security and staff awareness training, including Cyber Essentials, Cyber Essentials Plus and ISO27001.
• Staff digital enablement.
• Full cloud migrations.
• Digital reporting – reducing manual overhead in finance and operational departments using Power BI.
• Reducing risk with back-up and disaster recovery capability for SME organisations and enterprises.
• Reducing downtime and lost productivity.
• Enabling efficiency through automation, allowing staff to focus on value added activities.
What are the steps involved?
• Analysis. Understanding where you are in detail, across people, process and technology.
• Identifying opportunities.
• Planning and delivering change.
• Measuring the results.
• Starting over – continual improvement is fundamental to maximise the benefits of any programme for change.
What makes it a collaborative process?
Simplicity, trust and respect are fundamental to the way we work with our customers to achieve their goals.
We work collaboratively with our customers and are open and transparent about the ‘why’ in all of our technology and process recommendations.
Understanding our customers’ organisations, drivers, objectives and constraints – in context with the desired objectives of any change – enables us to work collaboratively.