How Digital Transformation Can Change Your Business
When planning for digital transformation, there are four important realities to address: business/IT alignment is key (getting to the convergence between business and IT, focusing on similar objectives and NOT ignoring the role of IT). There’s a deep, common DNA within most digital leaders that drives their digital transformation strategy and, in doing so, the path to successful digital transformation reveals many commonalities (even when individual perspective matters). A third reality is that digital transformation requires ongoing monitoring and control. And finally, there is the fourth reality…that any successful digital transformation process will involve at least four key elements.
Let’s start with the first two realities. The first – and most obvious – is that digital technologies must be aligned with one another. This drives the second aspect of this important component of the digital transformation strategy: aligning digital technologies with one another requires getting down to the basics. Consider a situation where IMAP and POP3 are the email technologies most commonly used by your organization. If those are the technologies you use most frequently, but which are not synchronized, then your process is in trouble.
Simply put: The IMAP protocol should be synchronized with the SMTP protocol for all your mail applications. If you’ve ever used Microsoft Outlook or other email client software, you’ll know how easy it is – and how frustrating – to get email addresses from one application to another. The reason for this problem lies in how these two technologies are not tightly coupled with each other, which makes them harder to update.
By the way, “not-fully-tied” doesn’t mean “unable” updating – just that it needs some effort on your part. For example, you may not want to update IMAP while MS Exchange is in offline mode. The best approach is to start the IMAP/SMTP transformation process with one application (typically MS Outlook), then determine what you really need from the other (Exchange or another email application). Then do the updates in those programs.
This same approach applies to other digital transformation strategies, as well. For example, mobile apps are becoming a major business focus these days. Many companies are creating hybrid mobile apps that work seamlessly with their existing business software. In order to keep up with the pace of a fast-paced business environment, digital transformation experts are coming up with solutions that make it easy to stay in touch.
One example: If you’re the owner of a business that offers mobile content creation tools, such as photo editing or video creation software, but you also need to use your phone to send video clips to clients or friends, you might want to consider using an internet application for video calling. Instead of getting your business entirely wiped out by the need to upgrade all the hardware, just add a couple of mobile devices and a web browser (or even multiple browser windows) to your existing system – and immediately start making calls. How is this different than setting up a web site with email, marketing, and sales capabilities? For one thing, those tasks are more complex – and they involve having your business hosted on a server elsewhere, rather than being hosted locally on a laptop/PC.
Digital transformation experts are also looking to streamline processes that are less important to consumers (for example, discounts and specials that only last a certain amount of time). Instead of working to find a way to make products available over the internet, why not create the products in house? Why not get rid of the need for store fronts and instead offer customers a digital download of whatever it is they want to download. After all, even the most basic digital files are easy to transfer digitally, even in bulk. Why reinvent the wheel when you have dozens of similar products already available? Just make them accessible and you’re done.
Digital transformational change is always changing. Businesses need to stay on top of these changes, so that they can successfully adapt as the market changes and grows. But the biggest trend in business right now is mobile and wireless – so you need to be able to use that to your advantage! Your digital transform process should start with the ability to convert documents and communications – to help your business move forward and keep up with new trends.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.