In the fourth and final installment of our Digital Transformation series, we’ll focus on the digital change itself. We’ll cover the impact of the pandemic on this area and look for extra sources for more information.
Digital transformation and intelligent information management
Successful change demands proper attitude, especially when you want to upgrade your business level. Digital transformation is often connected with the Intelligent Information Management (IIM). This termin, described by the company Acambah, means a set of processes that enables organizations to organize, manage and understand all types of data.
IIM, states the company, deals with data: computer files, spreadsheets, databases and emails.
The attributes that define IIM are:
- integration of IP device discovery
- data sharing
- infrastructure databases
- events and alarms
- third-party integration
- automated patching
Digital Adoption focuses on four key elements of IIM. These are rationalizing the information infrastructure, when businesses assess their needs, set out requirements, and implement changes. Then is the process of digitalization and modernization of core elements. Companies must also provide the automation of governance and compliance activities. Finally, there is a matter of leveraging data, analytics, and artificial intelligence in order to extract, understand, and use them to your business’ advantage.
IIM helps set a certain framework for your digital change. On this broadest, meta-level it helps you establish key rules, roles, and areas of the transformation. IIM helps you prepare your business for digital changes and acquire more benefits from the process.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed digital transformation?
There’s this bitter joke, that the COVID-19 pandemic was the main motivator for many businesses to begin digital transformation. To quote McKinsey’s:
In just a few months’ time, the COVID-19 crisis has brought about years of change in the way companies in all sectors and regions do business. According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, their companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years.
Pandemic definitely accelerated changes, but looking closer, we can see the areas of business that has benefited the most from it:
- Remote and hybrid teams – naturally, the biggest impact in that sector was an effect of lockdowns that were introduced in many countries. Turns out, people can work from their homes, shacks, and outside the office. Many employees found this elasticity so tempting and convenient, that they still work in hybrid or completely remote mode. It’s one of the biggest digital changes, as it totally shifts the focus from office tools to online tools.
- Software for the distributed teams – you can’t communicate without proper communicators, apps, and other tools. That’s where the software comes in. Zoom, Slack, Google and Microsoft apps, and BigPicture, of course. There are myriads of tools to help you manage people in different places, continents, and timezones. The evolution of 5G and striving for latency-free communication will naturally strengthen this sector. Fully loaded office space will never be back.
- Cybersecurity – more remote work directly connects with more cyberthreats. The next logical step was a fresh pile of cash sent directly to companies’ cybersecurity departments. This confirms EHL’s report, where we read: During the pandemic, the priorities for cybersecurity within organizations have also shifted. They have transitioned away from providing support during routine tasks and maintaining internal networks towards empowering the remote workforce. Using capabilities such as virtual private networks (VPN) and working to educate and protect employees from scams and attacks that threaten remote workers, those in charge of cybersecurity have quickly pivoted in their work and emphasis.
- User and employee experience – When people spend so much time online they want convenience. Fast-thinking, intuitive apps and websites. More productivity and security for employees, who use well-designed tools in day-to-day work. COVID-19 pandemic revealed many flaws in this area, and companies try to improve not only the end-user experience, but also onboarding of new users and employees. The faster they can start using the tools, the better. No wonder many experts put UX as one of the key areas organizations should focus on during digital change.
- Room for experimentation with digital change – Back to McKinsey report about the COVID-19 impact on digital transformation: one of the key factors to succeed is the environment, that encourages people to experiment and act early. As we read on:
Nearly half of the respondents at successful companies say they were first to market with innovations during the crisis and that they were the first companies in their industries to experiment with new digital technologies. They are also more likely than others to report speeding up the time it takes for leaders to receive critical business information and reallocating resources to fund new initiatives. Both are key aspects of a culture of experimentation.
How to measure ROI on digital transformation?
Where can I learn more?
Digital change is a vast topic. We’ve just spent four articles to describe basic terms, processes, frameworks, and still it’s just a tip of the iceberg. Fortunately, there are many sources you can rely on.
Amazon offers many positions about the topic. From playbooks, to tips, case studies, and reflections on why digital transformations fail, you can easily find sources for every step you are in digital change.
There are plenty of white papers and case studies offered online. We recommend a great McKinsey article about the topic of digital transformation and pandemic. Also, PWC’s and Deloitte’s case studies are a good source about the whole process. And if that’s not enough, there are also online courses about digital transformation. The abundance of sources can help you with digital change at any stage.
That concludes our digital transformation series. Don’t forget that BigPicture apps are a great tool for both digital transformation and transition from Classic (Waterfall) to Hybrid and Agile approaches. It also reduces your time with repeatable, administrative tasks to let you focus on soft management and cooperation with people. The real cornerstone of digital transformation.