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When someone says that they want to digitally transform their business, what do they really mean, why do they want to do it, and how should they approach this “digital transformation” process?
In general terms, digital transformation is applying technology to processes, products, and assets to improve efficiency, enhance customer value, manage risk, and uncover new opportunities for growth. It's a company-specific journey that emphasizes data-driven processing.
Some businesses are moving from legacy systems to the cloud — others have already made the move to the cloud and are working to build strategies to aggregate data and automate processes in a meaningful way. No matter how far along on this journey, most companies have one thing in common: they want more. More customers, more operational efficiency, more alignment of employees to business goals.
For companies that have been around for 20 or 30 years, data-driven processing can be a huge challenge because of legacy, transaction-based systems still in place. While these system have massive amounts of historical information, and likely serve some mission-critical processes — if the systems are siloed from the rest of the business, their value can be significantly diminished.
How can businesses deliver on a digital transformation strategy when such legacy systems are keeping their operations stagnant?
In today’s business world, we’re no longer limited by location, size or access to resources. The need for centralized data and agile systems is more important than ever before. Providing workers and customers with a flexible, cloud-based way of doing business is the first step to achieving digital transformation.
Where to begin?
Conduct a maturity assessment. Evaluate the degree of technology maturity across your organization. Where does each application stand in terms of cloud adoption, virtualization, etc.? Which ones are farther along on the path to digital transformation, which are partially along and which are nowhere?
Forrester has a scorecard to help with the evaluation. An assessment like this should reveal insights about which legacy systems do their work well, with no reason to change them, and which have risks and limitations and should be retired and replaced with modern substitutes.
Software, technical architecture, data and support are the foundations of today's business world. Optimizing operations and creating efficiency are just a couple of the core enablers for a digital roadmap.
Older companies will always be challenged to move as quickly as the digital natives, but, with the right approach and proper planning, the goals of digital transformation are well within their reach.
The bottom line is that technology is transforming the business world and digital transformation is no longer an option.
Are you ready to embark on your digital journey? Contact IT Solutions to get started! Our experienced team of vCIOs, network engineers and application developers are ready to help build a technology road map for you, laying out the foundation for your transformation. Together we'll get you on a path to thrive, today and in the future.