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A Lesson In Digital Transformation

Some of us learned it the hard way; a rapid increase in agility without compromising users’ security and productivity is easier said than done.

In our current situation, an organization that already went through its digital transformation certainly didn’t struggle as much to transition to a remote work environment than one still using legacy software and modelled on an obsolete and rigid structure. Let’s be honest: this isn’t exactly the best time to update software and upgrade hardware.

Many system administrators and business managers are now facing the dire consequences of having neglected their IT spending for years.

But let’s focus on what CIO.com identifies as the three principles of a digital transformation:

Business Model

Digital transformation opens the door to new opportunities and a globalized market.

Operational Processes

Workers in a digitally transformed organization can be offered more flexibility and can be more productive. The organisational performance is easier to manage while the processes and interconnected and simplified.

Customer Experience

Digital transformation improves customer experience by unifying the backend of its multi-channel service. Well established KPIs will help better understand the client, while the experience as a whole will translate into increased revenues.

So the benefits are clear. But why now more than ever?

Adding Value in a Time of Crisis

Right now, organizations rely on well-allocated IT resources that allow them to maintain their position with their clients. IT personnel must concentrate on projects that make it easier for clients to access products or services, allow for reliable KPIs, and meet the needs of different business units.

IT plays a strategic role within organizations. Whether it supports product and service marketing or operations, IT has become the go-to method of increasing the competitiveness of an organization. Why, then, focus your efforts on maintaining obsolete systems in a time of crisis?

Your IT should serve four purposes:

  1. Support your contingency plans
  2. Support emergency communication
  3. Organize systems in a way that they can provide performance indicators
  4. Support business initiatives that benefit from market opportunities.

Increasing Organizational Agility

Why I mean by agility is the capacity organizations must have to slipstream their movements and modifications to their strategic plan. This agility is manifested through a variety of modern tools crating interconnections and bridges that facilitate the flow of data between systems and improve business intelligence.

When we are required to act quickly, attempting to consolidate our entire software infrastructure is unrealistic. If the data infrastructure wasn’t a priority before, it cannot become one in the middle of a crisis.

The same principle applies to development platforms: when they’re built on standard, scalable and open infrastructures, they allow for more agility when the situation calls for it.

This is why the Software as a Service (SaaS) model is one of the most promising way to achieve a transformation. By relying on SaaS, many redundant layers of management are eliminated. It is then easier to focus on business processes to allow systems to communicate and evolve quickly.

If switching to remote work is challenging for your organization, it might be because it lacks in organizational and technological agility.

Preserving Liquidity

It is well known that a major benefit of switching to “as a service” models is the ability to preserve capital for more strategic projects and core competencies that help develop your strategic plan.

Having cash available and stretching IT expenses through time (in the form of monthly payments) offers a unique advantage during a crisis. On the other hand, the half million dollars recently invested in brand new equipment used at 60% to 80% capacity throughout its useful life may not be such a great idea, considering cash is urgently needed to keep your business operating.

IT as a pay as you go service allows your organization to pay gradually and scale up or down according to its needs. In a situation where saving cash is key, it is crucial to get rid of any and all billing for resources you do not need and reallocate the funds elsewhere.

Speaking of scaling down, a digitally transformed organization can lower its consumption by simply shutting down services or removing subscriptions.

Designing with Security in Mind

When faced with an unprecedented crisis, it is too late to start securing networks, peripherals, data and user behaviour. However, it is much easier for a digitally transformed organization to face such challenged because its posture is based on an architecture designed with security in mind. The security of its users has already been considered when deploying remote work tools. If it needs to scale, software replication makes it possible to add resources rapidly without compromising security.

As for SaaS, the security of the infrastructure and platform is taken care of by the solution provider, leaving you with only accesses and identities to manage.

Unfortunately, many learned all this the hard way. A digital transformation can help organizations from the public or private sectors overcome a crisis and meet their business goals.

Let’s start working on yours.