Digital transformation is a process that all businesses have to undergo at some point.
If handled correctly it can deliver a combination of improved operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
However, it would be unwise to overlook the additional expenses that are also involved, as to do so might give you a rose-tinted view of what lies in store.
To balance this out, here’s an overview of just a few of the costs you will have to bear as you migrate to a digital-first approach to running a company.
Frequently forgotten about yet undeniably essential, the ongoing costs of maintaining your technological resources and dealing with downtime disasters have to be included in your cost calculations when planning for digital transformation.
Some organizations choose to handle these responsibilities in-house, which obviously leads to increased staffing costs.
However, it is equally possible to outsource this to third-party IT professionals, giving you peace of mind regarding the resilience of your hardware and software infrastructure without the high asking price.
It is better to work with a provider that is local to you, as remote support may not be enough to quickly counteract outages.
For example, using IT support services based in San Francisco is sensible for companies on the west coast, rather than hiring IT professionals who are halfway around the world and unable to perform on-site visits.
Even with the rise of cloud computing and the benefits that this brings in terms of freeing businesses from the need to run servers in-house, there are still cost considerations associated with procuring hardware when digitizing your business.
One talking point is whether or not you choose to equip employees with work laptops and smartphones or allow them to make use of personal devices, which has the potential to lower costs but does introduce security vulnerabilities as well.
There is also the question of planning ahead for the inevitable need to upgrade business-owned hardware in years to come.
You don’t want a lack of planning to leave you hamstrung by devices and solutions that aren’t capable of keeping up with the demands of your growing organization.
As with IT support, you can outsource many of these strategic considerations to third parties, with consultants often advising commercial clients on the ideal way to adopt, use and upgrade their hardware ecosystem over time.
As mentioned earlier, more and more businesses are making use of cloud-powered software today, rather than relying on locally installed programs that are locked to specific devices.
Modern cloud software has the upper hand in terms of flexibility and scalability, as well as meaning that your business doesn’t need to worry about keeping it up to date, rolling out patches, or quashing security concerns.
The downside is that there is a price to pay, and whereas in the past you might have purchased a license for the software you need once and used it indefinitely, in the cloud you will have to pay an ongoing subscription to continue accessing mission-critical apps and services.
Weighing your options, comparing prices, and knowing which software to run in the cloud and which to keep local is the key to conquering this conundrum.
We have touched on security matters already, but it bears repeating that digitizing your assets leaves them vulnerable to malicious third-party intervention if they are not properly protected.
In addition to investing in adequate cyber security solutions to keep your business safe, you will also need to train employees in the proper use of these services so that they are not the weak link.