Transforming digital businesses from the old, conventional ways into new-age technological competent ventures requires elevation and optimization of all involved business resources.
The only thing constant is change. And, no matter what the size of an enterprise is, over the last few decades, businesses across the world have witnessed tremendous changes in the ways they operate and run. One of the major factors influencing this change is, undoubtedly, the technological explosion in all aspects of our lives. From the gigantic machinery that man started out with, the ones with heavy knobs and loud motors, to sleek tablets and microchips with tremendous computing and processing powers, the application of science and technology in businesses has brought about drastic changes, and mostly for the better.
Since technology stepped into businesses, a spike in the production of software, programs, applications, and interfaces all designed exclusively for businesses to collaborate with teams, manage data, and derive insights from sales made, have been flooding the market. Today, we have a new class of businesses called ‘digital businesses’ that heavily rely on the Internet for their everyday functionality. In such an environment, filled with technological fumes, the survival of businesses necessitates transforming digital businesses appropriately.
Transforming digital businesses is not just the adoption of popular technologies in offices and factories. The process requires much more strategizing and analysis than that. Digitization involves an intrinsic change in the framework of a business, by implementing the right kind of technology at the very core of each operation. A methodical approach is adopted to leverage the available technology by seamlessly integrating it with the existing business operations. Furthermore, the transformation is seen more as a cultural change within the organization, improved customer service, and some fundamental alterations in the modus operandi of the company. Transforming digital businesses usually is measured in six stages as follows:
Organizations run on the existing technological approaches, no matter how basic, with the belief that the current situations reflect digital relevance.
Experimentation is carried out, technologies are tried and tested, each focusing on improvising specific touchpoints and processes without any synchronization with each other.
A successful experimentation from the earlier stages now becomes an intentional trial to explore new levels of productivity and capabilities.
A collaborative experiment now takes shape; with teams realizing how individual applications can be put together to build complete systems delivering maximized output.
A successful collaboration leads to the official implementation of the proposed system in the organization, involving a dedicated team of resources.
Now, organizations undergo innovation and welcome new methods to improvise on the technology, with a high executive and a strategic lookout.
Transforming digital businesses, as mentioned above, comes in stages. However, each stage falls under three important factors determining the success of the experimentation. No matter how large or small the proposed digital transformation is, it is always influenced by the freedom for innovation in the organization, the knowledge of the workforce deployed on a project, and finally the effective management of the newly adopted technology and resources:
A favorable environment for innovation is a pre-requisite for getting started with digital transformation. In the words of Dean Kamen, the renowned American engineer, “Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation.”
The seed of innovation is usually rooted in a problem or a drawback in the existing system. Occurring in both, the initial and/or the later stages in digital transformation, innovation not only helps a company set up a collaborative and novel platform for ideas, but also offers insights to analyze the current resource expenditure and returns.
Innovation impacts the nature and the culture of an organization, lending an agile and flexible ecosystem to it. It accelerates the pace of change in an organization. By investing in appropriate innovation management systems, companies can work on crowdsourced innovation plans, involving everyone - the employees, partners, and even the stakeholders of a company - in marching together towards a digital transformation.
Corporations can set up Centers of Excellence (CoEs) for studying how proposed systems or designs may work out in a company. These centers consider the context of the proposed system in terms of the technology requested, the expected output, and response from the consumers.
The work carried out in an organization is evolving in tandem with the mindset of the workers in the organization. It is more about the information and its utilization rather than completing all tasks for the day. An ever-changing technological environment necessitates a competent workforce to keep up with the changes in its pace.
A skilled workforce not only fosters digitization in a company but also helps in building a strong and sustainable platform for balanced growth. Leaders and teams should work hand in hand to meet the technical requirements of a new project. Although training employees to update their skills is feasible, and a possible solution for acquiring skilled labor, hiring the right candidates in the first place helps companies to not just save money on employee training programs but also gives the organization a head start to initiate and adopt new technologies immediately.
Effective management in an organization propels a company towards success. The change that comes with digital transformation requires a certain degree of management to control its effects on the employees, as well as, the working status of the company. The management of an organization is also responsible for resource management and technical management. Resource management looks after the resources required in a project. It takes care of both, human resources and the mechanical must-haves. Acquiring the right human workforce, arranging for the system inputs, storing the outputs, and managing any waste or by-products from the processes requires effective management on a company’s behalf.
Similarly, the technical management staff monitors all technical requisites to ensure smooth functioning of the entire system. The efforts from innovation and technical teams may go in vain if there does not exist an adequate technical management system to supervise all the operations of an organization. An organization’s path to digital transformation can be long. It takes time and efforts, and a lot of resources to fine-tune a new technology with respect to the requirements of a business. The process of transforming digital businesses is a constant one. Businesses, both big and small, will have to eventually adopt technology in some form or the other in their ventures to keep up with a changing market and rising competition. Remember, only adequate planning and thought put into digital transformation will benefit everyone in the organization.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.