Digital transformation has broken free of the ‘buzzword’ shackles that caused many to dismiss it as a fad and is firmly on the agenda for businesses looking to increase productivity, streamline processes and stay ahead of the competition.
A recent YouGov poll shows how digital transformation is fast becoming business as usual, showing the country is well on its way to embracing a more digital way of working - 48% of those surveyed believing UK businesses will be digitally transformed within the next 3 to 10 years. New businesses are being founded with tech at their heart and a shift in corporate priorities has emerged; digital transformation is happening now.
While it’s encouraging that businesses are finally understanding the value in digital transformation, many are still reluctant to take the first step. For some, technology is advancing at such a pace that you may not have been able to keep up.
The most common barrier to digital transformation isn’t budget, a lack of digital skills or existing systems doing a good enough job. It’s all down to mentality. The truth is no business is too small, too busy or too restricted to look at digital transformation. In this guide, we’re busting some of the top myths associated with beginning your digital transformation journey.
My staff isn’t very tech-savvy
It’s well-established that the UK is experiencing a digital skills gap that, if not addressed, has the potential to become unmanageable and pose a serious problem for businesses and consumers alike.
That’s why businesses need to take a proactive approach to upskilling their workforce. You don’t need your team to be experts if IT isn’t your field, that’s our job. But with the availability of online training tools that can be rolled out across any size of business, your staff will be prepared and equipped to take your business to the next level.
Not only will training equip your staff with the skills required to succeed in the digital-first world, training and development will also bolster the confidence of your workforce and can empower them to embrace the digital transformation concept. Build strong digital foundations and the rest will be a breeze.
We already have all of the latest technologies
Businesses that prioritise technology that will solve their problems and make their staff work more effectively will always have an advantage, but digital transformation is an ongoing process and adapts to business needs. Other businesses within your industry will be making it their mission to stay ahead of the game when it comes to technology, so being agile and adaptive will be your secret weapon for success.
It’s essential to look at your business needs when implementing new technologies, rather than simply implementing something because it’s the latest tech. It’s all well and good having everything shiny and new, but getting carried away can leave you with applications that don’t integrate well with one another or business processes that have now become over-complicated and require 1000 different log-ins to multiple applications to complete a simple task.
Rather than focusing on having the latest tech, your business needs to implement technology that aids your organisation and your customers.
We can’t afford a period of downtime
The great thing about the latest suite of technologies is that many are instantly deployable, with little to no downtime attached. Therefore, there’s no need to panic thanks to increased accessibility to the cloud, which has made it a lot easier to implement new technologies without it being too costly or disruptive, so you won’t have a team of burly engineers ripping your office apart any time soon. A number of solutions can be deployed not only instantly, but remotely, meaning no disruption to your working environment either.
We need to undertake a lengthy research process first
There’s no doubt that diving head-first into digital transformation with no research or forward-planning would be a disaster. However, there’s only so much research you can do before you start to eat into valuable time and resources.
Discussing your needs with a managed service provider with experience in digital transformation can help you make the right decisions in the right timeframe. Spending too much time hanging about means you risk falling behind and often by the time you feel ready, the digital landscape will have transformed, leaving you back at square one. Not only that, but while your business is hanging in limbo anything could happen; hackers are rife, and Mother Nature waits for no-one. Disaster-proofing your business and tightening security are key parts of business transformation that can’t happen until you kick-start your digital transformation journey in the first place.
We’ve been on the same systems for years
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But businesses become so reliant on their historic systems that they’re reluctant to change even if it is broken, hard to use or a security risk. This means businesses using older systems often end up stuck in a rut, unable to adapt to industry changes or implement any new add-on technologies as they do not integrate well with one another.
Regular software and hardware refreshes should be part of your IT strategy no matter what, but it’s more pertinent in light of legislative changes like Making Tax Digital (MTD) and GDPR. Digital transformation is a continuous process, so the way you approach updating your technology should be too. By keeping your systems up-to-date, rather than spending time, money and resources for huge sporadic overhauls, you could save both a lot of money and your sanity - it’s often the case that the longer you wait, the more eye-wateringly expensive and difficult it gets.
Chances are you’re working with a myriad of systems that don’t, or can’t, talk to each other thanks to shadow IT purchases and a lack of input from your IT department or MSP. By implementing new technologies that work harmoniously together, your business data should flow effortlessly through processes and workflows. Setting your business up to work in this way will give you a clearer perspective of your operations, whilst streamlining processes provides added efficiency.
Don’t miss out on the digital transformation opportunity
A lot of businesses are in flux, concerned about the risks associated with digital transformation and new technologies, but potentially harming their business by remaining on outdated solutions.
It’s essential to have the right mindset when it comes to digital transformation. Are you making positive progress, or do you find yourself missing out on opportunities time and time again? What are your competitors doing that you are not? Can you streamline your processes to enable better decision-making and increase efficiency? And, importantly, are you putting this off by making excuses?
Amelia Marson is Lead Applications Writer at TSG, specialising in IT support, Office 365, GDPR and business intelligence. TSG is an IT support company that has expertise across a wide range of technologies, from Office 365 to Sage and Pegasus ERP solutions to IT support, infrastructure and cyber-security solutions. Holding 8 Microsoft Gold competencies, TSG places focus on a highly-skilled and qualified workforce with over 1000 recognised accreditations between its team of experts, including MSCE Certifications, Prince2 and ITIL qualifications. Read more from TSG, on their blog: here.