Think business, think growth, think digital transformation

By Lancashire Business View

05 Jul 2017

In association with

As we progress through the fourth industrial revolution, the biggest trend is digital transformation, and how we as businesses, adopt systems and processes to help us compete effectively in an ever-changing digital world.

By Justin Sherwood, managing director, Seriun.

New digital trends emerge constantly, and whether we embrace them depends very much on how our customers, suppliers and competitors are using these technologies, and what they expect from us. However, other factors, such as business structure and strategy, leadership and talent deployment are arguably just as important.

A significant component of digital transformation is of course the Internet of Things (IoT) which according to a recent McKinsey Global Institute Report: “could generate up to $11.1trillion a year in economic value by 2025.”

We’re rapidly seeing more and more devices and systems being integrated with each other, and an increasing number of businesses using digital advances such as smart embedded devices, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and tools to process Big Data like business intelligence and analytics.

The market is becoming more services oriented, with users demanding greater convergence and commoditization of services, especially IT and telecoms. This means many ‘break/fix’ style ICT providers are having to accommodate this need by transforming themselves into Managed Service Providers – having an all-encompassing offering with a proactive approach to emerging issues and challenges. Using a Managed Service Provider for all ICT needs, reduces the risk of outsourcing individual requirements, which would likely produce inconsistencies in quality and provision.

The danger of commoditizing tech services is that their true value and worth can often be lost in the plethora of similar industry offerings – leaving SMEs confused and making their selection on price alone; struggling to realise the overall benefit of integrated and complementary services.

However, it’s crucial for businesses to think differently about ICT and to see it as a value activity, rather than just another overhead. It’s a fact that having the right digital solutions in place can absolutely transform a business, enabling a more modern digital enterprise, with improved competitive advantage, to potentially disrupt markets and increase resilience.

The question is how do businesses bridge the gap and implement a digital transformation strategy? The process often seems far removed, abstract and challenging. A pragmatic approach would be to start evaluating your operational processes and then not only digitising these, but more importantly automating them.

Automation can be interpreted in many ways. Applying this to the Digital Transformation concept requires evolutionary thinking. It is critical to avoid merely repeating processes, but to consider advancements in technology such as ‘AI’, and instead produce contextual, structured and meaningful systems that can be used to deliver value to your organisation. Once achieved, the final stage of the journey is to harness the Big Data from your systems and present this in an accessible way to gain business insight and intelligence. Engaging with a Managed Service Provider who understands digital transformation can support you in your journey - highlighting areas for development and managing the change.

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