Editor’s note – Jeffery Lauria is Vice President of Technology at iCorps Technologies. He will be among the presenters during a complimentary four-part webinar series that AIM is presenting entitled “The Digital Transformation.”
If you’re at all tuned in to the business or technology environments of today, you’ve likely heard about the “digital transformation." This popular phrase simply means leveraging innovative technologies to help your business become the best version of itself.
Digital Transformation sounds like something that could be phenomenal for your business, and something you should prioritize… but then daily life steps in and reminds you that you have a business or department to run and employees to keep happy.
So, is digital transformation worth the hype?
Here are three positive results that business organizations have experienced from their digital transformation, then I’ll explain how to take that first step.
1. Operate efficiently and cost-effectively with the cloud.
At the center of digital transformation sits one key player: the cloud. The maturity of cloud services over the past five years has opened a wealth of opportunities for business of all sizes, providing the capability to streamline tedious processes, scale application usage up or down, and reduce reliance on physical, costly hardware at the same time. The cloud is leveling the field for companies of all sizes.
Many organizations have already dipped a toe in – migrating email or hosting their websites in the cloud, for example. But true digital transformation comes when business leaders think about where they want to be in six, 12 or 18 months and then work with a cloud partner to strategically get them there.
In a study of more than 6,000 executives, International Data Corporation (IDC) found that those businesses strategically consuming more cloud, achieved higher levels of business benefits.1 IDC’s research confirmed that greater levels of cloud maturity are associated with improved business metrics such as top-line revenue increase, improved strategic IT allocation, greater flexibility with reuse of computing assets and IT staff, reduced costs, and increased service performance as key benefits - and the gains increase as cloud use grows.
2. Empower employees to produce and collaborate, anywhere.
The most competitive businesses are leveraging business-class, cloud-based productivity tools to empower their employees to maximize their productivity without sacrificing the security of corporate data.
Today’s on-the-go, mobile employees need convenient access to corporate systems, applications, and information – anywhere, anytime, and from any device – and require the right technology to do so. Maximizing their productivity means enabling them to access company files and documents in the same way they'd access these things from the office.
Whether they're traveling, working from home or visiting clients, the expectation of today’s work force is quick and easy digital access to whatever data is needed to get the job done. Following a study of more than 200 organizations that have deployed Microsoft Office 365, Forrester Research determined that the average mobile worker saved about 15 minutes a day while on the road by accessing, sharing, and syncing files. For 50 mobile employees, that amounts to 750 minutes or 12.5 hours that can be repurposed for real producitivity.2
3. Secure your data so you are resilient against sophisticated cyber threats.
The “here and now” reason to kickstart your digital transformation comes down to security. In May, the WannaCry ransomware attack impacted more than 300,000 unpatched and/or outdated computer systems globally.
Organizations using updated Windows 10 systems were not affected.
Getting more juice out of unsupported servers or outdated operating systems may seem frugal in the moment, but can your organization afford the cost of downtime, data loss and reputational damage when the next WannaCry variant strikes? Scare tactics aside, those who haven’t felt the blow of a ransomware or phishing attack, will at some point if unprepared.
The good news is that IT security vendors are elbowing each other in the race to be first to detect new threats, the best at battling ransomware, or the most comprehensive in threat analysis.
Many of today’s cloud solutions such as Office 365 also have built-in security capabilities. Organizations of all sizes now have access to affordable security technology that was once only attainable for organizations with large IT budgets. It’s just a matter of figuring out which are the best fit for your organization and which mix will keep you protected at all levels from everything from email to vulnerability mitigation.
The Time is Now
Never before have organizations had access to the type of technological resources they have now. Digital transformation is possible today because of advances in technology such as the cloud and cybersecurity, but it’s only valuable to those who enable and leverage its benefits.
Digital transformation will indeed alter the way your organization works for the better, but the transition does not have to be a disruptive one. The most successful companies enlist the expertise and experience of a technology partner that has not only been through the transformation themselves, but helped other organizations navigate their roadmaps.
Small, medium and large companies have taken those steps. Listen to their stories and learn more about the why and how of Digital Transformation during our free webinar series with AIM.