When the pandemic’s onset upended conventional operations last year, organizations had to move quickly to adopt digital solutions that would allow them to support remote work and online business requirements. While businesses used those fast-tracked solutions to remain functional, they should now look to create deeper layers of flexibility, resilience and innovation through a fully formed digital transformation strategy.
Digital transformation is typically defined as the integration of technology into all aspects of operations, but it is as much a cultural shift as a technical one. It involves fundamental changes to established management styles, operating models and business processes.
For many organizations, the pandemic-driven adoption of team collaboration, video conferencing and cloud-based productivity apps represent their first steps in that direction. The challenge now is to build on such tactical solutions and develop a digital strategy that permeates everything from the customer experience to supply chain automation. Here are some of the ways organizations can leverage emerging technologies to support continuously changing business requirements:
- Data-driven decisions. Organizations are leveraging analytics and artificial intelligence to drive better decision-making. These tools can evaluate massive amounts of qualitative data to identify patterns and insights that can be used to guide decisions and policies. The idea is to make the company less vulnerable to risky decisions based on instincts or intuition.
- Cloud optimization. The pandemic sparked mass adoption of cloud apps and services to support remote workers. However, ad hoc adoption by users without IT’s knowledge often produces inefficiencies and unnecessary expenses. Automated audits of the cloud environment can help improve visibility, ensure standardization and reduce sprawl.
- Workforce analytics. Also known as HR analytics, people analytics or talent analytics, this is the practice of using predictive analytics to extract insights and conclusions from HR data sources regarding employee recruitment, career progression, training, productivity, performance reviews, staff turnover rates and more. Google is among the pioneers in this practice and reports that it has helped the company improve hiring, onboarding and training processes and staff retention.
- Intelligent ERP. Legacy enterprise resource planning platforms that coordinate data from core business systems are notoriously complex and often require significant manual effort to access and extract data. With AI and in-memory database technologies, today’s cloud-based systems aggregate and analyze data from multiple sources in near real time, and they can learn from that data to provide predictive insights.
- Supply chain optimization. Modern supply chain management solutions use AI, blockchain, Internet of Things and robotic process automation technologies to eliminate manual processes and deliver end-to-end visibility. According to one study, automated supply chains deliver 45 percent improvements in on-time delivery with fewer errors.
- Seamless communication. Mobile and remote employees need a single point of access to multiple communication channels. Unified communications solutions allow users to communicate seamlessly across devices, networks and applications. Additionally, UC’s ability to integrate with key business applications ensures users don’t have to break up workflows by toggling between services as they perform regular tasks.
Digital transformation initiatives remain a challenge for most organizations because they simply can’t focus the right people and resources on strategic initiatives. Day-to-day tasks often overwhelm in-house IT staff, preventing businesses from adequately linking their IT operations with business processes. A qualified managed services provider such as SSD can help you make that connection.
Our managed services team was built to help customers use technology to make their business more efficient. Our engineers can help you streamline application implementation, increase operational efficiencies and ensure consistent service delivery. We’d welcome the opportunity to discuss ways to help your company achieve digital transformation.