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Digital Transformation, Schmansformation

Digital transformation is something spoken of a lot yet not necessarily fully understood. Quite a lot of our customers believe digital transformation is just the digitisation of an existing process – like paper forms into electronic forms – or implementing videoconferencing just to save travelling time. These are great productivity enhancing measures, but it is hardly transformational. Digital transformation requires an organisation to completely rethink elements of HOW they do their business to compete and win in today's global marketplaces.

Software, even technology itself – is just part of the equation. Implementing a new storage array, or a bigger Internet connection cannot be the impetus for digital transformation – it is about rethinking the fundamentals of a business.

Insync Technology think that an integral part of the transformation involves People. It’s about thinking of the long term and ensuring that the user is at the heart of every decision, whether that is your internal users – or your customers that pay your wages.

Microsoft suggest there are 4 Digital Transformation themes for customers:

  • Engage your customers
  • Empower your employees
  • Optimise your operations
  • Transform your products

Building out a Digital Strategy is absolutely paramount in any Digital Transformation. As referenced in the Embracing Digital Transformation from Australian Organisations white paper only 29% of 1494 businesses interviewed in APAC have a digital strategy in place. Too often we hear of transformation projects that begin with a call or conversation along the lines of “I want Skype for Business” - but the real value in a Digital Strategy Engagement is to find out why, how is it that the user has come to this point – Do they really understand the fundamentals of their business, or the way they engage internally and externally?  or have they had a conversation with some friends or peers and that’s what they use. What is their strategy to building their digital future?

Businesses lucky enough to have motivated individuals that are embracing change still need guidance to ensure that they aren’t just looking at shiny new tools and tech and those companies that are interested but just can’t seem to make any headway can benefit from strategy and transformation professionals. Either way, in Australia and New Zealand there is a huge amount of opportunity to turn to digital technologies and automate, increase profitability, empower employees and drive better engagement with your customers. Sometimes this is a modernisation of an existing, efficient and competent process. Sometimes you should get out the chainsaw and make some more drastic changes.

We have grown to see this visually, almost like a Venn diagram with processes, people/users and technology all overlapping to create the optimal digital experience in the middle.

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Some years ago, I learned of the Ladder of Inference – this has forever fascinated me. It is the thought process we go through as individuals to get from a fact to a decision.

When at school we’re asked to show our workings out when solving maths problems. In University or College we’re asked to build an Appendix or show references again to show us how we have derived at the answer or conclusion - yet when we get to a working environment we seem to forget this and often take things at face value as assumptions.

This is dangerous. Running a business, a project or otherwise on assumptions leaves too much at risk. Many businesses I have worked in or worked with have made big decisions without understanding the underlying raw data. Large financial decisions have been made based on someone else’s interpretation of the request or how they have interpreted the data and the assumption that it’s correct. Here is a Ted-Ed explaining the process of the Ladder of Inference https://youtu.be/KJLqOclPqis far better than I could.

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At Insync Technology we have this in mind and begin the process of any project with first understanding how a user, team or organisation has made their way to this decision or action and then consult on this before any further decisions are made. We challenge your status quos and your decisions (in a nice way!). And we have also lost customers over this stance – but we feel that they weren’t a fit for us in the first place, so we would rather move on.  In many instances, this ladder of inference process has greatly changed the outcome for the customer. The customer has always received the outcome they were looking for; however, the journey that takes them there is enhanced with a specialist in the field advising and consulting them to get to the desired end state with their goals and requirements in mind.              

There are many factors that can change the lens in which we review our need; It might be an assumption made based on language used, it could be that there is an ingrained belief or simply a misunderstanding from an interpreted or selected reality. Engaging a company like Insync Technology can greatly assist you in taking steps on a journey to a digital transformation, speaking with experts in their field will also make that journey less daunting for the decision maker but also for each, and every user in the process as they are informed.

Informed decisions will always have a better outcome and will likely help in the adoption of the process, change and technology allowing your business to concentrate on your core business, which is what we are ALL here to do.

 

About the Author: David Gray

Picture of David Gray

Microsoft Alliance Manager

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