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Navigating the Choppy Seas of Digital Transformation

By Rakesh Anantharaman | Posted on November 10, 2020 | Posted in Featured, Security & Governance

In business, the name of the game these days is adaptability.

In order to stay ahead of the competition, you need to be able to pivot along with customer behavior.

For many companies, this means transforming their business—breaking free from the long-standing analog rules to leverage new technologies that make changing course quickly possible.

This concept can seem daunting, especially for organizations that are not in the technology business. These companies often worry about expense, believing that achieving transformation will require large capital investments and expensive talent.

These fears, while understandable, are not really rational.

Yes, transforming your business requires investment in both infrastructure and talent. But those expenses can pale in comparison to the very real costs of inaction. 

Simply hoping your customer base will revert to its previous behavior is a recipe for disaster. 

Take, for example, the infamous case of Blockbuster Video who had a chance to purchase Netflix in the year 2000. The company failed to act and, just 14 years later, the venerable chain of video stores was forced to close all of its locations.

blockbuster-logoLet's look at how you can avoid becoming the next Blockbuster...

There’s no denying that digital transformation requires a major change to how your business operates.

That’s why it’s critical for you to go into the transformation process with a thorough understanding of three factors:

  1. Your current capabilities in adopting new technology
  2. What you are trying to achieve with digital transformation
  3. A first project to test the waters

Here’s an example: Say you want to get more out of your company’s data by adopting artificial intelligence (AI).

While artificial intelligence (AI) provides a lot of possibilities, you don’t want to jump headfirst into investing in a whole new infrastructure and an army of data scientists. That will only create a massive hole in your budget with no real assurance of success.

Instead, start small with a proof of concept on a minimally viable product. For AI, this could be something like deploying chatbots on your website to field questions from your customers and replace the need for always available (and expensive) customer support teams. 

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By identifying an initial project, then selecting the right technologies to help you complete that project, you’re putting yourself in a better position to actually succeed at what your organization is trying to achieve.

Here’s another example:

You want to expand your online capabilities so customers can easily purchase your products. This means adding new features to your website—features that can easily be modified as needed.

In years past, this would require a total revamp of both the front and back end of your website. Then, once this full revamp was completed, one large deployment of the new site.

The problem is, things don’t always go as planned. Maybe one of the new features on your website isn’t working properly, in which case you will likely need to take the website down, fix the issue, then redeploy—a process that could take anywhere from hours, to days, to weeks.

Companies that have achieved digital transformation, however, are able to utilize modern development practices, like DevOps, which allow them to iterate and deploy rapidly. It also makes it possible to simply take down a problem area of your website so you can quickly fix it without the need to take everything offline.

As a result of this ability to adapt quickly, the company is much more efficient and capable of bringing new products to market faster, while reducing the amount of time and resources necessary to do so.

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Get help if you need it

Not every organization has the means or desire to achieve digital transformation on their own.

That’s where a partner comes in. 

By leveraging outside expertise, you can accelerate your transformation without the ongoing investment building a team would require. A good partner will provide you with:

  • Help identifying your goals
  • The build of a proof of concept or minimal viable product
  • Training and support for your teams as they build upon the initial project

Most of all, if your initial project fails to meet your expectations or you decide to move to another solution, having a partner means you can simply cut your losses without needing to repurpose talent.

Increasingly, digital transformation is the difference between companies that thrive and those that are left behind. To get started on your own path to digital transformation, get in touch with one of our experts