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Digital Transformation: Where do we go from here?

Procensol

Covid-19 was a stark wake up call for many businesses. Not only did it require rapid action in order to secure business continuity, it clearly highlighted weak spots and operational vulnerabilities that could only be solved via fast and, in some cases, uncomfortable digital transformation.

The sudden pace of digital adoption was extraordinary to witness. Seemingly overnight the technology was in place for employees to work from home, or for services and products to be delivered remotely, with minimal disruption. Despite the severe tragedy and challenges of the pandemic, it was a testament to what we can achieve when external conditions necessitate that we do so.

Where do we go from here?

Now that the dust is beginning to settle, and we have all adapted somewhat to our new working conditions, the question we need to ask is: have we done enough? Gaining the capability of remote working was an immediate and necessary response but can we do more? If the positives of Covid-19 are in short supply, then at least it has emphasised the crucial importance of digital transformation going forward – now is the time to take a step back and analyse areas of your business that were stretched or broken, the gaps or weak spots that have naturally opened up in security or compliance as we struggled through the growing pains of new technology.

It is also the perfect time to build on the momentum and innovation of the last few months and to think: where next?

Searching for pain points

In the past 3-6 months, where has your business felt the most pain? Were there processes that collapsed or struggled as new pressures were applied? Sir Winston Churchill was once credited with saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” If you have been paying attention to your business during the pandemic, and I’m sure you have been, you will no doubt have built up a list of future IT and digital transformation investments. They may be areas where you are too reliant on a manual process, or gaps in your workflow or system integrations. Perhaps a unified view of your data or an upgrade to your system agility has been identified as a priority? Whatever they are, these experiences of pain and discomfort are clear indicators of areas that require immediate attention.

The fallibility of compromise

The rapid enabling of cloud services and remote working technology has been fantastic to see but the speed of their delivery may have come at a cost. We saw with Zoom the sudden security vulnerabilities that opened up when the user base expanded exponentially in March and April. Where in your own business has speed done more harm than good? Is it to your security? Your compliance? Perhaps you are currently accruing technical debt because the short-term needs of business continuity had to be prioritised over long-term stability. The world’s leading research and advisory company Gartner says that technical debt in large legacy environments is the top challenge for infrastructure and operational leaders. In this next phase of the pandemic, where the initial rush is over, it is essential that we employ the same level of execution and diligence to areas of compliance and governance, and take steps to reduce the technical debt that was, in hindsight, unavoidable in such unprecedented times.

Making the most of current momentum

The acclaimed American author John C. Maxwell once said, “Momentum solves 80% of your problems.” The business response to the pandemic has proven this statement correct. The pace of change in the last few months has been nothing short of staggering and is a solid indicator of what we can continue to achieve in the future if we choose to do so. Instead of helplessly reacting, however, we can now afford to be more strategic and deliberate in our digital investments. We can take the time to identify, plan and cultivate the newfound hunger for digitisation that many organisations have found awakened within their ranks. Now is not the time to think ‘business as usual’, as we would have done in the past, but instead to test our limits, to invite calculated risks, and to reap the rewards of continual innovation in the mid to long-term.

If you want to find out more about how Procensol can help with your digital transformation initiatives, contact MD Steve Huckvale at steve.huckvale@procensol.co.uk.