When was the last time you re-evaluated your digital strategy? Even companies that have reworked their digital toolboxes in the past few years may be overdue for a refresh. According to a recent survey—which polled nearly 1000 office workers about their offices’ equipment—over half of employees believe their technology is outdated and impacts their ability to work productively.
To a certain extent, these numbers aren’t surprising. Now more than ever, technology advances and innovates at an astonishing rate; the latest trends may only last for a few months or weeks on the market before they are outpaced by a newer solution. And small- or medium-sized business owners, who may recognize the value of digital transformation, often do not have the resources to continuously update their existing technology stacks.
But the lack of agency toward present-day digital transformation, or DX, can also be traced to the mindset that many organizations hold toward it. Traced all the way back to the 1940s, digital transformation is nothing new to a majority of modern businesses—with one in every five enterprises in North America and Europe believing that their digital modeling is fully completed. However, problems with keeping up-to-date arise when these companies view digital transformation as a single, finishable project to check off their task list. In reality, great DX strategies are continuous and constantly revisited to further improve the role that digital solutions play in your over operations.
Here are a few reasons why digital transformation continues to be a relevant practice today, as well as some insights into how your organization can leverage continuous DX to stay at the forefront of your field.
Online and off-site security
First and foremost, digital transformation continues to be a relevant practice so long as online threats continue to evolve. Today’s business landscape is one where cyber attacks occur every 39 seconds and nearly two-thirds of all businesses have experienced an online attack at some capacity. For any and every company that uses digital channels—whether that’s through creating an online brand presence or leveraging a web-native service—cybersecurity is an essential component of contemporary digital transformation.
A considerable part of the issue with reinforcing cybersecurity is widespread digital illiteracy, where your employees are not aware of the best methods and technologies to protect company information. This is why your end-users are often your weakest points in your cyber defense tactics and a hacker’s primary target.
When embarking on digitally transforming your online security, you must equally measure the success rate of a tool in defending your online IP and its user’s experience. For example, the use of VDI and VPNs has long been thought of as the best ways to enable remote work - but both are legacy technologies that degrade the user experience and also introduce security issues. Solutions like Cameyo’s virtual application delivery platform, however, ease digital transformation while increasing security by eliminating the cost and complexity of VDI and VPNs. Cameyo’s NoVPN capabilities separates remote workers’ personal devices from the corporate network while still giving them access to the applications they need, eliminating the risk of people’s devices infecting the network. And Cameyo doesn’t require the user to install anything or change their behavior in any way, providing a seamless user experience.
Any current conversation around digital transformation and security would be incomplete without recognizing the current role that remote employees play in work environments. Remote workers will account for 25-30% of the total workforce by 2021, proving that the work-from-home trend is more permanent than current social distancing efforts. Companies will likely continue to offer remote benefits for employees who prefer it to work in a traditional office. If you’ve discovered that remote work may be a long-term solution for your organization, it’s important to invest in remote-friendly DX tools that will keep off-site teams engaged, productive, and secure.
Adopting a digital (and agile) mindset
In a business space that is increasingly governed by our relationship with technology, the most digitally integrated businesses are consequently the most agile. Digital transformation can help you manage your current work processes and optimize them, but it can also aid in bracing for drastic changes that your company or industry may experience at some point in the future.
Although a business’ agility tends to correlate with its size—with startups and small operations adjusting to change the most quickly—technology can help organizations large and small acclimate to a new status quo at scale. According to a recent Forbes article, technology promotes agile workforces through three primary segments: greater project visibility with distributed teams, more accurate forecasting through data-driven decision making, and improved employee relations with self-managed teams.
Let’s look at each of these three pillars a bit more closely:
- When it comes to enhancing your project visibility, migrating your analog solutions to cloud-based alternatives is an idea worth further investigation. For example, wired devices like fax machines, printers, and handheld phones often impair agility because they keep you attached—literally—to working in the office, making remote work impossible. Innovations such as Voice over IP, which is a technology that performs phone calls over the internet, help employees stay attuned with one another even while they are in distributed work environments.
- As businesses place higher emphasis on historical data and analytics, highly accurate forecasting of the future of work becomes more imperative. Some of the most tech-savvy businesses have turned to technology like automated data mining, which is the process of sifting through massive amounts of digital information to avoid the manual work that would otherwise be involved. Because automation negates the risk of human error, you’ll be less inclined to find data riddled human-error and better suited to accurately forecast upcoming trends.
- Bolstering camaraderie between employees helps ensure that individuals have the support they need to quickly adapt to changes that your organization faces. Digital platforms, like intranets, help promote a culture of self-governance by giving employees all the informational resources they need to succeed. When used to their full potential, intranets house secured company documentation, such as training presentations, knowledge centers, and FAQs about the job. In the context of greater agility, intranets create a single source of truth that teammates—remote and local—can refer to while acclimating to changes.
Digital transformation and compliance
Even if you would prefer to spend your time, energy, and resources elsewhere, you may have little to no choice when it comes to issues of compliance and risk. Perhaps the best example is the widespread adoption of technology within human resource departments to help organizations keep pace with workplace laws and regulations that are increasingly difficult to monitor manually. Since employment lawsuits have witnessed a 400% spike in the span of 20 years, foregoing current DX best-practices could yield costly results.
Similarly, many internal audit and compliance teams are leveraging DX strategies to catch up with other departments within their organization—such as delivery groups or sales teams—that have already undergone far more substantial digital transformation. As this interview from the Wall Street Journal highlights, companies that broaden their digital toolset without including their internal auditing teams are more inclined to run into cyberattacks, especially when disparate departments undergo digital transformation without considering the organization as a whole.
In both situations, a great example of a solution that promotes greater compliance in your DX toolbox is automation software. Automation enables companies to handle confidential information without the risk of human-related errors, which is particularly helpful when you are required to duplicate any existing databases or update them by hand. Automation also helps you transmit private information, as opposed to having administrative assistants hand-deliver paper filings or giving digital document access to unintended parties.
A one-size-fits-all approach to digital transformation will never be the best approach, but by keeping these best practices in mind and tailoring them to the demands of your business, you will be best positioned to handle the growing wave of digitized business that this decade is sure to bring.