While there is no universally-accepted definition, the term “digital transformation” is widely used by CIOs and other IT leaders to describe the integration of digital technology within all areas of a business. Industry analysts at Gartner often use digital transformation when referring to the modernization of legacy IT via cloud computing and software as a service (SaaS).
A digital transformation can provide an organization with more agile business processes that in turn will create a competitive advantage in the market, potentially spur the development of new product offerings, and generate more revenue opportunities. Masergy enables companies to digitally transform by delivering secure global networks and cloud-based team collaboration solutions. At a high level, for a digital transformation initiative to be successful, the IT decision maker must:
Get executive buy-in on the plan – Without the continuous involvement and commitment from members of your company’s C-suite, your digital transformation initiatives will fail. If the CIO and CFO don’t agree on timelines and budget for the digital transformation initiative at the start, then the implementation will be fraught with finger-pointing and other issues. Without strong top-down leadership, no digital transformation project can ever succeed.
Communicate the change to employees – Related to the first consideration, this point must be emphasized: Companies do not employ faceless automatons. Because there are real people who do the work, those people need to have an understanding of how the company’s digital transformation will improve their business processes. Communicating the value of a digital transformation starts at the top of the organization with the executives, but trickles down to managers with direct reports as well.
Build a foundation that can evolve – What starts out as a digital transformation project around migrating your corporate phone system into the cloud might branch off into a way to automate your business processes using chatbots and machine learning. While some project managers might read this and consider it as “scope creep,” it should be considered as an evolution of the original idea. A key advantage of a digital transformation means your company will have a foundation that enables business agility to quickly shift and evolve as needed to enhance employee productivity.
Every industry and business can benefit from digital transformation using cloud-based technology. For example, manufacturing has benefitted from the digital transformation brought on by smart factories, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP). One global manufacturer of office furniture, Teknion, partnered with Masergy to deliver a global SD-WAN network and secure on-ramp to the public cloud to digitally transform the way their business operates.
When planning any digital transformation project, the two most important aspects for success are:
Competent people – No project can ever get done successfully without good people doing the work. When evaluating a digital transformation partner, it is extremely helpful to talk to as many people in the partner organization as possible. Ask how they’ve completed similar projects, how long they’ve been with the organization, and try to see how helpful and interested they are in achieving your digital transformation goals. These interactions with employees beyond just your account manager can help you determine if their corporate culture aligns with yours and what your support experience will likely be once implementation begins.
Proven processes – Planning and implementing a digital transformation project is a lot of work. Anticipating risks, tracking the many dependencies, and keeping everyone on schedule and budget requires processes that can scale based on the size and scope of the project. Masergy employs dedicated project managers and implementation teams on every networking, unified communications, and cybersecurity solution deployment. Our support teams are available 24/7 to ensure digital transformation projects are completed to the customer’s satisfaction—which is why Masergy has maintained an extremely low customer churn rate of less than one percent.
At Masergy, digital transformation means “beneficial disruption” for people. For example, the rise of digital voice over IP (VoIP) for phone calls has disrupted the telecommunications industry in a way that was very beneficial to the people making phone calls. The lowered cost for long-distance calls using VoIP enabled more people to communicate than ever—and that in turn created new opportunities in business and education, along with other societal benefits. Without the disruption of cloud computing in the IT industry, people would not enjoy online shopping, working from home, and numerous other benefits. Masergy enables companies to create those beneficial disruptions with our global network acting as a secure on-ramp to the cloud and our Cisco-powered unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solution for team collaboration with pristine VoIP calls.
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