Don’t jump the gun with digital transformation

Business and IT leaders are asking “How can I be competitive in the digital age?”, “How do I kick-start my business for digital transformation?”

It’s natural to look immediately at technology as your starting point. But that would be jumping the gun. To win this race, you’ve got to start with your people and let the technology follow.

Empowering employees to work how and where they want to will immediately improve communication and collaboration, so your business is in a stronger place for the next stride towards digital transformation. This white paper, “How to prepare your business for digital transformation”, explains what you need to do keep your people mobile and productive without risking security.

“It’s not the tools you have faith in. Tools are just tools — they work or they don’t work. It’s the people you have faith in or not.” – Steve Jobs

Business strategy and digital transformation

Ambitious organisations today want to drive growth from existing products and services while developing new growth revenues. They want to do this without risk, remaining compliant with industry and data regulations, such as the May 2018 General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

In the race for digital transformation, it can be tempting to try to sprint ahead and first start looking at your business in relation to the more complex areas of digital transformation – such as big data analytics, machine learning or the Internet of Things.

But that could trip you up at the starting block. Why? Because digital transformation starts with changing how people work. It’s more a question of business culture. It’s about creating a digital workplace that empowers employees so they can communicate productively and securely across the business – on the device of their choice, wherever they happen to be.

The workplace barriers to digital transformation

Before you start looking at how technology can transform your workplace, you first need to address your business culture and leadership mandate.

“55% of staff believe the biggest barrier to digital transformation is having no perceived need for change.”

“62% of staff feel that not having a leadership mandate is the biggest barrier” – survey conducted by Organic, the marketing agency

Digital transformation starts with the employee experience, which is where company culture is key. A people- rather than IT-centric approach is needed. Not least because the technology aspect is constantly evolving. And technology is only ever as good as the processes implemented around it, just as processes are only as good as the people who execute them.

People’s behaviour is changing. They see there are better ways to organise their personal lives, their culture and their work. It isn’t the actual technology that’s driving change, it’s how technology is allowing people to do things better. To get things done better and faster, and more collaboratively.

Are your business leaders holding back your digital transformation?

An eConsultancy report claims that three-quarters (75%) of businesses think that strategic digital priorities and direction of companies are the responsibility of the senior management.

“The CIO is most likely (60%) to be the driving force behind an organisation’s digital strategy.” – The Cloud Industry Forum.

But could these leaders be the very ones holding back the business? Nearly two thirds (62%) of staff surveyed by Organic believed the greatest barrier to digital transformation is not having a leadership mandate.

It’s crucial that the leadership team introduces and supports agility in the business – and this means driving a digital strategy as the foundation of your business transformation. Leaders should nurture fast, cross-functional, experimental and self-directed teams – across departments, sties and geographies. Employees must be communicating, collaborating and mobile. And, with nearly two thirds (60%) of small-medium organisations going out of business after a cyber-attack, it’s important to address security.

Cloud technology driving employee empowerment

To address these digital transformation fundamentals for small-medium organisations, we worked with Microsoft to develop Microsoft 365 Business. It is one single, easily consumable cloud-based product that allows businesses to establish a productive, mobile and secure working environment that aligns with digital transformation goals. It gives employees the freedom to use their preferred devices without risking the security of business data.

It combines the best of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security, helping business be more productive, mobile and secure.

1. Microsoft 365 for people productivity

The business can communicate, collaborate and meet seamlessly using applications such as Exchange Online email, Skype for Business conferencing, Yammer for corporate social networking and Microsoft Teams.

2. Microsoft 365 for BYOD and employee mobility

Employees can work productively anywhere, on their favourite devices. They can create, share and edit documents in Word and Excel, with real-time syncing so they’re always working on the latest versions, no matter’s who’s been working on them.

“With Microsoft 365, we now all enjoy working from our preferred machines and devices – whether we’re in the office or not”. – Sebastian Aililaoie, group digital manager, The Association for Consultancy & Engineering

3. Microsoft 365 for data security

Windows Defender secure the business against malware and ransomware attacks. It has built-in protection for Office mobile apps, device management for Windows 10 PCs and selective wipe of company data should a device be lost or stolen.

It keeps business and personal data separate by preventing users from copying content from Office apps like Word across personal devices. It also forces users to save work documents to OneDrive for Business and encrypt them. It allows for a consistent security configuration profile across all devices. And because Microsoft 365 is an all-in-one product, fragmented IT is no longer a security risk.

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