Digital Transformation: It’s Already Started, You Just Don’t Realise.

During the recent lockdown, where home working became the norm for so many, business leaders discovered that major technological change wasn’t as risk-loaded as they always feared. Sure not everything went right, but overall the transition from office to the home went smoothly and the business continued to function, albeit using an enforced model.

From our experience, this led to a shift in the view of senior leadership: fear of technical change was removed.

Colleagues have had to operate in different ways to deal with customers and suppliers: whereas a conversation across the office used to be the primary way to share information, Teams, Zoom et al changed that. And directors noticed.

Savvy directors noticed that Office 365 was more than Word and Excel, it was more than collaborative working: it was about process management and business intelligence, often enforced. The shared Excel spreadsheet suddenly felt inadequate, the shared departmental drive was replaced by SharePoint: an enforced shift in ways of working started Digital Transformation without people actually realising.

More importantly, the fear of IT as an amorphous black hole that was difficult to change has, for many lifted.

Digital Transformation is about taking control of your technology, focussing on data and maximising it’s effectiveness in dealing with people: from the supply chain in, to the customer base out.

This potentially presents a new risk: technical debt that will yield immense interest in the next few years. In the process of adopting new ways of working and technologies, without appropriate leadership of that area, there is a risk that the solution today will impede the business in the future: it’ll hit the buffers. This may be capacity, capabilities or, with no data taxonomy in place, unwieldy to manage. A simple change from EU GDPR to a new UK version may present a hige risk to the businesses through the way they store and manage data.

That’s where a fractional CTO / CIO may help: for an organisation that cannot justify the full time salary of such a C-suite leader, the part time model will enable them to strategically take control of technology and data and make sure it adds value and aids business growth, not store up problems for the future like a faulty battery.

Bentlebury offer such services, we are happy to have a no-obligation conversation to see if we can help!

Posted by Andrew Rozzier.