Article

Michelle Hay
Michelle Hay 17 January 2017

Is Your Digital Transformation Merely a Digital Overlay?

It seems that every industry is talking about digital transformation, or digital business transformation. It is frequently viewed as going paperless, but it would be more accurate to describe it as embracing new digital innovations in order to achieve your goals, rather than just using technology to support your traditional approach.

In reality, the transformation aspect is often disregarded, many organisations do little more than update their front end with a “digital overlay” whilst continuing with the same practices behind the scenes. 

How is digital transformation achieved?

Replacing a hand written form with a web form or a webpage with workflow might tick the box on a department checklist, but the starting question should be “do we actually need the form?”  Without a complete shift in the approach to content creation, organisations risk simply adding a veneer to a system susceptible to human errors that could waste time and money.

In order to achieve digital transformation it is important to go back to basics and first consider four key areas of transformation:

  • People – the skills, knowledge and competencies required.
  • Process - a series of steps or tasks required to achieve the goal.
  • Technology – the tools at the disposal of the workforce.
  • Culture – the environment in which all of these interact.

People should be at the heart of digital transformation.  The needs of the customer, requirements of management and tools of the workforce are paramount to the creation of a digital ecosystem that serves all of these stakeholders.  If your focus is to take everything you do online, perhaps with a new Content Management System (CMS), new procedures and new human resources, then a structure needs to be put in place that supports this purpose.

Planning and integration

In building an office block, you wouldn’t lay the foundations at the end.  The work to be carried out is subject to checks and needs to be verified.  You also wouldn’t expect the builders of the office block to be the ones to sign off on it.  Similarly, user experience, optimisation and compliance need to be considered from the start.  An organisation setting out to achieve digital transformation might use a new CMS as the foundation, but without a system to manage quality assurance, non-compliant content and errors could be included from day one.  

One of the cornerstones of transformation is making sure that people can consistently and efficiently publish content.  Personnel need to be given the tools to make sure that that they can carry on publishing effectively without having to worry about rules, regulations and training.  By integrating quality assurance software it is possible to do this: Sitemorse SMART Content™ can prevent errors prior to publish, whilst also providing the tools to prioritise and assign older content that may suffer from quality issues. 

It can deliver an 86% reduction in training & support resource*

* Based on market review, Sitemorse Dec. ‘15 – Mar. ‘16

You cannot tangibly offer one-on-one support to all of your personnel all of the time, but by making sure that the team are genuinely digitally ready you can provide the support that they need.  Customers and prospects encountering a broken link will simply pick up the phone and place a burden upon your internal resources.  However, you don’t need to be in that position.  If you start with the transformation areas and employ the correct digital tools required to achieve your goals, digital transformation will be achieved.

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