Harnessing Data to drive effective digital transformation
The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear that businesses need to be prepared for flexible, remote working practices.
As lockdowns forced offices to close and people headed home to limit the potential spread of the virus, many organisations found they weren’t prepared to provision the necessary work from home (WFH) technology and processes for their staff to continue with business as usual.
As a result, businesses have been required to undertake (or accelerate) a significant digital transformation journey to get up to speed. As these transformation journeys roll out, the need to harness data effectively becomes more critical than ever for a successful, long term change. Here’s what you need to consider.
A strategic approach
Before beginning a digital transformation, it’s critical to have a strategy in place to explain how you will manage, store, secure and use your data. Yet, this is a step that’s often forgotten in the rush to transform and digitise processes.
A data strategy should be driven by the needs of your business. Your strategy will also define how to make decisions about the use of data, more capably manage data flow, and secure information effectively.
Any successful plan will identify realistic goals along with a road map for rolling it out. This ensures that you’re properly prepared for every step of the journey.
Beginning the journey
A digital transformation unshackles an organisation from the past. It empowers you to move into the future, free of outdated technology and slower manual processes.
For example, take mobile and cloud technology. While we were once restricted to an office environment for productive working, it’s now possible for geographically diverse teams to collaborate as efficiently as they would in a traditional office setting. Files, apps, and other resources can all be accessed remotely, and meetings held virtually, giving workplaces and workforces the ability to be truly flexible.
However, the reality of a digital transformation is that with staff spread across locations, there are a range of new infrastructure management issues to consider. Chief among these is data security.
Keeping data safe is vital as users access business networks and devices remotely, often without the protection provided by robust on-site architecture. It’s important to decide how you’ll service and secure company devices, and how to make sure users and the data they handle and generate will be protected, and implementing those systems early.
Harnessing the power of data
With a clear data strategy in place and your digital journey underway, you can start to take advantage of the power of your data and use it to drive improved decision-making internally and externally.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can be used to sort your unstructured data, learning as they go to uncover valuable insights. Once the data has been cleansed, you can enrich it by adding third-party data or public datasets to uncover more hidden insight.
The adoption of AI and ML also frees your people for bigger picture tasks. Instead of manually sorting through stacks of data, they can concentrate on delivering valuable and creative work powered by the insights you’ve identified – ultimately working towards the goals outlined in your data strategy.
Gathering data helps to deliver external benefits to your business too. It can improve customer service by identifying current pain points or uncover new customer segments for targeting – the possibilities are endless!
The lesson in the journey
Businesses shouldn’t underestimate the change that needs to be undertaken in digital transformation journeys. They require significant planning and thought before beginning. However, while the challenge is large, data can make the journey less difficult and more successful.
Accessible, accurate and relevant data enables businesses to make better informed decisions and deliver actionable insights. And by establishing a data strategy up front, you can better understand, apply and secure your data to meet the needs of your organisation.
If you’re asking yourself questions such as “Are we doing things the right way?” or “Can we do this better?” why not get in touch and let’s explore how TechConnect can deliver results for your business as you undertake a digital transformation.