Today's businesses are chasing startups born in the cloud in their digital transformation efforts. They want to operate with the agility of new businesses but are carrying the weight of heavy slow-moving congested traffic; making digital transformation the migration of a lifetime. Many organizations struggle to make their end destination or when they finally do, they realize they now need to go somewhere else. And there were new roads they could have taken earlier to get there.
Think about digital transformation as crossing over a bridge; you've come from uneven, unsurfaced roads and you're trying to get to the motorway. But you must build the bridge that sets you up to go in the right direction. So, what are the linchpins that will keep your digital transformation together? What are the foundational technologies successful companies focus on first to support the more advanced digital transformation initiatives? Here we identify the foundational technologies – the network, cloud infrastructure, unified communications and collaboration - and uncover the linchpins holding them up.
Aligning Key Decision Makers
Digital transformation is not an initiative owned solely by one department in an organization: there's scarcely a department that's not impacted by it. This sprawl means there are usually multiple key decision makers with different perspectives, and sometimes these perspectives will push and pull against one another. So much so that if everyone got their “way” the state of affairs would be in a worse position than from where it started. What's important is when undertaking digital transformation, the goal should not be to please everyone by doing exactly what they want, but rather working together towards reaching the end destination.
Reduced Cost of Operations
Reducing the cost of operations is a linchpin that is often referred to and gravitated toward, yet often missed. When we discuss digital transformation, we look at it from the lens of unified communications and collaboration, and not only how it plays a role in the overall transformation but also how it forms the foundation required for long-term robust transformation to take place. According to Nemertes Research*, reliable unified communications and collaboration infrastructure that operates optimally is crucial to the success of digital transformation. In fact, successful digital transformation initiatives invest in UCC 72% more than unsuccessful companies. But how does investing more correlate to reducing the cost of operations? The same research, on Digital Transformation and IT Futures, found that investing in performance management tools cut operational costs in half. The tools themselves save significantly more than their cost, yet ironically, IT leaders often say they do not get the budget to buy these speciality management tools (which we'll talk about more in the next linchpin). The final point on reducing the cost of operations was that Nemertes Research found IR customers see the biggest opex decrease, spending 33% less than the nearest competitor.
Managing Systems Effectively
So why do IT leaders often bypass buying third-party management and monitoring tools if they can help them operate their unified communications infrastructure more effectively and cost efficiently? And what challenges does this present to them? Firstly, sometimes it's a lack of articulation or calculation on how much time they are currently spending on trying to solve issues in their UC environment. When it takes longer than needed to resolve unified communications and collaboration issues everything else gets slowed down in a domino effect. Given unified communications and collaboration are a conduit for successful digital transformation issues it's more vital than ever that UCC is reliable, reduces operating costs, and improves efficiency. Using a performance monitoring and troubleshooting tool like IR Prognosis can reduce troubleshooting time immensely. Industry standards tell us that 80% of the mean time to repair UC issues is the mean time to identify or convince others in the organization of where the problem lies. Prognosis reduces the mean time to identify by over 90% through comprehensive visibility into the full UC environment, both in real-time and historically. Managing systems effectively and efficiently is about calculating the time you spend today troubleshooting and fixing issues, and implementing tools to make your job easier and reduce the time you spend doing these tasks tomorrow.
Delivering the Best User Experience
The finest engineers and the most cutting-edge architecture will always be overshadowed by the end user experience. Choosing the best of breed everything will not guarantee a great user experience, especially if the best of everything demands its own inpidual way of getting set up. You need to consider how it all ties together and how you can monitor each aspect; but in one place. Throughout your digital transformation process, think of how it will pan out for the end user. Give yourself a head start and walk in the shoes of your end user. They won't care you've gone to the ends of the earth to try and get it right, they just want it to be right. You need to make sure you put the building blocks in place that will enable you to get it right while you're on the journey to transformation, when you reach the other side and the road ahead into the future.
*Source: Nemertes Research, 2017 Unified Communications and Collaboration Total Cost of Operations.