There are many ways to improve an organization's capabilities and stay competitive in the market. One of the most crucial ways is to move towards IT transformation. Implementing digital solutions like cloud-based systems, process automation, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and others can vastly help businesses enhance the customer experience as well as increase productivity in daily tasks.
Digital transformation has dominated the discourse over what's next for companies. While there were transformation technologies before, it's a much more agile and dynamic arena now. From enhancing customer service and finance to inventory management and other work processes, companies understand that embracing technology means getting ahead of the competition.
But what exactly does IT transformation entail? This article discusses in-depth how businesses can enhance their performance through IT transformation and answers common questions about the process.
What is IT transformation?
Everybody agrees it is crucial, but quite a few are still not familiar with what constitutes an IT transformation. IT transformation refers to the integration of digital technology across all areas of a business. It overhauls existing systems with the primary aim of boosting efficiency and delivery. IT transformation modernizes each aspect of the overall workflow from hardware and network infrastructure to software apps and security.
Adoption must be done in a way that brings effective changes to how you operate and increase value to end users or customers. It’s a total shift that also involves a cultural and mindset change at every level.
Beyond the simple use of a cloud-based storage system or an app for inventory checks, IT transformation involves everyone. This means not just people in IT, but all team members up to the executive level. This level of transformation should continually challenge the organization to test, experiment, and be willing to try applicable technologies to determine which fits best. Inevitably, the journey will have failures, but the company will have more to gain when it gets past the growing pains of overhauling longstanding business processes in favor of more efficient, digitalized ones.
Why IT transformation is essential for business growth
Want to have the potential to grow eight times  higher than the non-digitally responsive competition? Investing in IT transformation is the key. Because IT transformation is a foundational prerequisite to digital transformation, it cannot be an afterthought in the entire digital transformation plan.
IT transformation isn't an easy process by any means, but it allows your organization to maximize technology in creating an agile, adaptable business model. Resistance to what tech can offer just means you won't be equipped to rapidly adapt to market changes.
IT transformation proved its worth during COVID-19. Businesses that were digitalized were able to provide online services, continue work virtually with minimal disruption, and keep customers engaged through digital platforms. Companies that couldn’t adapt and stuck to their pre-pandemic processes were either closed down or suffered massive losses.
This is why digitally progressive businesses can engage and retain customers more efficiently, all while delivering work that is more productive and less tedious for staff.
Expected benefits of IT transformation
Every industry is highly competitive, and it's up to companies to determine how they can drive growth and profit through technology. Successful IT transformation will gain these potential advantages:
Makes data collection and retrieval efficient
Business intelligence is at the forefront when a business commits to an IT-based process. There's less effort placed on time-consuming tasks like data gathering, storage, and retrieval. Instead, you can gain a secure and easily manageable system for all members of the team to use.
Some key examples of how IT transformation impacts staff include automating inventory, the order process, customer data protection, email marketing, and legacy document storage.
Optimizes operational expenses
IT transformation optimizes cost models and potentially frees up the IT budget by streamlining processes. Files and work processes can also become much more secure and cost-effective when outsourced to IT software as a service (SaaS) providers such as cloud platforms, apps, and data integration systems.
Accelerates service delivery
IT transformation is meant to not only bolster growth in your company but to be the driver for customer satisfaction. Digitalized platforms can ease the time spent in deploying IT services, reduce errors, and enable the brand to be more simultaneously reliable and cost-effective. Agility is the name of the game and rapid adaptation helps your business thrive in an increasingly digital landscape.
Enhances customer experience
Web apps became even more prevalent during the pandemic, and the trend will only continue. More customers have become accustomed to rapid responses to inquiries and easily obtained information, and many won’t hesitate to drop products or services that don’t meet those expectations.
Prioritizes data security
Transformation involves reviewing processes to optimize workflow, and this will include ensuring those processes are secure against potential breaches. This includes external and internal threats that can compromise data and result in heavy damages in terms of cost and the reputation of your business.
What should companies focus on during IT transformation?
IT transformation needs to involve continuous change that both management and staff should continuously evaluate. Consider focusing on these key areas to ensure effective transformation:
Most companies, mainly small-scale businesses, will not have the proper infrastructure to fulfill automation, rapid creation, and deployment of services. There's simply not enough to invest in in-house IT systems, but some of these can be outsourced without compromising quality.
Determine what available third-party solutions by companies can fill your company's gaps. Identify what core competencies can be offloaded versus what needs to remain, and ease the responsibility onto the appropriate software or service.
The network is the backbone connecting devices to software programs across cloud systems, making it integral. Businesses will need a solid network plan that can viably support the digitalized processes to be incorporated into daily work. This will require vetting providers who can serve automated operations while maintaining security at the necessary scale of your business. In the end, the right network architecture should give staff the flexibility and mobility to access work applications anytime, anywhere.
Cybersecurity is an increasingly sensitive aspect of digitalization, with data privacy protection management providing serious implications for businesses now that customers have stronger presences online. The key is to disengage from obsolete technologies that may not be capable of providing sufficient protection against more sophisticated threats. If an enterprise uses cloud services for digital transformation, ensuring tight security is a must.
What Problems Can Be Solved by IT Transformation?
IT transformation is instrumental in bringing solutions to the following areas to every company regardless of their sector:
Customer reach and communication
Now that customers can tap into endless online options, advertising and marketing efforts have to keep up with trends to remain competitive. In addition, customer communities have become so comfortable relying on social media and technology-based apps.
Businesses can bolster their marketing plans with integrated IT systems. Fully digital processes can make researching customer insights and community trends much easier, providing automated analytics that can help you make informed decisions. Moreover, IT transformation makes reaching out to new customers much more targeted and retaining present ones more manageable, potentially increasing satisfaction at a larger, more efficient scale.
Companies that aren’t digitally agile will find themselves outclassed by other brands that are more capable of adapting to regulatory changes, can more rapidly offer brand-new products and services, and can read the customer pulse more accurately in their campaigns.
IT transformation intrinsically solves network lags, issues in automation, marketing bottlenecks, and more, collectively contributing to improving the company's position in any given industry.
Inefficiency in daily operations
Some work tasks lend themselves easily to automated solutions. But companies need not, and should not limit IT transformation to more obvious processes. Any workflow that no longer requires human resources is a great candidate for automation. Automation of these workflows can keep your business performance running seamlessly and error-free, facilitating customer satisfaction.
IT transformation at its core allows even small and medium-scale businesses to take charge of improving key areas in their day-to-day processes, like customer relations and employee efficiency. By integrating processes and simplifying them at a digital level, you can democratize IT and close the gap between tech and workforce capability.
In particular, utilizing low-code and no-code IT solutions allows every person to become an active and vital part of the IT transformation without actually requiring an IT background. Businesses can then regularly consult with their teams about user experience to empower each one to be comfortable with tech tools.
Controls Shadow IT
The use of information technology systems, devices, and software without explicit approval from a respective IT department is known as shadow IT. This potentially problematic issue has grown exponentially in recent years with the adoption of cloud-based applications. Businesses can upload their data and perform daily tasks while under the system of the cloud-based provider, but this can lead to compromised data, or even worse, losses in said data. There are also security risks in the form of data leaks and compliance issues. Ensuring consistent training can reduce the likelihood of these breaches.
How Kissflow can support IT transformation
Kissflow's digital transformation platform provides achievable and customized plans for businesses looking for an effective IT transformation solution. The platform offers distinctly proprietary options that can be a low-code or a no-code approach to your business requirements. The two approaches are tailor-fit to your organization's preference.
Kissflow allows you to automate your processes and integrate them with a seamless user experience, helping manage your business growth without the massive commitment of building and managing an in-house IT system.
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