I am getting this question more and more as of late, and it’s always said with a confused and concerned look.

“Digital transformation* is the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way.”*

Source www.i-scoop.eu/digital-transformation/

That’s a great little way to tie it up in a nice little bow, but what does that actually mean?  I am going to do my best to break this down today but focus my story on a specific set of technology tools to provide some examples of my experience.

Not even 5 years ago companies with enterprise business needs required solutions to assist in knowledge sharing and internal communications had to spend fortunes on hardware and software not to mention a lot of time to get these systems into place.  Today however with the innovation of cloud technologies and industry disruptors any person and any company in the world can get access to exact same functional technology at per user, per month, low cost pricing instantly.

What does this mean for business, well from a financial stand point technology can be used on an OPEX model instead of CAPEX which means it can be done much quicker without waiting around for a year to change budgets.  This means from an operations stand point everything can be rolled out faster, and no additional staff will be needed to manage the service.  And from both finance and op’s this means that if the cloud product or service is not delivering it can be stopped with a months’ notice and no major time or money was lost before the realization of a bad investment was smelt.

This means that for the first time in tech the service provider takes on all the risk.  Not such great news for a provider who does not add value, but I still think this is great news for the customer and great news for the industry in general.  Providers now need to add value not just ‘drop box’ software and expect major profits.  Which leads to understanding more about what the client needs are and delivering on those needs not on the margins.

Which leads me to what Digital Transformation is actually all about.  It’s not about taking a paper based form and adding it to SharePoint or OneDrive as an electronical document.  That is called Digital Replication.

Digital Transformation is about taking the entire process end to end and making it work better for the business requirement.  Which means creating a digital form in SharePoint using Microsoft Flow to power the back-end automation and leveraging Power Apps** **to make the form mobile.

Leveraging the available technology, the service provider now has to add value not just ‘box drop’ for a fat profit margins.  The new model in this digital world is all about what business value the provider can bring to the table with the technology they sell in a practical** **and ever changing world.

So now you know what Digital Transformation is all about.  For the first time ever in the history of time, service providers need to really understand a business requirement before selling a solution, and be agile enough to modify and tweak said solution to their customer needs.  It’s a great time to be alive, technology will be on the front foot with software vendors and service providers pushing hard to keep clients happy.