Examining the Benefits of Digital Transformation
Businesses of every size, in every category, and in every country have started accelerating their processes through digital transformation. If your business has not yet gone through at least an initial digital transformation, consider these three fundamental questions about the near-term future of your business:
1) How can your business functions be systematized to operate more effectively with your customers, employees, vendors, prospects, and more.
2) How can your business most effectively make security an integral component of each and every process?
3) How far and fast can your business catch up to keep pace with competitors who are staying ahead of ever-changing digital trends?
To gain a clearer understanding of the importance of digital transformation for your business, let’s address some more critical questions.
What Exactly Does Digital Transformation Mean?
For the sake of simplicity, let’s boil digital transformation down to two processes:
– using a virtual machine in the cloud to act as your company’s server and/or
– replacing on-premise processes with SaaS (software as a service). One simple example of this that millions of businesses have done is transfer their bookkeeping from Quickbooks (or similar competitor) on a machine in their office to Quickbooks Online.
In short, digital transformation moves your business processes from being on-premise to the cloud.
What are the Major Benefits of Digital Transformation?
The actual process of digital transformation might be a bit difficult to understand. But the remarkable benefits the process offers for nearly any business are impossible to ignore.
Moving your server to the cloud will secure the most vital resources of your business. The vast majority of enterprise businesses have been entirely operating in the cloud and no longer bothered with anything on-premise. Venture-backed startups with investors who willingly throw millions of dollars at them, don’t hesitate to choose cloud solutions. Trust us when we say they are not putting boxes in a server room closet. All these types of businesses are done spending money on risky infrastructure that offers far less security than what exists in the cloud.
Traditional infrastructures force a “stair-step” pathway of growth. Say your small business is running on five servers. They might be adequate for a certain amount of resources, but as soon as you grow, you’ll need more space. With these machines on-premise, you’re forced to add another server (and perhaps replace a few that are already there). As time goes on, you climb higher in equipment needs, as well as the inevitable maintenance, upkeep, and replacement costs.
The cloud doesn’t work that way. The cloud offers a nice linear path of access and expansion. That means you will never pay for more than what you need at the moment because the cloud environment is continuously scaling with you as your needs grow.
For many companies (both small and large), the most apparent driver for digital transformation is cost reduction. Moving data to a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment slashes operational costs. Moreover, it allows hardware and software costs to be shifted elsewhere in the budget while freeing team members to work on other revenue-generating projects.
If your business depends on its own infrastructure, you’re probably spending a boatload of money (at least every 3 to 5 years) on warranties and new hardware to keep that infrastructure from becoming obsolete. Those are capital expenditures you’ve just come to expect. A small business could be in for $10,000, while bigger companies might face costs in the millions of dollars.
Digital transformation can shift all of those costs to predictable operational expenses where you pay steady consumption costs while all of your processes stay up-to-date.
We can’t forget staff costs in this equation either. Let’s be honest – the skill level of staff within the cloud provider will always be better. Maybe you get lucky and find one true IT rockstar, but chances are that more technically trained people are probably working for these cloud solutions. As more and more businesses move to the cloud, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to hire well-trained staff that can handle the actual spectrum of small business tech needs.
Is Digital Transformation One-Size-Fits-All?
Absolutely not. Each business has its own set of needs and will need a solution best suited for its continued growth. deskside is 100% for the client having the right technology solution. Typically, when we partner with a client with infrastructure in-house, we have no problem serving like a traditional managed service provider would. But as we get to know the client’s business and help them grow, at some point, we’re going to have a serious discussion about digital transformation once we can prescribe the right solution(s). We’re also vendor-agnostic, meaning that we will suggest the right solution based on your business needs rather than stick to a specific vendor tool for a better commission. That solution typically helps them move to the cloud in phases, at whatever speed and method makes the most sense for the business.
You might find that approach surprising if you’ve talked with some other tech providers. Why? As described above, having any type of server on-premise is actually a detriment for business growth. For any business growth except for that of a tech provider, that is. A business with a cloud server typically has:
– fewer security issues.
– fewer capital expenditures as you’re not constantly buying new servers.
– less costly upkeep and equipment management.
Once a tech provider helps put your business up in the cloud, your business is much more stable and secure. Therefore, reducing an ongoing need for tech services. Our competitors often would rather have a better income stream. deskside would rather have your business transformed.
What’s the Biggest Roadblock for a Business Considering Digital Transformation?
Honestly, the most prevalent roadblock for business owners hesitating about a digital transformation is simple trust in the public cloud. For many, there’s still a tug to have to “own my data,” fueled by the belief that data in an on-premise server – one they can see and touch – is more protected. For some owners who have been in business a long time, it’s a bit difficult to understand what you’re paying for when you see no equipment show up once you send payment. Digital transformation, admittedly, can require a bit of a mental and even emotional jump to understand and trust cloud-based technology and applications. That’s why it’s essential to find a client-centered tech provider who is generous with time in explanation, question-answering, and fact-providing… especially when it comes to security… to help our clients achieve a comfort level to begin the process.
Is Digital Transformation Simple?
Is change ever easy for people? Usually not. That’s why patient change management from your tech provider is a must in the transformation process. Employees get used to applications and processes. Customers come to depend on a particular way of doing things. For those reasons, you cannot just make big shifts to a new SaaS solution just to leave long-used software behind. But a well-thought-out process, accompanied by a patient tech provider like deskside, who intentionally works to instill trust in each step, can usher in a digital transformation while helping your team feel ready for the changes.
Is Digital Transformation Worth It?
Nearly every small business will benefit from digital transformation – not necessarily just in securing operations or simplifying processes – but in opening up new potential. deskside loves helping business owners dream of profitable possibilities when considering the opportunities that operating in a digital landscape might create.