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Digital transformation: Creating growth in the middle market

May 20, 2021 Article 3 min read
Dennis Bagley Evan Honour

Digital transformation is more than an industry buzzword. Midmarket leaders must take action toward their digital future, and that requires strategy and planning. Good news: A scalable strategic roadmap can put you on the path to reducing operational inefficiency, improving customer experience, and increasing profitability.

Business woman working on a tabletEverybody seems to be talking about digital transformation. Taking the first step toward digital maturity can feel overwhelming, but for most, taking that journey is necessary to survive.

Let’s demystify the term, digital transformation. It’s all about using data, digital tools, and processes to modernize and improve production, service offerings, competitiveness, and performance throughout your entire enterprise. It’s not a one-and-done proposition, but a continuous improvement approach, which often results in more deliberate (strategic) and improved revenue streams. And it’s not limited to technology changes — you need to create a culture of innovation that allows for new ideas and the implementation of data and digital tools.

Consider these three lessons, gleaned from years of technology consulting with mature, midmarket companies that led successful, value-creating digital transformation journeys.

1. You don’t have to disrupt an industry to be successful.

Digital transformation isn’t just one-off IT projects, and it doesn’t need to radically change industry dynamics or result in a new business model to drive meaningful results. A digital transformation journey can originate with one business process or function and scale overtime. In fact, many facets of digital strategy go beyond generating new revenue opportunities and don’t even need to be customer-facing.

Successful digital strategies should include using data and technology to focus on enhancing staff productivity, digitally upgrading day-to-day tools, and empowering collaboration, as well as modernizing core capabilities. None of these may be directly observable by your customer, yet the results will show over time. For example, interdepartmental communication and workflow platforms can expedite product development, time to market, quoting lead times, and service delivery, all while increasing staff satisfaction and productivity. The result can be transformative for your organization, without having to bet the farm on reinventing the business. Learn how using a modernization software like RPA helps you achieve more with less.

Successful digital strategies should include using data and technology.

2. Custom software isn’t required for transformation.

Midmarket businesses can create powerful digital experiences with configurable software and other readily available tools, without spending a dime on a software developer. Even seemingly cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) have practical and budget-friendly applications.

Strategically sourcing technology solutions can yield mature vendor offerings that include mobile applications, integration with social platforms, and analytics engines that seamlessly augment the capabilities of your organization when deployed properly. Depending on your current degree of digital maturity and your industry, you might be able to harvest low-hanging fruit in the form of “out-of-the-box” technologies, ready to be exploited to drive sales or improve efficiencies and savings. Learn why you need to understand AI to stay competitive.

For midmarket businesses, your digital strategy should include a vision for how various tools and services can work together to avoid expensive and complicated development projects.

For midmarket businesses, your digital strategy should include a vision for how various tools and services can work together.

3. Know the precursors to digital transformation.

You can dramatically improve your chances of digital success if you look holistically at your organization and realistically consider your readiness for change. Is your culture collaborative and open? Have you aligned incentives and accountabilities to encourage digital adoption and initiative?

Do you have high turnover or key positions unfilled? Even the best digital strategy will be undermined by cultural and managerial shortcomings. Consider what you can do today to create an environment where transformation can take hold and persist into the future. Learn how you can use Industry 4.0 to accelerate digital transformation.

Digital transformation doesn’t have to be a pie-in-the-sky dream. Think of it  as a practical and justifiable way to create lasting value — an opportunity that, with the right planning and strategy, your organization can embrace. Our experts can help you identify a path forward, develop a strategy for incremental change, and walk with you every step of the way. Ready to learn more? Give us a call and let’s get started.

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