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The what and how of digital transformation

When it comes to digital transformation, the question is not just whether organisations are ready for it but how they will carry it out.

Digital transformation is defined as the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of society – from government to mass communications and from art to medicine and science.

In business, there are two steps to every digital transformation plan: “the what” and “the how.” “The what” comprises the digital initiatives needed to achieve transformational change and “the how” is ensuring this transformational change delivers business results.

Workspace management provider Matrix42 recently conducted a survey at the SITS 2016 conference in London, which showed that mobility and IT service management (ITSM) are key to executing digital transformation strategies. Over half of the SITS survey respondents, who were mostly CIOs and business decision makers, said they are “nearly ready,” followed by 19 per cent who said they are “neither ready or not.” In contrast, only 16 per cent said they were “completely ready.”

When it comes to digital transformation, mobility is key. While most organisations have implemented an enterprise mobility strategy, risk and security concerns are still preventing organisations from realising value from it. Having the right tools to manage risk and ensure security has never been more important.

Over half of respondents said mobile ITSM is somewhat important to their digital transformation plans while just over a quarter said it’s “highly important.” In the middle, just 12 per cent said mobile ITSM was “neither important or not important” while the naysayers who said it was “not very important” or “not relevant” were 7 per cent and 3 per cent respectively.

Some of the key reasons why ITSM is changing the workplace of the future include the fact that service quality and customer satisfaction have become the biggest technology priorities for organisations. ITSM is moving away from ‘budget driven’ IT legacy whilst transforming IT into service brokers.

Despite the recognition of the importance of mobile ITSM by the majority of respondents, 34 per cent said they don’t have the right mobility and ITSM tools to operate in a digital world. Though the majority (48 per cent) said they have the right tools with only 19 per cent saying they weren’t sure.

In addition to the tools, organisations also need to ensure that they recruit the right people skilled in mobile app provision, mobile app development and management, and mobile content management in order to accelerate their mobility strategies.

Given organisations are faced with new challenges introduced by mobility such as mobile device management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM), they need the right tools. Device and application management solutions can benefit businesses in numerous ways, including enabling them to automate business process flows and approvals that are mobile-first in approach, ensure license compliance across multiple operating systems platforms and make real-time cost allocations of apps and services.

ITSM is also one of the key spending areas, the survey found. The majority of respondents said budgets are likely to increase over the next 12 months for security, followed by ITSM, compliance, mobility, hardware, OS upgrades and ID and access management. However, in all of those categories, some respondents said spending is likely to stay the same. Participants said the biggest decrease in spending will be in hardware and OS upgrades.

The majority of respondents said they will be working on ITSM projects over the next 12 months, followed by security and mobile workforce management.

So why does ITSM rank so highly with respondents in terms of spending? They outlined the key benefits of ITSM as:
•Improvement of service
•Reduction of costs
•Improved self-service

By helping businesses improve their processes, ITSM meets some of the main objectives of digital transformation, which include driving employee productivity and improving innovation. In the 21st century, it’s all about collaboration, which is why a human-centric approach to digital transformation is vital. This goes beyond automation replacing manual tasks to equipping employees with the right information at the right time and on the right platform whether that’s their laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

So it’s not just merely a question of whether businesses are ready for digital transformation but how they’re going to execute it.

James Johnson