Grow up: How digital strategy drives digital maturity

October 10, 20174 Minute Read

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Want your business to digitally mature? Step one: Get yourself a digital strategy. You need a clear vision of how your business will transform itself to meet the new competitive reality of the digital era. A digital strategy also attracts and keeps the talented rock stars who want to be part of a truly innovative company. When your business has a clear strategy, it can innovate and change the game in how it delivers products and services—sometimes even completely revolutionizing the actual products and services it offers.

A digital strategy can provide a company with the core efficiencies necessary to create an adaptable business that better responds to rapidly changing customer expectations (you know—those customers who’re becoming more demanding each and every day) and competitive developments in the market. It makes perfect sense then that businesses tend to kick off their strategy with workflow digitization.

Adopt a digital mindset early on

Workflow processes that don’t scale well can be a real roadblock for any company that wants to become digitally mature. A business can become digitally mature on multiple fronts when it automates certain processes that used to be manual or overly tedious for human hands—but it’s up to IT to identify where these bottlenecks are happening first.

Once identified, the door opens for greater overall business automation to support better customer experiences, organizational productivity, improved collaboration, and better decision making. Digital strategies also offer a host of additional benefits, all of which can greatly improve a company’s business operations and prepare it for future innovation—both process-wise and culturally.

Integrate a new digital solution

Of course, hooking your company up with a sweet new digital solution is only half the battle. Sooner or later, you’re going to run into cultural resistance as you try to bring new technology online at the office. Cultural barriers show up in a variety of ways: executives with glazed eyes, who may not get how technology can actually be a secret weapon to advance the business; skeptical employees, who may just be more comfortable with current systems; and employee anxieties about robots coming after their jobs.

To jump over these hurdles, you have to make sure that leadership understands the value of digital transformation and can explain that value to the staff, who should be brought in early on to provide the feedback. It’s also smart for leadership to proactively share stories about successful digital transformation and how it has already helped the business mature. Narratives like those can get the staff excited about the digital strategy, ease their fears, and realize that it will ultimately be a good thing for both the company and its employees.

You should also pick a technology partner that can provide strategic guidance on how to make sure the deployment, configuration, integration, and overall transition to a new solution is successful. You’ll know it’s successful if it gets rid of organizational silos rather than accidentally creating new ones (“D’oh!”). Managed print services, for instance, can reduce cost and complexity in a number of ways, but it usually shows that an organization places a high priority on digital transformation in general—and that it has a larger vision and strategy for managing both paper and digital information.

Better security supports future digital strategies

According to research from Deloitte, organizations run into more security challenges on the way to becoming digitally mature. Businesses tend to think of the print environment, specifically, as “out of sight, out of mind”—not realizing that it’s actually a tempting target for hackers until it’s too late. Security challenges have a way of jumping to the top of the priority list when you already have a full plate, so dealing with them early on will give your business a better chance of staying on track with its digital strategy as it continues to innovate and evolve. And with a solution like managed print services, you can both improve printer security and foster digital transformation at once.

Creating a digital strategy isn’t always easy, but it offers rich rewards, including the ability to drive enterprise-wide initiatives, enhance employee collaboration and efficiency, spur workplace innovation, and adjust to rapidly changing IT environments. Implementing foundational strategies and mindsets will pave the way for even greater efficiencies and operational sophistication. This will build momentum for digital transformation, engage employees who believe in the importance of digital maturity, and create the opportunity for even bolder innovation in the future.

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