Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: An 8-Part Series

Here at GroupLink, we are excited to play our part in ushering digital transformation into the way our clients’ companies do business, especially digital transformation led by CIOs and CTOs. 

Digital transformation means taking all that you do and using digital technologies to make your business operations, activities, and processes more efficient and strategic. It might sound simple, or perhaps it seems complex for your company — either way, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Digital transformation is a fairly simple concept, but putting it into action can be more complicated than it looks at first glance. We’re here to help, starting with our eight-part series on digital transformation with CIOs and CTOs. 

The first part of this eight-part series is this article itself, a short introduction of what we will be covering over the next seven features, so you can get excited about digital transformation and all the things you can learn about it to improve your business. Here’s what to watch for in the future.

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: What it is & What it is Not

It makes sense to start with the basics! In this case, we will be taking a look at the definition of digital transformation in a business context. There are, of course, various definitions for the concept, depending on who you ask. To make it all clearer, we will also explore real-life examples of digital transformation in action.

In this article, we will also take a look at what digital transformation is not. In our view, that is just as important as understanding what it is, so you can be sure that your company is on the right track with digital transformation as your goal.

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Getting Started – Examples

There are many approaches to digital transformation for CIOs and CTOs, and sometimes, seeing how it’s worked for others is the best way to make your plans. We’ll take a look at various organizations’ approaches to digital transformation, and how the process has impacted each organization or agency. 

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Culture Shock or Team Strengthening

When people hear ‘digital transformation’ the focus often goes onto the technology itself, but that is not what it’s all about. This article will show you how digital transformation isn’t about technology so much as it is about changing and enhancing culture and teams. As with other business endeavors, buy-in from your team is vital for digital transformation to work, so this is an important topic. 

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Overcoming Obstacles

There are always obstacles in implementing new strategies, digital transformation included. Don’t panic, though — we will explore these common obstacles and how your business or organization can overcome them, in this article, using real-life examples and research to help you find a way through even the most daunting challenges. 

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Baby Steps and Celebrating Successes

Once you start looking into digital transformation, you may be eager to put it into practice and you may be tempted to try to get it all done at once. As exciting as that may be, sometimes baby steps are a better approach. This article will show how several example organizations have not tried to “eat the elephant” all at once, and the benefits of a solid plan that moves at a sustainable pace.

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Game Plan

It’s time for action! We’re here to help you CIOs and CTOs put your teams’ ideas into specific goals, metrics, and timelines. We all know how important solid data and tangible goals and results are, across any industry, and this article will give you tips, tricks, and tactics for ensuring you have a great game plan in place, as well as solutions to ensure that you can prove that success and replicate it. 

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Summary

At the end of our eight-part series, we will wrap it all up with one final article that will summarize digital transformation, as an easy reference for you and other CIOs and CTOs as you embark on your digital journey. You can always come back to this summary article to refresh your memory or spark a new idea, and of course, the other, more in-depth articles are there to be read over and over again, shared amongst colleagues and industry professionals, and otherwise referenced by anyone in your company.We look forward to being on this journey with you, starting with our next article: Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: What it is & What it is Not. Come along with us and see how digital transformation strategies can change your business for the better. And, feel free to contact us with any questions or comments.

Using your Tech to Work-from-Home (WFH): Part 3 — Task Overload vs Smooth Workflow

A lot of us work more than we can cope with, which can lead to extreme pressure, stress, and a possible burn out in the long run. With our current work arrangement where more and more of us seem to be working from home, it’s more different, often, challenging for us to ask for a smoother workflow. We don’t have anyone else overseeing our work, and because of this, it can lead to us taking on more than we can manage, and that can be unhealthy and detrimental in the long run.

Remote working isn’t for everyone. For it to run successfully and effectively, as a manager or one who leads a team, it’s essential to keep employees who are working from home disciplined to follow a process you’ve set-up for them (or you’re about to set-up), and willing enough to communicate issues and concerns. If this is done correctly, you’ll even be able to pull your employees to get comfortable around this kind of work arrangement.

So, where do you start? Let’s explore the steps you need to take for you and your team to avoid task overload and have a smooth workflow.

Onboard your employees

Onboarding is standard in the human resources and sales departments. HR managers onboard candidates to their strong positions while sales agents onboard interested clients who’d like to avail services or products the company is offering. But how does this process apply to your current situation?

Remote employees need to know where to ‘go’ even if they are working from home. There should be an orientation discussing goals and strategies that will help them achieve metrics, set proper job expectations, and make sure that they are prepared for this kind of work environment. Employees should have a clear mind and access to tools to have a smooth workflow.

And even if you’re all working remotely now, introduce everyone to each other through a Skype or Zoom call where you are present to get them comfortable with others around even if this is done virtually.

Use easy-to-understand tools

There are so many things that could go wrong if your employees are each using different tools on their own. One might be comfortable in using tool A, the other prefers tool B. You’ll have to establish easy-to-understand tools common for everyone that are easy to use, and which will boost their productivity. Train them or provide a short walkthrough if necessary. Otherwise, contain links to guides they could read independently and meet with them to train on the tool once everyone’s ready.

At GroupLink, we’re a huge fan of Slack. It’s a collaborative tool designed for teams through various chat rooms called channels. It works for us because it often replaces email as our method of communicating and sharing, and allows for files and other information to be stored in one place. 

When working from home or wherever you are, it can be a bit challenging to communicate with employees whether you’re trying to delegate some tasks or you want to ensure that they are not missing out on anything. So it’s crucial to choose from the available tools out there that everyone is comfortable to use.

Also, we and all our clients also prefer to use our cloud-based solutions such as GroupLink everything HelpDeskGroupLink Workflow Process & Incident TrackingGroupLink for SafestSchools for project-based workflow.These have also been made available at NO COST to new organization entities during, and for 4 months beyond the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lock-down crisis.

Each of the above tools allows for the following kind of workflow management benefits:

  • Multi-Departmental Solution
  • Email and Calendar Integration
  • Email-to-Ticket/Incident Automation
  • Business Process Automation Using Workflow
  • Customizable User Interface
  • Business Process Automation Using Ticket Templates
  • Ability to Delegate Tickets/Incidents
  • Ability to Auto Assign Tickets/Incidents 
  • Ticket/Incident Escalation and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) Ability
  • Reporting with True Business Intelligence
  • Scheduled Automatic Reports
  • Dashboard View for Oversight and Team Views
  • Self-Help Knowledgebase

Are you interested in these free tools to get you and your team started? Click here to make your request and begin use.

Monitor your projects and track their time

Often when working from home or remotely it can be quite tricky to track tasks and/or projects being worked. To keep track of them, use project management tools like Monday.com where everyone can see what tasks are queued to them and what tasks are in progress. In this way, you can see who’s working too long in one task, and who’s working too fast. You can then include this during your monthly evaluation (if you have one).

If you want a seamless workflow for everyone, you need to be able to tell who is working and who is not. Some employees who are working from home might take advantage of the current situation where you can’t supervise them, and they may tend to work beyond the working hours without delivering the tasks they’re supposed to do, or perhaps they didn’t work at all. 

Use can tools that can become your log sheet, such as Clockify. By using this tool, you can make sure your employees are not working too much or working below the required work hours.

***

It’s easy to get carried away with tasks getting on top of you, especially with your employees working from their homes, and no one is supervising/monitoring what they’re doing. But by adapting to the changes, to your role, and the new processes, it’ll prevent you from panicking. It will also boost productivity among your employees and will help achieve your team’s overall goals.

What about you? How are you managing your team to avoid an overload of tasks and for better workflow?

Using your Tech to Work-from-Home (WFH): Part 2 — Top 6 Key Concerns

It’s increasingly common for companies now to break from the traditional way of doing work in a physical office and allow employees to work from home. Almost 3.4 million Americans are reported to have opted for this work arrangement according to the 2020 report of Flex Jobs. And with the constant change in technology, working from home is more feasible now than ever.

Remote work is wonderful, and ‘wonderful’ is an understatement. No officemates, you often have a flexible schedule, and the opportunity to work outside of an office for once are just some of the benefits. But like anything else, it has its pros and cons. Some of the cons are making people hesitant about the idea of working from home.

Whether you are new to this or you’ve already been working from home, you’ll be more productive when you know and face these challenges head-on. 

Loneliness and feeling self-isolated

This is probably the top issue of every remote worker’s list. 

Even with the unlimited access to everything interesting on the Internet, it can be a bit isolating to be in the same place for too long all by yourself. People who have become acquainted with their homes and the idea of doing work on their laptops in their pajamas have officially reached their “hermit” peak. It’s a lifestyle where people have become too settled with their current set-up that they have forgotten when was the last time they stepped outside from their homes.

However, there are serious risks that people must always take into consideration if this gets exacerbated. It can lead to depression and anxiety if not given enough attention. 

Keeping an active lifestyle along with a balanced diet can be a good start to create healthy working-from-home habits. Reward yourself with a better lifestyle where you take more accountability of habits that can impact your life. Get into a ‘work outfit’ that you can prepare the night before. And set some schedules where you can go out for a jog or walk the dog to get some sunlight and a breath of fresh air.

“Virtual Timezone” differences

As soon as you wake up, you may want to ask your teammate some pressing questions related to a project you’re working on, but he’s about to go to bed. Because your teammate has a different work-from-home flex schedule than yours you may both be in the same global time zone, but still, be on different “virtual time zones”. (Oh, these horrible “virtual time zones”!) And this can go on until you simply email your questions instead of getting some real-time answers. So how do you make this work?

To be successful, you need to have some overlapping time with teammates in a day and make sure that everyone commits to it to feel like you’re collaborating and that issues and other concerns will be addressed in real-time.

It becomes a challenge when there’s an 8-hour difference or even worse, an 11-hour difference. There’s no easy way around it so compromise is the best thing to do in this situation. Schedule meetings, collaborations, and virtual co-working ahead of time so no one misses the memo.

Distractions

Well, it’s true, especially if you’re the type of person who loves variety and is creative enough to find interesting activities within the premises, Those of us who work from home can become very distracted by numerous things such as your dog, kids, Netflix, or the mailman.

  • You have to set some boundaries when it comes to work and define which ones are okay to be ‘distracted with’ and which ones aren’t. For example, it’s important to walk your dog or make dinner for your kids. But for those things that can wait, you can set them aside for now and do them later once you are to ‘clock-out’ from work. 
  • Constantly checking your phone cannot help you finish that task of yours that needs to be submitted today. Set your phone to a silent mode or put your phone in a different room. 
  • Schedule for family time, for walking the dog, watering the plants, and even your working hours. If you need to stop working by 5 p.m., then stop working at that time. It’ll allow you to do other activities you’ve been wanting to do.

Completing the work

It’s one thing to be distracted, but it’s a dilemma when you’ve not finished any work. Whether you are distracted or overwhelmed with tasks, it’s crucial to complete your work before the scheduled clock-out. And because there’s no superior who physically oversees your work, it’s hard to get into time management in terms of beating the deadline.

  • To prioritize, you’ll have to start from top to bottom. Meaning the top ones are the most difficult and do the smaller ones that will require less energy after. 
  • Limit the tasks you’re supposed to do during that day. Use the Eisenhower trick called 1-3-5: 1 high-priority task, 3 medium-priority tasks, and 5 low-priority tasks. 
  • Move other tasks to tomorrow and some other days as you can’t really do everything on your list in one day without burning yourself out. And burnout is another issue that most remote workers are facing now.

Knowing when to clock-out

Because you’re within the confines of home, the line between your work and life becomes a blur. Most of the time, you do things that are beyond your working hours as you’ve forgotten to put a limit on it. Later on, you’ve welcomed burnout and you lost the interest to work.

  • To avoid that, schedule your work hours, lunch breaks, and bio-breaks and it’s important to strictly follow them. Treat this as if you’re working in the office with strict schedules of breaks that everyone has to follow. 
  • Create a conducive environment that is for working. Maybe a lamp and clean desk with quiet music playing in the background and turn them off before you leave. This is to condition your mind that you’re done being in the zone.
  • List the things you want to do after your work and make them interesting. Maybe you want to go out for a run or go to the gym or buy some fresh produce for your breakfast the following day. The point here is to motivate you to finish work and never log back in on your computer that day – because you’re supposed to do something fun.

The mysteries of technology

Because we have creative innovators and advanced technologies — we have collaborative tools like Slack. Slack, and solutions like it, allow teams to collaborate in one place, and that helps work become highly efficient. GroupLink everything HelpDesk, GroupLink Workflow Process & Incident Tracking, and GroupLink for SafestSchools are similar workflow enablers with excellent workflow and WFH capability. As good as these tools are, there are still some possible infrastructure hiccups that remote workers experience.

The software tool may be working splendidly, but maybe it’s the server, the laptop used, the camera that’s rolling, the signal – that causes technology to not work correctly.

  • Always have a contingency plan for this. If there’s a power outage in the area, go to a co-working space that you’ve set up in case something like this happens, and make sure you’ve checked their internet connection prior to going there. It’ll be a complete waste of time if their internet has some issues that can potentially delay your work.
  • Test your devices and tools. It’s a disappointment to your teammates or to your superior if you can’t join the meeting because of some problems with your tool. Test the tools you’re going to use ahead of time to avoid causing inconvenience for others.
  • Have some back-up data. In case your Internet WiFi goes out, use your mobile hotspot to tether to your laptop as your temporary WiFi.

***

Entering into this kind of work arrangement suddenly can seem a bit daunting, scary at times, and thrilling. But with the right mindset, realistic expectations, and by being aware of the possible issues you’d encounter when it comes to working from home, you can have a better strategy and outlook, thus performing better at work.

During these challenging times such as the outbreak and the COVID-19 lockdown, and for at least 4 months beyond, GroupLink donates and makes each of our cloud-hosted solutions such as GroupLink everything HelpDeskGroupLink Workflow Process & Incident TrackingGroupLink for SafestSchoolsavailable at NO COST to new organization entities.
Click here to make your request and begin use.

Using your Tech to Work-from-Home (WFH): An 8-part Guide

More and more people are now working from home as companies have been resolved or forced to make this kind of work arrangement for various reasons. (At the time of publication of this article, the Coronavirus outbreak is the most recent widespread reason. With potentially 200,000 people succumbing to the virus, the entire workforce is closing its doors in the hopes to reduce the spread of infection and opting to have their employees work from their homes.) 

Working from home has been existing since the early 2000s and companies are seeing the value of it as there are 13% of them who are happy and are seen to stay in their current job for the next 5 years. Although there are still a relatively huge number of global companies that are not allowing their employees to work from home, they are now slowly accepting the fact that working from home can be beneficial, economical, and safer for everyone’s sake.

If you’re someone who isn’t accustomed to something like this, it is expected that you may find this concept totally new and a bit challenging. So finding a strategy that works can help you make it through.

For a global shift like this in the workforce happening now, GroupLink is here to guide you through the ropes of remote working using the technology and strategy that you have. (If you don’t have one, that’s fine as we’ll explore one that will work for you together!)

This 8-part series of our remote work articles covers various interesting topics surrounding it. That’s from the common concerns of setting up this kind of work arrangement to how we can make sure that projects run smoothly — we’ll talk about everything so you can have a great week ahead of you.

Let’s dive in!

In the next few days, we will provide the following blog articles that will help you perform your best while working from home:

Part 1. This introduction article.

Part 2. Top 6 Key Concerns About Work-from-Home – Just like working in the office, working from home still has its fair share of challenges. People are skeptical about this new concept; some think working from home decreases your productivity because of distractions such as binge-watching Netflix. While that is true, remote work is so much more than the typical stereotypes. Without strategies and proper procedures in place, working from home can be as stimulating and challenging as a rigorous 9 to 5 desk job.

Part 3. Task Overload vs Smooth Workflow – Managing workflow when working from home may be different from the traditional structure which is easier to oversee. With distractions around, it’s quite challenging to enable and achieve maximum productivity for both employers and employees without a clear process and delegation of tasks.

Part 4. How to Setup a Remote Team in the Midst of an Outbreak – Most of the companies have now jumped into the remote working arrangement as seeing this is the most advantageous and practical way of continuing business. But where and how do you start?

Part 5. Socializing and Collaborating Effectively with Teammates While Working from Home – On top of the list, the common problem people who work from home face would be isolation. This can cause faster burnout, emerging feelings of depression and loneliness. In this article, we talk about how you can continue to socialize with your friends, colleagues and collaborate with them in spite of working from home.

Part 6. 5 Easy Steps for Effective Delegation of Responsibility – Delegating is a sure way to get things done in a lesser amount of time. But because of the current situation, employers might encounter unforeseen obstacles in using the same approach they know when it comes to delegating responsibilities to employees who are working from home.

Part 7. Ways to Make Stronger Connections with Your Employees When Working From Home – Even if you’re only a screen away from your employees wearing pajamas, it’s still important to create meaningful conversations and stronger connections with your employees to foster productivity and a thriving work relationship.

Part 8. Summary.

Distributed work in remote teams or employees who are now working from home is nothing new. Businesses are now seeing how safe and productive it is for their employees to work from home and using this time to explore tools that can help democratize opportunities and possibilities.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, and for at least 4 months beyond, GroupLink donates and makes each of its cloud-hosted solutions available at NO COST to new organization entities. These solutions are GroupLink everything HelpDesk, GroupLink Workflow Process & Incident Tracking, and GroupLink for SafestSchools which all have excellent workflow and WFH capability.

Click here to make your request and begin use.

Happy remote working!

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Culture Shock or Team Strengthening

While, of course, technology has a starring role in digital transformation, organization culture and team strengthening are perhaps even more important. The idea of rolling out new tech and having the whole organization fall in line is compelling. In most cases, however, it isn’t realistic.

It takes planning, foresight, and skill to introduce digital transformation to your organization. It is not enough to introduce new tech and strategies without doing the work of getting the team on board, or you risk enough corporate culture shock that the entire project will fail. 

Many people don’t like change, especially when it impacts something as integral as their work. Digital transformation means a lot of change for everyone in your organization — changes in what they do, how they do it, and how that plays out with other staff, clients, and stakeholders, all of whom are undergoing their own changes, too. If people are not expecting this, are unprepared, or are feeling reluctant or otherwise negative, they won’t embrace those changes readily.

In an ideal world, your organization’s culture will, in fact, drive digital transformation, instead of responding to it. However, in reality, many companies and organizations forge ahead with digital changes, expecting corporate culture to follow. The end result is a lot of frustration and wasted time. 

As a CIO or CTO, what can you do to prepare for and ultimately avoid this culture clash? It takes effort, dedication, and tenacity, working to explain why and how your digital transformation will improve things for everyone, even if it feels messy at first. Here’s what that looks like in practice.

Determine What Your Digital Culture Entails

Just as digital transformation is not the same for every business, strengthening your team to implement a digital culture won’t look the same for you as it does for others, nor will the culture itself. To determine how to transform your organization’s culture, you first have to figure out what the required changes will be. 

As the CIO or CTO of an organization, your focus will be on the tech involved, so you should be working with human resources to translate how the organization’s mission, vision, values, and policies must shift to adopt that technology easily. Consider what the ideal worker looks like in your digitally transformed organization, then determine where you are at now. The gap in between is the potential for culture shock, and what can be mitigated through working with HR.

At the same time, be sure to pay attention to what is working in your existing culture. In most cases, there is no reason to dismantle your corporate culture. You can take advantage of its strengths. If you overtake all of it, your staff may end up feeling frustrated and like you are forcing things from the top down. If you note what is already aligned with your goals and build on that, however, your staff see that you are not changing everything, but rather working with what you have and making improvements. 

Be Transparent

Staff know when change is afoot, and if you want them to embrace it there is no point in trying to hide it. Transparency is key in establishing a digital culture, so as soon as you have worked things out with HR, let your staff know what is happening. Whether it’s open discussions, meetings that allow for staff input, emails, social media groups, or apps like Slack, allow the opportunity for staff to let you know what they are feeling and thinking so you can address any issues as they arise instead of letting it fester. 

Of course, for this to work, your organization culture has to be one that is non-punitive. People should feel free to share their misgivings or apprehensions without fear of reprisal. Your goal is to bring those people around to digital transformation, which can only happen if they are empowered to communicate with you and other key staff.

Moreover, do not just accept that input, but give it due consideration. Innovation is key to digital transformation, and if your staff have ideas that offer something valuable to your organization, listen to it. The goal of digital transformation is to innovate, and oftentimes, that innovation comes from within. 

People tend to work harder, and do better work, if they find that they are meeting the organization’s goals and values in a way that benefits them. Invest in your staff as you invest in digital transformation, with training and education opportunities, and through explaining how your digital transformation strategy will lead to more efficient operations and higher profits, and how that benefits your team in terms of customer satisfaction, pay and benefits, and the overall success of your organization. Instead of mandating that your staff change and deal with it, show them that the entire team and all of its levels are involved, and that it benefits everyone in one way or another. 

Find a Group of Leaders

Every organization has its strong leaders, whether they are in management or otherwise. These are the people all staff look to for motivation, reassurance, and of course, leadership. If they adopt something, others will follow, because they trust the core group. Thus, these are the people you need to tap to showcase how digital transformation will be a positive change. For a CIO or CTO, it often makes sense to work with your IT team first, ensuring that they know how the new tech will impact the department and beyond. 

Bring these people, IT or otherwise, into the fold as role models, and those who are sitting on the fence or otherwise apprehensive may feel more secure. While you are at it, encourage collaboration with your core group of leaders, so other staff will know that they have people to go to with their questions, insights, and concerns.

Don’t Delay

Faced with not only digitally transforming your business, but bringing your entire staff on board with policies, transparency, and role models, it can be tempting to delay your strategy until you feel like everyone is ready. However, if you do that, you may end up waiting for a very long time.

Implementing digital transformation does not have to be an overnight job, especially if you are planning ahead, working with stakeholders and HR, and empowering your group of selected leaders to pave the way. Fear of change is real, even for CIOs and CTOs who know the benefits of digital transformation, and it can hold organizations back for far too long. One aspect of digital transformation and digital culture is a willingness to accept a bit of risk, so consider what that looks like for you and your organization, and be brave enough to dive in when your organization is ready. 

Building Your Team with GroupLink

It’s always helpful to partner with experts as you work your way toward your new digital culture.

The GroupLink team is here to help you navigate digital transformation. Get in touch by calling us at 801.335.0700 or using our contact page

Next, look for our article on Overcoming Obstacles in digital transformation, followed by Baby Steps and Celebrating Successes, a guide to how other organizations have taken small steps toward digital transformation in a sustainable way.

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs: Getting Started – Examples

Digital transformation is a big topic of interest for CIOs and CTOs. It is poised to effect every industry. Companies and organizations need to adapt to change and digital transformation in its many forms or fall behind the competition. That being said, it can be challenging to truly understand what digital transformation is, and, more than that, what it can do for an organization. 

We have shared the details of what this concept entails and what it doesn’t (check out our previous article). Now, we will give you some real-life examples of how other organizations approached digital transformation successfully. 

If you find yourself feeling inspired, great! GroupLink is pleased to partner with you in any or all of your digital transformation efforts.

Case Study: Disney MagicBands

Disney is a company that has been around for a long time, working to marry the traditional joy and magic of Disney with modern technology to streamline operations, especially at busy amusement parks. One of its latest efforts in digital transformation is the MagicBand, which replaces the need for park admission tickets, ride FastPasses, hotel keys, and even currency, as users can purchase food and merchandise with the device. Reservations, personal details, and the entire customer experience are managed through the band and an associated app, all linked into Disney’s own guest management system.

The transformation was a success, with high approval ratings and an increase in profits thanks to higher customer spending, likely itself due to the ease of shopping with the band. Just think of how your organization could change if you were able to streamline operations to reach Disney’s level of efficiency.

Case Study: Volkswagen Digital Ecosystem

Volkswagen has undertaken the development of what it calls the largest digital ecosystem in the automotive industry. Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen Brand Board Member for Sales, says Volkswagen vehicles will “increasingly become digital devices on wheels.” That means both customers and third parties can benefit from digital transformation, using and creating applications that work in Volkswagens. From car-sharing to parcel delivery to parking and billing apps, the aim is an integrated, fully connected fleet of smart vehicles.

For the company, it means a strategy that differentiates it from competitors, as well as the metrics and analytics, and customer relationship that comes with digitization. Volkswagen gets insight into how the vehicles are being used to improve operations and profits, and consumers have a highly personalized experience every time they use their vehicles.

Case Study: Audi City Showrooms

Audi, another vehicle manufacturer, used digital transformation strategies to capture a part of the market that was previously untapped. Audi City, its showroom concept for urban locations, brings the entire Audi range to even the smallest city locations, thanks to Audi’s keen use of digital technology. Visitors can virtually explore all of Audi’s cars in places like Berlin, Paris, Istanbul, Moscow, and Warsaw, even customizing the models before seeing them in practically real-life size on gigantic screens. 

With this transformation, Audi has seen sales go up 60 percent from the traditional showroom at the London location, showing that consumers are happy to use virtual tech when it is realistic and well made. 

Case Study: McDonald’s Digital Ordering

If you have been to a McDonald’s restaurant in recent years, you have likely noticed at least one of the ways the company has digitally transformed itself to meet consumer needs and make operations more efficient.

Inside restaurants, ordering kiosks allow hungry visitors to customize their meals to exactly what they want, without taking up the time of a worker at the order counter. For those who would rather talk to a worker, that option is still there, of course. 

With the kiosks in place, McDonald’s can also gain insight into consumer behavior and trends, and keep food moving quickly on a daily basis, serving more people and keeping them happy. Add in mobile ordering, geofenced to find out when customers are approaching for the fastest, freshest food, and there are even more options for consumer insights alongside customer satisfaction. 

Shares in the company are up as a result of digital transformation, as well as customer sales.

Case Study: UPS On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation (ORION) Project

UPS, the package delivery business, moves a lot of parcels every day. To make that delivery volume more efficient, the company developed its ORION project, as an effort to optimize delivery routes. The company used digital technology to first gather data, then use the information gleaned from that tech to improve operations.

ORION first involved telematic technology on delivery trucks, with tracking equipment, vehicle sensors, and drivers’ devices to understand what slowed deliveries down and what was working well. That data fed into an algorithm that evaluates and optimizes routes in real time, saving UPS about 100 million miles a year, equalling 10 million fewer gallons of fuel consumed, and 100,000 metric tons fewer in carbon dioxide emissions. It also saves UPS up to $50 million per just one mile saved by one driver each day, over a year. Small changes add up, which can certainly hold true for your organization, too. 

Case Study: GE Digital Wind Farm

General Electric’s Digital Wind Farm project brings turbines together with digital technology and infrastructure, so anyone using wind technology can experience better performance, lower risk, and more cost efficiency. That’s because GE digitally transformed its wind turbines with analytics and wind power software, which collects data like weather, component health, service reports, and the performance of other models in the GE fleet to give turbine users insight and predictions based on real information.

Wind farm operations are able to better maintain equipment, ensure its reliability and availability, and ultimately increase energy production. GE also benefits from this transformation, gaining insight into how its turbine models are working, what improvements can be made, and generating more value for the energy industry. Real-time data is key to this digital transformation and may be helpful for your organization as well. 

Enacting Your Own Digital Transformation Strategy

While it is true that the companies in these examples are larger corporations, your business does not necessarily have to be on the scale of Disney, Audi, or McDonald’s to create and implement a strong digital transformation strategy that will improve your business and keep your clients happy. Digital transformation is beneficial for companies of all sizes and types, across all industries, and can be as simple or complex as you would like it to be. The goal is to use technology and all that it offers to make your business better, whatever that looks like to you.

GroupLink is here to help you navigate digital transformation as a CIO or CTO, working with you to strategize and find the right technology for your needs. Reach out to us to learn more about what we do, by calling us at 801.335.0700 or using our contact page

Stay tuned for our next article in this series, Culture Shock or Team Strengthening, which will help you understand and navigate the human side of digital transformation, to get your team on board and enhance your organization’s culture.

Digital Transformation with CIOs & CTOs Part 2: What it is & What it is Not

Digital transformation can be a nebulous concept, shifting depending on who is defining it, what type of work they do, and what industry in which they work. We’re here to help clarify the definition, as well as explaining the flip side — what digital transformation is not.

What Digital Transformation is Not

We believe that looking at what digital transformation doesn’t do is a good place to start. 

Here’s a big one: digital transformation is not the act of simply replacing your existing processes with a matching digital version. Replicating an analog process or operation with something tech-based is part of digital transformation, but it doesn’t always involve a direct replication.

Also, digital transformation is not something that is fully based around the tech itself. If you focus too heavily on ensuring you have all of the right tech in place, you may be missing out on a vital component, which is ensuring that your personnel and your whole corporate culture is supportive of this type of transformation.

Digital transformation is not something that you can “set and forget.” It isn’t something that has a clearly defined endpoint. 

It’s also not something that fully replaces the human touch. You may have the idea that digital transformation means cutting out every face-to-face interaction or manual process, but that’s not always accurate.

So, what is digital transformation?

What Digital Transformation Is, And What it Can Do

The short version: digital transformation is the art of using technology to improve the efficiency or effectiveness of your company. 

Rather than replicating an analog concept into a digital, tech-based concept, digital transformation is all about truly transforming that concept into something that works better. 

For example, let’s say your staff performs a lot of data entry. An analog version of data entry might involve writing down customer information with a pen and paper. You might ultimately transfer that information to a computer, with someone manually entering the data. That doesn’t make the process more efficient, or better for your business, as it still takes a lot of time and leaves room for error. Even bypassing the paper and going straight to manual data entry isn’t really digital transformation either. 

In this scenario, true digital transformation might be something like an automated, self-serve system, where your customers enter their own information and the digital technology works to move it over to the right places in your company’s files and resources, without needing human input. That makes your work faster, more productive, and more accurate, which means you have used technology to transform your work for the better. 

On the human side of things, digital transformation should impact staff for the better, too. You can invest in all of the transformative tech you want, but if you do not have buy-in from the people who will be using it and guiding the transformation, it will not work.

Digital transformation is a holistic strategy. This means that digital transformation is just as much about the people as it is about the tech.

As you find the right tech and guide your personnel through the transformation, you should find that digital transformation is, in fact, a journey. It involves a lot of smaller goals that come together to form the larger goal of transforming your business. 

Technology is always changing. Your human resources will be changing. Your company, the industry, and the overall economic climate will shift over time. So, digital transformation is something that is different for each business. And it will be different for your own business as time goes on. There isn’t necessarily an end point to digital transformation. Your company should always be striving to maximize your efficiency and effectiveness. 

As you navigate digital transformation, you may find that you cannot or should not cut out face-to-face interactions and other human elements. As we explored above, the human and cultural element is important in ensuring that your digital transformation works, but on top of that, there may be things that technology simply cannot do as well as your personnel. 

Perhaps this is answering the phone when a customer wants to talk to a representative of your business, making sales calls or visits, or meeting with clients to go over plans, goals, issues, or other concerns best addressed in real life. True digital transformation aims to make your business better, which, in many cases, means using technology to support personnel, not replace them.

We’re pleased to be able to help you learn more about digital transformation. Keep an eye out for our next article in the series. If you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear from you.