This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
6 Best Practices that Get Digitization Done Right
After months spent persevering, pivoting, confronting disruption, and in some cases, dialing back digital transformation efforts, 2021 is shaping up as a year of frenetic digitization across the business landscape.
In a recent global executive survey, McKinsey found that businesses have “accelerated the digitization of customer and supply-chain interactions and internal operations by three to four years.” In another survey, Gartner reported that seven in 10 boards of directors accelerated digital business initiatives within their organizations in the wake of COVID-19 disruption. Meanwhile, two-thirds (67%) expect their technology budgets to increase in the year ahead.
The results that these expedited timelines and larger budgets ultimately yield likely will depend in large part on the network, communications, and digital technology decisions that an organization makes in the coming weeks and months. Drawing from our work with a wide range of enterprises, from retail to banking/finance to healthcare and beyond, here are six suggestions to help guide those choices and plot your organization’s digital roadmap:
- Prioritize whole-company and whole-network visibility. Due to the pandemic-fueled surge in remote work, enterprises and their IT decision-makers have realized the value of a communications platform (such as UCaas). The platform should be accessible via a single portal and login while offering seamless 360-degree network visibility, in addition to customizable tools and controls. The admin should have the ability to passively monitor and actively manage apps, bandwidth, access, and the overall network experience for users, and to do so remotely when necessary. The admin experience improves through a single pane of glass that allows them to gain insight into network efficiency and decision-making.
- Put a premium on the digital experience. Now more than ever, a robust and seamless multi-channel experience — for employees and customers alike — is a critical competitive differentiator that gives organizations an edge in attracting and retaining talent. It also engages new and existing customers on their journey. The bottom line is that organizations get judged by the ease of use and the overall user experience their digital communications platform delivers. That means, among other things, you should provide native (rather than HTML-enabled) apps.
- Seek out solutions that converge network and security technologies. There’s a growing realization among IT decision-makers that managing network settings and business policies independently, separate from security applications, is not only inefficient but invites security risk, particularly amid the increasing reliance on remote work. Look for integrated solutions where security, policies, settings, and other key security-related tools and functionalities can be easily monitored and managed through a single interface on a web browser or mobile device. Here’s where “one button” accessibility and “single pane of glass” visibility again come into play.
- Let automation work for you. One reason so many companies are accelerating their digitalization efforts is to capture new efficiencies within the business. Network automation tools can take certain repetitive functions and processes (prioritizing business traffic, rerouting traffic when there’s an issue, intelligent call handling, etc.) out of human hands, freeing your people for higher-value pursuits. It also reduces instances of human error.
- Lean on predictive analytics. Artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven predictive tools for your network are available with readily accessible and digestible business and network insight that otherwise would require lots of extra time and effort to uncover — if uncovered at all. Predictive tools can use data to identify potential network issues before they escalate and prescribe fixes to those issues. Based on real-time analysis of network conditions, these tools can predict a potential bandwidth issue with a high degree of accuracy, for example, and suggest the best alternative route for preserving bandwidth to a particular location experiencing connectivity issues. They can also help identify potential hiccups in the customer journey.
- Find a built-in tech/communications ally. Organizations have turned to managed communications services for peace of mind instead of living in a perpetual state of technological insecurity, fearing that the digital communication tools and approaches they use are outdated.. With a managed communications service, tech advancement responsibility shifts to the service provider. The provider (if it’s a good one) stays abreast of emerging digital tools and, when appropriate, proactively implements them on a client’s behalf, so technology obsolescence is no longer a worry, nor is juggling multiple vendors. When an enterprise uses a managed service, this service can deliver a dedicated professional team to consistently monitor, maintain, troubleshoot, and problem-solve across the network, as needed. That gives the IT team more free time to focus on the strategic revenue-generation opportunities that will move the organization’s needle in 2021 and beyond.