5 Ways To Ensure The Long-Term Health Of Your Digital Business
A digital business is best described as a business model that allows an enterprise to be completely data-driven in all its operations and strategic decisions. That model is powered by the use of digital technology to solve a multitude of business problems. Many businesses have started on this transformative journey, and a 2019 McKinsey survey found that roughly eight in ten organizations surveyed have begun the process of digital transformation. Unfortunately, only 14% could report the effort led to sustainable performance improvements.
A digital transformation may be easy to start, but less easy to maintain and deliver results. It’s not a one-and-done task. Rather, it’s a journey. Like a garden, it takes feeding, nurturing, and commitment to harvest sustainable outcomes. These tips can help your digital business achieve long-term health and success.
Establish Buy-In Across the Board. A digital business requires a transformation in how business is done. From the C-suite to the break room, the entire company culture must embrace this mindset shift. At its essence, “change” is a people problem, not a technology problem. People resist change, so if you’re determined to be a data-driven digital business, you have to address this obstacle.
During the transition, help each team understand how the changes will impact them, as well as the long-term goals for the company. Explain clearly what the goal is for the company and how each person can contribute. Digital transformation can affect job roles, titles, and duties. It helps for team members to understand how their work may change and how to navigate future career paths.
Becoming a digital business is a journey, and changes are made incrementally. Company leaders should be cheerleaders for successes achieved and encourage teams to share insights as they make progress and to build upon each small success.
Security Has to Be a Top Concern. The empowered digital business uses data from many sources and points—mobile devices, sensors, IoT, multi-cloud platforms, etc. Standard perimeter security is not enough to protect the valuable data assets acquired daily by your business. Security must be pervasive from the core to the edge to the cloud. This is imperative not only for the health of your business, but to safeguard the trust of your customers, suppliers, and vendors. Losing that trust because of a preventable hack or security lapse, can be fatal for your business.
This focus means ensuring your internal teams are trained regularly to follow security best practices. It also means depending on service providers that proactively monitor and defend against ever-evolving network security threats. Since data is at the core of any digital initiative, you must protect your data and have controls in place to understand what data is being collected, who should have access, and actively mitigate any risks or threats that could result in data loss.
Ensure an Agile Network Infrastructure That Can Adapt to Changing Needs and Demands. An adaptive network is essential to empowering your data strategy. Adaptive networks meet the precise needs of your business, scale up or down to meet those needs, and easily create and maintain new connections. The long-term health of your digital business will depend on how quickly your organization can change or modify its course to meet the current demands of your market and customers. IT teams must be equally agile and adaptive, making it easy to spin up applications in the right cloud at the right time and place. For the future growth of your business, choose network providers with the global reach and fiber optic infrastructure necessary to accommodate the unprecedented data volumes just over the horizon.
Hybrid, Multi-Cloud Environments Are a Key Enabler of Your Strategy. The Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud report notes that 93% of enterprises use multiple cloud instances, and use hybrid mixes of public, private, and on-site cloud environments. There’s a reason for that: competitive gains are made in the margins. Getting your innovation to market first demands that you deliver new IT services in minutes, not months. Hybrid and cloud environments deliver that IT agility, enabling greater productivity from your developers while still delivering operational control and secure connections. Choose network providers that can help you seamlessly connect to any cloud from anywhere, while also controlling your cloud costs.
Be Patient On the Journey and Accept Help From Others. How long should a digital transformation take? That question can’t be answered because it’s a continuous process. It’s one that never ends, and the speed and distance of that journey depend on the business and its specific strategy. Like any arduous trek, sometimes it helps to have a guide for your digital business journey.
Service providers offer expertise and insight that most businesses can’t achieve on their own. These providers likely have collaborated with companies like yours, making them aware of common pitfalls. Since these providers have worked on other digital transformations, they are more aware of what’s possible and the technologies best suited to meet your specific needs. These providers also serve as educators, helping to train your internal teams as they work alongside them to achieve business goals.
Are you committed to the long-term health of your digital business? Learn how CenturyLink can guide you on this journey.
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