Debunking 3 Digital Transformation Myths for SMB Leaders

debunking digital myths
  • July 19, 2017
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Sometimes a technology phenomenon grows so pervasive – and hyped – in the collective business consciousness that the subtleties of a trend can become buried in its feeling of urgency. Such is the case with digital transformation. The “reinvention of an organization through the use of digital technology” to improve performance is such a promising proposition for companies of all shapes and sizes that losing sight of strategic nuances and operational distinctions is easy to do.

In our case, we’ve posted more than 25 times about the subject, exhorting leaders of small to mid-size businesses (SMB) to evolve their business technology from tactical support to strategic platform. So, when Computerworld recently posted an article debunking “myths about digital transformation,” we saw an excellent opportunity to shed some light on the ambiguities of the issue for our readership.

Myth: Everybody’s going digital.

Reality: If you haven’t made much progress, you’ve plenty of company.

Per Computerworld’s Tech Forecast 2017 survey, nearly half of nearly 200 IT managers, directors and executives polled said they’re “less than halfway there.” And that same group gave themselves a grade of C or lower when asked to rate their organization’s progress toward digital transformation.

“…Determining what digital transformation means for any given organization, laying out a roadmap to get there and then achieving a meaningful level of transformation is no small feat,” writes Computerworld contributor Mary K. Pratt. We agree, and SMB leaders engaged in the attempt should focus more on how far they have come than how far they still must travel.

Myth: Going digital means becoming a technology company.

Reality: You’re transforming some of the ways you do business, not all of them.

In her piece, Pratt offers an example of O.C. Tanner, a 90-year-old company that manufactures class rings and makes and distributes employee awards for milestone anniversaries and other career business achievements. Today, the business also provides corporate customers with software tools to help them manage recognition programs that engage workers and contribute to retention.

O.C. Tanner hasn’t become a software company, but the firm is using software to deliver niche offerings and nurture new lines of revenue. Just like healthcare providers using electronic medical records (EMRs) for greater efficiency are still treating patients, and attorneys reviewing recent litigation on a cloud-based database are still practicing law.

Myth: Going digital means building a robust in-house IT team.

Reality: You should own the technology strategy, not all the technical expertise.

An opportunity the magnitude of digital transformation poses a challenge for most SMB executives who don’t have the deep pockets and breadth of staff available to their counterparts at big corporations. So, recruiting and hiring all the technical talent necessary to acquire, implement and manage the latest cybersecurity, mobility and cloud systems likely is a futile pursuit.

A better digital transformation strategy for SMBs? Find an IT Managed Services Provider (MSP) that fits the particular needs, requirements and culture of your business.

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ITinflections is a blog that covers a wide range of technology-based articles IT in the workplace, focusing on small- to medium-sized businesses.

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