Digital transformation refers to using digital technologies to create or modify working processes. These new processes promote efficiency and aim to transform how businesses operate.
The concept comes from recognizing that business workflows are not always optimal. Adopting new tools that make sense for your business helps optimize workflows and adapt to significant industry shifts, such as the pandemic. Incorporating these new tools into your workflows help make your business future-proof.
Many experts consider digital transformation a necessary disruption. Only 11 percent of business executives believe that their current strategies will remain economically viable until 2023. In addition, the pandemic has demonstrated that businesses not adopting a digital-first approach will lag competitively.
The movement started decades ago as a way for companies to venture out into the digital space and explore other business models, such as e-commerce. Now, it’s about adopting a digital-first approach to accelerate business value — not as an option but as a necessity.
The only constant we can expect is change. As long as businesses are prepared to predict and mitigate any roadblocks along the way, they can expect to retain their competitive edge.
One way to remain competitive is to adopt cloud technologies. The cloud has enabled organizations to embrace digital transformation fully and is paramount to success. Business efficiency has recently peaked as teams conduct their business through remote servers and collaborative tools.
Let’s explore digital transformation a little deeper before learning more about Enterprise Service Management (ESM) and its role in driving digital transformation.
The Four Areas of Digital Transformation
Four key areas experience digital transformation: business processes, business models, domains, and cultural organizations.
Digital transformation involves reworking workflows and internal processes to achieve your business goals. These goals might include increasing service quality, lowering overall costs, and reducing cycle times. One approach to achieve these goals is to focus changes on one specific area or department within the organization, creating a ripple effect.
For example, when companies automate using software-as-a-service (SaaS) products specific to a particular department, like human resources or legal, they streamline processes within these divisions, contributing to increased efficiency throughout the organization. Other departments gain new hires or receive more timely answers to their questions.
Another way to bring about digital transformation is to modify the existing business model. Many companies have benefited from adopting alternative business models, enabling them to reinvent their industry’s proverbial wheel. Often, shifting the business model needs leadership’s direct involvement, and businesses can affect any such change parallel to the current business model.
For example, using AI-driven analytics is becoming increasingly common. Companies gain accurate insights into their performance and potential. Insurance companies, like Allstate and Metromile, use analytics to deconstruct insurance contracts and take a by-the-mile approach to payments — reinventing insurance delivery.
Domain transformation refers to extending a company's offerings beyond its usual area of expertise. New technologies offer many opportunities to create more value for customers, transcending the industry’s boundaries and diversifying offerings.
For example, Apple was primarily a computer provider that moved into other domains — most notably handheld devices, such as audio players and smartphones. Now, Apple is a household name in the smartphone domain.
An organization's culture is critical in determining its success. Implementing digital technologies within the company is challenging without considering internal perspectives — virtues such as leadership, teamwork, and emotional intelligence provide tremendous advantages. For an organization to truly benefit from digital transformation, the change needs to start at the ground level and stakeholders must align their perspectives.
Consider a company that decides to implement automation workflows. The employees do not understand the technology or are apprehensive about adopting it. In this case, the transformation will be slow and eventually fail. Laying out the company’s expectations and showing the path forward make it easier for workers to adapt to the change.
Some Digital Transformation Challenges
Most companies know that they need to adopt digital technologies to survive. However, it’s not always simple to determine how to take the first step.
Digital transformation is a broad concept. Therefore, it’s challenging for executives to decide their next steps.
The wide variety of cloud options further complicates the decision process.
When these services rely heavily on one another, it becomes challenging to strategize and choose a starting point. Lack of coordination and lack of an integrated approach both lead to stalled or failed transformation processes.
Business-IT alignment is crucial before making any changes — which is how ESM helps.
Let ESM Guide You
Enterprise Service Management (ESM) is the extension of IT Service Management (ITSM) principles to an entire organization. The intention is to expand IT service delivery well beyond the IT department. The whole organization can benefit from the capabilities of digital technologies.
ESM aligns with business goals. Its main goal is to enable automated service delivery throughout the organization for employees, stakeholders, and customers. Businesses improve their internal processes to make service delivery agile, collaborative, and synchronized.
ESM offers numerous benefits, but the most significant is that it enables digital transformation. It drives transformation in several ways — refining services and delivery, tearing down internal silos, offering higher efficiency and streamlined governance, and leveraging new technologies.
Refines Services and Delivery
Different departments tend to have more common processes than one might assume. For example, documentation, onboarding, and ticketing processes are often similar across divisions. While the purpose might vary, the process remains the same.
ESM helps organizations identify such methods, articulate them as a consolidated service, and improvise their delivery.
Tears Down Internal Silos
Many companies function as an ill-fitting puzzle, often confining practices within their departmental bubbles. Such an approach contributes to the misalignment of organizational goals and redundancy in processes.
ESM uses an integrated system to keep all employees in the loop and ensures that every workflow is interconnected. It enables a coordinated approach to service delivery and ensures that every employee contributes to the overarching business goals.
Offers Higher Efficiency and Streamlined Governance
Automation is at the helm of ESM and enables quicker and improved workflows within the organization. When an organization automates mundane processes, employees gain time to work on projects requiring a more hands-on approach.
In addition, companies can track and monitor these processes on a single dashboard, making it easy to identify bottlenecks and resolve them quickly.
Leverages New Technologies
Leveraging new technologies is a prerequisite for improved service delivery. One such technology is cloud services.
Cloud technologies have enabled businesses to integrate and automate their workflows with ease. Their employees gain increased visibility, improved productivity, and resourcefulness.
For example, Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Confluence have made it much easier for employees to collaborate on various projects, create curated knowledge databases, and even improve ticketing service delivery within the organization. These tools use the cloud’s full potential.
ESM Drives Business Transformation
When implementing changes in existing workflows, it is always crucial to start with a clear goal then develop a supporting strategy to execute it. The success of ESM-guided digital transformation is also highly dependent on the plan you choose.
Once you have a finalized approach in place, you can narrow down the exact technologies that you will need to facilitate the change. The strategy also gives you a bird's eye view of how these changes will impact the entire organization.
Using this zoomed-out view, you can also ensure that you have covered every aspect of the transformation. This approach reduces the back-and-forth and excessive iteration throughout the implementation process.
A recommended starting point for digital transformation is to pinpoint employee grievances that the IT department can solve. As ESM is an extension of such service delivery, it allows the stakeholders to understand the digital delivery issues employees face. Once both groups integrate, the organization can draw a unified implementation strategy.
Two critical aspects of a successful ESM strategy are digital collaboration and customer journey mapping. Companies can foster digital collaboration using tools, such as Jira and Confluence, which prime the employees for process transformation. By mapping out their service journeys within the organization, you can predict each employee’s adaptability and acceptance of such technologies.
Having an ESM strategy gives the stakeholders a clear picture of what to expect, when to expect it, and how the organization will execute the change. The strategy prevents potential loopholes in the process and ensures that internal and external stakeholders align on the coming changes.
Digital transformation helps organizations pivot into the digital age and maintain their competitive edge. It also helps them diversify their offerings while maximizing their organizational efficiency — leading to a successful operation.
ESM is the much-needed guide to digital transformation. It enables businesses to incorporate a strategic approach instead of a haphazard technique that fails to fulfill their goals. ESM sets organizations up for success.
When exploring digital transformation strategies and ESM approaches for your organization, take a few minutes to learn more about how E7 Solutions helps digital-first businesses best utilize Atlassian tools.
Check out our webinar with Atlassian and Appfire to learn how we changed the way we work with organizations to solve ITSM challenges and provide modernized processes.