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What Is The Purpose Around Digital Transformation

The Bank Example

In this Growth Engine Daily, I just want to ask you to think about digital transformation and the kind of investment that’s going to require.

I recently read an article in Forbes, and that’s not my normal sort of magazine, just to be clear, but it stood out to me.

The banks, over the last four years, have invested over a trillion dollars in digital transformation.

Ironically, the purpose and the benefits that they’re getting out of that is more cost-efficient than revenue growth.

If you understand the dynamics of the banks, they need to strengthen balance sheets reserves to go out and lend, et cetera.

So they’re saying now, the second phase is to go and increase revenue, strengthen the balance sheets.

So how does that relate back to us in the smaller level of business, not a trillion-dollar bank business?

The SME Example

It got me thinking about how many SME businesses are either fully digital, or whether they’ve got a toe half in or half out of the digital pond.

And really if that translates into whether you’ve got clear goals around why you invest in into digital initiatives.

Digital Transformation and the Core Fundamentals

As you know, we talk heavily about the fundamentals,

  • Finance
  • Ops
  • People
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Governance
  • Personal Development

Digital Transformation Systems

Give thought to when you are going digital, it could be you’re looking at a new system like a new

  • CRM
  • Project management system
  • Human resource system
  • Marketing system
  • File storage system for governance or security

Considerations in Digital Transformations

Do you sort of make a decision based on “Oh, we need a new CRM to go and find a system,”  Or, do you actually look at it as a wider picture of what is our digital transformation goals?

Giving thoughts to this question myself, it took me back to what we did here at Mike Midgley Executive back in 2016.

We moved on to Google drive, I suppose that was one of our major starting points as we started to build a team across different countries.

I know there’s Dropbox and I know there are tools like that, but as a Gmail user already using apps like G Suite, G Drive Slides etc. I never really, if I’m being totally honest, gave thought about “are we moving our business into a digital transformation way?

So I look back now and I think, well yeah, that was the starting point.

The Digital Transformation Now In-Play

Since 2016, the reality is we are literally digital across every area.

  • In finance, we use Xero for accounting and Liveplan for financial forecasting. We use online banking.
  • In Operations, we use HubSpot for CRM. We’ve got various other sorts of project and productivity management tools like ClickUp, like Teamwork and Slack.
  • In People and HR, we use BambooHR for our HR system.
  • In Marketing, again, HubSpot comes into play, but obviously we have a whole host of a suite of digital applications that we use both independently and some are integrated with HubSpot.
  • In Sales, we use HubSpot, and then we use again another whole host of tools around sales, things like Crystal Knows, LinkedIn sales navigator, et cetera.
  • In Governance, to a degree, we’ve got LastPass for password and security protection, using HMRC online filing, all the basic stuff.

So nothing new here guys. I just wanted you to sort of think that if you went across the fundamentals, how digital are you?

Things To Consider – Contingency Planning

One of the things that we fell foul with back at in Quarter4 last year was being a totally digital business.

Even our phone system’s digital, we don’t have any handsets on the desk anymore. It’s all like a dashboard through Circle Loop integrated to HubSpot as an auto-dialer on the laptop.

So what happens if our Internet goes down?

We’re absolutely down as a business, we can’t access files … although you know, for you guys out there, I know you’re going to say that G Suite has an offline drive that you can have offline, I get that.

But if our Internet is down, we can’t access files, we can’t make phone calls, we can’t use our CRM.

Right? So it gets you thinking like, “Okay, so do we need some mobile routers?”

So we’ve got these things from EE, these like yellow boxes, that if our main sort of pipe goes down, if you want to call it that, or our internet feed, then obviously we’ve got that mobile, obviously we’ve got other aspects that we can hook it up to, iPhones and things like that.

Plan Ahead With Digital Transformation

So for us, we never really give thought to why we were doing it.

And I think that we could have streamlined that a lot, lot better if we had, so if you’re half in or half out, as I said earlier, maybe you’ve got your finance system online, but maybe you’re still doing some orders manually, or you’re not using eCommerce, or whatever it might be.

Maybe you’re still doing expense sheets or delivery tickets manually on paper, or you’re not moving to sign on glass, like the DPD couriers and where you sign up for Amazon deliveries, things like that.

I’d love to get your feedback, really if you are 100% online?

  • 100% paperless to a degree?
  • Are you half paperless?
  • Three-quarter paperless?

Love you to leave me a comment and let me know where you’re at.

The Accidental Adoption of Digital Transformation

And also, whether or not you were approached, or ad-hoc like we did and just ended up that way.

I think if I were to go back to 2015, 2016, I think I’d say,

“What do I want to achieve? Do I want to go digital and that digital transformation to improve efficiency?”

Well, of course, I do, I’d never say no, and do I want to increase revenue?

Yeah. Well, of course, I do, but I’ve never specified it out.

And I find it strange that for somebody as organised as we are from forecasting, discipline, business fundamentals, and I just went along. And whether that was a push, as new apps came out and the new technology came out, we just bolted in and bolted in.

And of course, we use things like Zapier and things to make things talk to each other and connect together.

And Slack connects to a lot of things together.

What Stage Are You At With Digital Transformation?

I’d love to know what your digital transformation stage is, leave us a comment below.

We’ll get those questions reviewed and let’s have a laugh and a joke about how we ended up where we were.

It’s never really a funny situation, and also if there is, on a more positive note, some revenue growth, or it’s helped you win a contract, share that win, would you?

If you have not really thought about the efficiencies, then maybe re-look at your systems and think,

“Could I make them work together?”

Are there any still manual processes glueing together the automation that you could make better?

Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and highly experienced with franchising.