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Going Cloud

Cloud technology has changed, and continues to change, the way people live, rest and do business. Here are some articles on how moving to the cloud is not a matter of if, but when -- if your organization has not done it already.

Here’s how you can ensure your company’s digital transformation, well, transforms you

WHILE companies are investing heavily in digital transformation, not all of them are getting the pay-offs they expected, the Harvard Business Review reports. Its survey of 1,350 companies representing 17 countries and 13 industries, HBR found that despite investments of some $100 billion in their digital reinvention from 2016 to 2108, most reported poor returns because they could not successfully scale digital innovations beyond the early pilot stage.

Writing in The Enterprisers Project, Stephanie Overby notes that in late 2019, a McKinsey survey found that just 16 percent of respondents said their organizations’ digital transformation had successfully improved performance in a sustainable way. Another 7 percent said that performance improved—but only for a time.

The continuing drumbeat of “change or die” can certainly get old, particularly if the results are less than satisfactory, Overby writes.

“We’re entering a world of digital transformation fatigue because of the failure rate and the exorbitant amounts of money that disappear into the digital transformation black hole,” says Ankur Laroia, managing director of the Houston office of BDO, a US-based tax and financial advisory services company.

Yet the drivers behind digital transformation aren’t going away, Overby says. In a hyper-competitive market, worldwide spending on the technologies and services that enable the digital transformation of business practices, products, and organizations is forecast to reach $1.97 trillion in 2022, according to IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide. By 2020, nearly a third of G2000 companies will spend 10 percent or more of revenue on their digital strategies, IDC says.

Why is this happening?

Digging deeper into their research findings, HRB identified two critical challenges that are keeping companies from realizing the benefits of their digital transformation efforts.

First, top managers disagreed about the goals. If top managers aren’t on the same page, it makes it difficult for their direct reports to agree on what to prioritize and how to measure progress, HBR says. The remedy: Define and articulate not only the opportunity but also the problem it solves, and how the company will build the organization around the desired solution before investing.

Second, there is often a divide between the digital capabilities supporting the pilot and the capabilities available to support scaling it, HBR says.

When this problem isn’t addressed, companies may face a choice between accepting long delays in ramping up production or attempts by leadership at rapid, unwieldy change to meet what they have promised.

The remedy: Look outside to close gaps or nurture pilots internally, ramping up digital capabilities across the organization from the get-go.

Boosting your chances of success

Craig Buck of Silver Touch Technologies, an IT services and consulting company, says a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) can play a pivotal role in digital transformation. In today’s mobile-driven age, ERP can enable companies to offer the benefits of mobile apps and cloud-based solutions to employees and stakeholders, Buck writes. The implementation of the software can simplify key business functions like finance management, accounting, and inventory management.

Furthermore, ERP tools have extensions to connect with social media platforms for transforming the user’s social accounts.

Cloud integration also gives a company the capability of furthering digital transformation. From anywhere access to better utilization of available resources, cloud-based software can improve performance and accelerate the pace of transformation—without heavy investments in on-premise hardware and software.

Moreover, integration of ERP systems with analytics tools, social platforms and cloud technology can simplify complex business tasks. This can widen the range of functionality of a company’s existing system and unleash the potential of ERP to transform the business digitally.

Finally, scalability of ERP solutions enable a company to can handle various business tasks irrespective of the size of the organization. Technological advancements can bring new features and tools to make the ERP system more scalable and robust.