Smaller channel businesses can improve their own internal processes thanks to digital transformation, but it is important to have a plan and start with communication warns Chris Daffy, CCO at MobileData, a leading South African technology service provider focused on payment facilitation and prepaid electronic value distribution.
“Digitilisation means the integration of digital technologies into everyday life. This is no different for a smaller channel business … you can digitalise a lot of processes, except you only want to tackle what makes business sense and only move on to more gadgets when there is a solid need and you have suitable budget. Just because a large enterprise has an office assistant that copies, faxes, scans, e-mails, has follow me printing, automatic usage reports, dials home when toner is low, in colour and black and white – does not mean you need one. Have a plan and start with communication. Move on from there. It is ironic when we try and create paperless environments we seem to just create more,” says Daffy.
As a starting point Daffy suggests looking at what takes the most time in an organisation and consider if it would be an idea to find a digital alternate.
“A great place to start is meetings. Move to IM, video calling, meeting applications and sharing meeting agendas and packs beforehand to only discuss the relevant facts and answer questions about the pack contents. De-digitalise and leave laptops and phones outside the meeting room. Oh, a great idea is to follow agile standups and have meetings standing,” Daffy adds.
“Ensure all is scanned, if suitable stored in the cloud and if possible communicate with an electronic medium,” he continues.
When it comes to planning, the CCO likes the view of Ojas Rege, Chief Strategy Officer at EMM/MDM company MobileIron.
Rege sees the path to successfully digitalise any organisation is to treat it like a marriage.
“Security and privacy can, in fact, live out their lives in perfect harmony in a BYOD programme. However, like any marriage, it takes some work. And that work sits squarely on the shoulders of IT. Failing to protect users’ privacy leads to a culture of distrust. Employees become less likely to comply with security best practices and embark on their own personal ‘Shadow IT’ journeys, using apps and devices without IT’s authorisation.”
So plan it like a marriage as Ojas says: “Start with expectations, Create trust through transparency, Establish a foundation, Communicate, communicate, communicate” oh and take it from me COMMUNICATE!”
Although workflows and all processes take up precious time, the advice from MobileData is to avoid doing everything at once.
“As a smaller channel business you will no doubt be confronted with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), embrace it, this brings the cost down from having to provide the devices but you need to consider the risks and security required. Your infrastructure must be set up to accommodate and protect you from mobiles, laptops and any other connected device. Both internally and externally. A good antivirus suite and a mobile device management software is paramount. This is not a piece on security but please remember the digital world is so interconnected you need to have that at the vanguard of your mind,” says Daffy.
“As the easiest device that we all have with us 24/7 is our phone, embrace the apps that assist with streamlining processes, collaboration and data storage. Choose and pay for a reputable cloud storage service to collaborate and share information.”