Digital transformation has fundamentally changed the business world. Over the last few months, businesses have relied on access to digital tools and technology enabling them to operate from anywhere. Business owners and executives are rethinking the way they do business entirely and moving away from paper-based processes. Now, these digitally transformed (or transforming) organizations must develop a digital ecosystem to accommodate these new technologies and ways of operating.
Companies that have recently transformed digitally – or are still in the process - may struggle with the development of a digital ecosystem. Read on to learn about what a digital ecosystem entails, how your business benefits from establishing one, how to create your digital ecosystem, and when to partner with a technology consultant to guide you through the process.
Digital Transformation: What’s Next?
According to PwC, 91 percent of companies are invested in the creation of digital tools and technologies to carry out their core business functions. That number is only anticipated to increase as the way we do business adapts to the changes brought in 2020 and the so-named “next normal.” With organizations operating with highly distributed workforces now, the case is made to use this time to set a foundation to support digital transformation.
However, identifying ways to modernize a business and its functions is only part of what digital transformation entails. The overall process involves updating hardware and software and improving data security. Businesses must determine how to apply digital technology in a way that accelerates operations, enhances the customer experience, and helps employees get their jobs done from home, on the road, or in the office.
This point, according to McKinsey, is a key reason why many digital transformations fail. It’s not enough to simply introduce the latest technology into an office. Selecting the tools and devices for your business must be done strategically – with specific goals and metrics in place. When applied strategically, digital transformation enables the creation of a digital ecosystem.
What is a Digital Ecosystem?
A digital ecosystem is a series of interconnected IT resources that help a company create, organize, and manage its business activities. They may involve project management tools, collaboration tools, content management platforms, public-facing websites, file sharing, and anything else that a team needs to work in a digital environment.
Digital ecosystems deliver enhanced value to customers by creating an environment with collective advantages through symbiotic relationships between platform owners and users. For example, Google has created a digital ecosystem by inviting third-party developers to create apps and add-ons that integrate with its platform (Google Office). Similarly, solutions like Laserfiche alleviate operational stress and help industries like Government, Education, and Financial Services continue operating from anywhere by offering cloud-based access to critical data and processes they need.
However, creating a digital ecosystem can only happen after digital transformation - when the infrastructure to support the ecosystem has been created. Here’s exactly what that means.
Creating and Maintaining a Digital Ecosystem
Creating and maintaining a digital ecosystem requires strategically interconnecting a company’s digital resources to create a seamless environment through which data flows. To do that, a company must:
1. Have the Right Tools in Place
An ecosystem can only develop after the company’s underlying processes have transformed. Therefore, when undertaking digital transformation, do it with the end goal of building a digital ecosystem in mind. It will help identify what your business needs to move away from paper-based processes and legacy technology and digitally transform.
2. Embrace a Culture of Collaboration
More interconnection means more contact between various points of an organization – it breaks down the natural silos of information that departments create. Encourage a culture of collaboration, where employees feel empowered to reach out to the people with expertise regardless of their department or position.
3. Get Employee Buy-In and Input
At the end of the day, top-down digital ecosystem construction is difficult. Gather input from those who will use the ecosystem every day to identify what they’re doing now, what they need to increase agility and productivity, and what will work throughout the workforce.
How ImageNet Can Help You Create a Digital Ecosystem
Creating a digital ecosystem relies on having the right infrastructure in place. However, with the vast array of options and combinations available, discovering the technology to fit your business can prove challenging. Working with experienced technology experts like ImageNet Consulting can simplify the experience. The benefits of partnering with an expert technology consultant include:
Businesses Trust ImageNet with Their Digital Ecosystem
Creating a digital ecosystem from scratch means a whole new world of possibilities, but it’s important to digitally transform first. Only then can a company unlock the true power of digitization.
Working with a technology solutions provider during this period can help set your business up for success. Work with ImageNet Consulting today to identify your organization’s specific goals and needs.