Identifying the role of technology in digital transformation and knowing which technologies are right for your business

Without technology, there is no digital transformation. And without digital transformation, there won’t be improvements to business processes, productivity, security, continuity, efficiency, and scalability. All of which are required to provide better employee and customer experiences.

But, technology, when coupled with transformative thinking, has the ability to radically shift a business’s performance, culture, and success. It is, without doubt, a catalyst for change.

More than ever, businesses in every industry are undergoing change at unprecedented speed. Digital technologies and processes are transforming how companies operate, their customers consume, and competitors seek to gain an advantage.

Organisations that resist the technology revolution will find it difficult to satisfy consumer demands for instant, personalised services. Over time they will begin to find it nearly impossible to survive.

But is digital transformation just a case of implementing new technologies?

The term digital transformation implies that the use of technology is required to achieve transformation. However, achieving transformation isn’t simply a case of implementing different technologies, but rather the use of these technologies to achieve a transformation. There’s a subtle difference.

For instance, transformation might use technologies including cloud computing, document management, data analytics, automated workflows, AI/ML, IoT etc. But these technologies in themselves will not necessarily achieve significant transformations. However, applied as the building blocks to a wider process, purpose or service, these technologies enable the identification and realisation of new opportunities.

In essence, the purpose of digital transformation is to improve the business, delight customers, and to identify new opportunities for revenue through new business and service models.

So, what technology should you implement and why?

Digital technology can provide the building blocks to transform many areas of your business. These can be broadly categorised into the following four areas;

Productivity and business continuity

The past several months have certainly highlighted the need for businesses, and their workforce, to be agile. Remote and flexible working is here to stay, so being able to integrate new working processes and technology to enable your people to continue to do their jobs effectively, wherever they are, is key. This has led to many organisations re-evaluating their entire organisation. Cloud software, document management, end-user security, document scanning, inbound mail, and remote printing are just some of the technologies which have been embraced by organisations recently.

Strong culture and wellbeing

A good culture inspires your people and makes them proud to work for you. Creating an environment that’s both physically and emotionally supporting will help support your people to do their best work – and love doing it. So digital transformation of the workplace is key to meeting the needs of our people and in turn our businesses. This means creating a digitally seamless workplace software that extends beyond the physical office; creating an online hub of collaboration, inspiration, and communication that can be accessed anywhere.

Resilience and efficiency

Resilience and efficiency will ensure your organisation’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to future change, turning challenges to your advantage when your competitors are unable to adapt as quickly as you. Such scenarios might be your business’s ability to resist cyber-attacks, changes in legislation, or natural disasters such as fire and floods. So, technologies such as ransomware, remote IT monitoring and management, or perhaps document scanning, management, and archiving will all provide business protection and resilience. 

Security and scalability

Greater productivity, profitability, and growth are becoming more and more achievable as working practices evolve. But this also brings new risks and challenges. With remote workers accessing work systems via personal WIFI and devices, IT departments are challenged to maintain a secure infrastructure. Luckily technology has the answer. 

New advanced cybersecurity software, collaboration tools, and data processing technologies are facilitating their right level of support. Enable their people to continue to collaborate and communicate effectively in a safe and secure way. 

Which transformation technologies will be right for your business and why?

Before you make any technology decisions you need to first audit your current capabilities, assess future requirements, and, most importantly, discover the existing experiences of your people.

When it comes to new technology or processes you must first understand what you and your people need. Discover this by assessing and understanding their current experiences of the existing technology, systems, and processes. How they feel they are supported, the ease of use, and if there are any barriers to productivity. In essence, a workplace and experience assessment to identify where you are strong, where you need to improve, and what your people really require. 

With these insights, you will be better placed to identify and find the right solutions.

So, in summary…

Technology provides the building materials. But solid understanding, sound digital business thinking, and the support of an experienced transformation partner will create successful transformation.

Only then will the technology investment combine to create great experiences for both your people and customers.

Seek the support of a collaborative people-first transformation partner

Before you embark on your business transformation journey seek support from a knowledgeable and collaborative technology partner.  A support partner like Ricoh brings many years of experience and a unique people-first perspective which will enable your business to analyse, plan, and implement effective transformation.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about business transformation and identifying a process suited to your particular business needs, please feel free to get in touch.

You will find our latest practical guide to transformation ‘Implementing a Conscious Workplace’ an invaluable read. Get your free copy here.


John Chambers

Director - IT, Communication & Business Process Services Ricoh UK

Read all articles by John Chambers