Business is constantly evolving and depending on your ability to adapt, it can either be extremely challenging or extremely profitable. If your business is still using the same software and programs it was using 5, 10, or even 15 years ago, it is likely hindering your business’s success, both from an efficiency and customer standpoint. Undergoing digital transformation is no longer an optional bonus; it’s an essential step to future-proof your business and continuous growth.

Technology is king, and the new advancements provide significant opportunities for businesses and individuals alike. Undertaking digital transformation will improve your business’s ability to quickly and efficiently react to supply chain interruptions, market challenges, and rapidly changing customer expectations all while streamlining processes, breaking down cross-departmental silos, and potentially cutting down on costs.

Digital transformation is a complete business transformation, and it’s essential that your culture and processes are aligned along the journey.

Why is undergoing a digital transformation so important?

Digital transformation is arguably the most significant business development in decades. From an organizational standpoint, it is the need for change. Technology has changed everything about how a business operates, the way it interacts with customers and the way its performance is measured.

There are a number of reasons why undergoing a digital transformation is essential to the ongoing success of a business. It can improve productivity, improve customer experience, lower costs, and drive innovation to stay competitive. According to a survey conducted by Modus Create, 41% of large enterprises will invest in IT modernization in 2022, and those who don’t are likely to fall behind.

With the right digital transformation software, you can get ahead of your competition and expand your business’s capabilities in combating and dealing with obstacles that may arise.

Enterprise software is not the only thing that has been going through digital transformation; more so, entire business models, systems, and organizations have undergone digital transformations. Embarking on a digital transformation journey will allow organizations to tailor their products and services as well as their operations to the needs of the consumer-based world we live in today. These changes are needed in order for companies to survive, compete and thrive in a fast-paced and challenging market.

From the consumer’s perspective, 57% said it’s absolutely critical or very important for companies they purchase from to be innovative, and 73% prefer to do business with brands that are able to customize their shopping experience. How many of us have opened a website, found the interface a bit clunky, and clicked away without going any deeper? Consumers are more empowered than ever in their buyer journey, and if your business isn’t able to grab and hold their attention, they’ll quickly move on to a competitor. Having a smooth and personalized online presence could be the difference between making or breaking a sale.

Your business may need digital transformation for a number of reasons but in the current global and economic climate, your business’s presence, flexibility, and security are critical.

Back to Basics: What are the Essential Pieces of Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is not a new concept. Continuous change has become standard practice in today’s business world. Between the pandemic, shifting dynamics in how businesses get work done, the Great Resignation, etc, agile transformation is more critical than ever before. Therefore, as you continue to evolve your company’s approach, let’s look at what steps of the journey are most pertinent today.

Step 1 is to create a transformation story; this will be the narrative that rallies employees and stakeholders and helps instigate the cultural shift necessary for a successful transformation. Next, you must develop a tech-savvy leadership team (no technophobes) to spearhead the journey. According to Franke Group, 37% of employees feel that their CEO or board of directors are holding back digital transformation initiatives, so it’s absolutely critical to make sure everybody is on board from the top down.

Next, the importance of undergoing an evaluation of your company’s tech stack, while obvious, cannot be minimized. To put this into perspective, unused software is costing businesses $40 billion in overspending every year. What programs are working, and more importantly, which are not? What processes aren’t digitized that could be? Which processes could be consolidated into a singular, multi-functional program? All of these questions and more are a vital part of understanding where the journey is headed. The answers will make up the foundation of your journey and shape your ultimate goals.

Often, the next step is seeking out partners and programs that can help you work smarter, not harder. As the digital transformation journey becomes more complicated, having a trusted partner with demonstrated expertise can significantly lighten the load. They’ll know all the in’s-and-out to ensure everything is done properly and efficiently. 40% of all technology spending is seen to go to digital transformations, an experienced partner will ensure your investment is worthwhile. The right partner will help you strategically deploy and manage your solutions, from start to finish.

Finally, ensure that part of the process includes reassessing the process and making sure that you’re undergoing an agile transformation. After all, the goal is to move away from rigid legacy systems, not build new ones. The more modern, cloud-based systems are constantly evolving and are agile enough to prevent the typical pitfalls of outdated programs. Keeping things agile and adaptable will ensure that your business is future-proof.

Preparing your business for digital transformation is a complicated endeavor that requires a significant investment of time and resources, but you will be rewarded with streamlined efficiency, better customer experience, and opportunities to create competitive differentiators.

It was summed up best in this CIO Interview with a Truist Executive: “When folks hear agile culture, oftentimes they think you are winging it and you just kind of do whatever comes to mind. But you have got to do it quickly. The reality is, agile—as a culture, if done right—is a lot of planning, a lot of transparency, a lot of communication.”

Getting Started

49% of executives don’t have a clear plan or goal for their digital initiatives, yet 56% feel that they are currently equipped with the proper resources to implement their digital transformation. This discrepancy indicates a mismatch between preparedness and expectations, and a recipe for disappointment. It’s because of this all-to-common discrepancy that working with an experienced partner can mitigate risk and ensure you get the most out of your investment.

The right partner will have the depth of experience and knowledge to help navigate your unique digital transformations and create a custom solution that perfectly suits your needs. Their experience will help you skip the rookie mistakes and continue focusing on what you do best: running your business.

Whether you’re already underway or just starting out, 3Ci can help kick-start your digital transformation, map out your end goals, and create and execute a plan that works for your specific business.

Change is on the horizon, and it’s time for you to join the revolution. Are you going to be left behind? Adapting to this change and embracing a digital transformation will give your company the agility, flexibility, and strength it needs to survive; or even thrive.

To learn more about the benefits of an experienced tech partner, check out the story of how 3Ci guided a major client through their unique digital transformation.

The professional workforce faced significant changes during 2020 and 2021, the most notable being the shift in power dynamics between employer and employee. Reduced labor participation coupled with increased demand has created a landscape where employers desperately search for new talent, but the talent has no interest in participating in the traditional hiring gambit.

According to Randstad Sourceright’s 2022 Talent Trends Report, 53% of business leaders plan to hire extensively this year; however, these professionals will have to start thinking outside the box to fill roles. The priorities of the workforce have shifted; businesses need to evaluate new strategies and more flexible options, like contract staffing and non-traditional schedules, to attract and retain the talent they need.

Shifting Priorities

It’s no secret that the priorities of the workforce are changing, and employees are no longer satisfied with the status quo. But what exactly are their priorities shifting away from and towards?

One of the most significant shifts is towards telework, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. More workers than ever are logging on from their homes and have little desire to return to the office any time soon. The flexibility of remote work is unmatched and has become one of the top priorities for employees and job-seekers alike. Most employers have taken notice, with 86% seeing policies, such as flex schedules and remote working, as an effective way to attract and engage talent. Some companies, like Trello and Automattic, have even shifted to asynchronous work, where everyone on the team works when they choose.

This shift towards prioritizing flexibility is emphasized by another, more surprising change in the market’s mindset; nearly 40% of knowledge workers named work-life balance above salary as the most important element of a job, above compensation (29%), and professional growth (13%).

This desire for work-life balance has manifested as a mass migration towards freelance and gig work for knowledge workers. Paro, a finance startup for freelancers, conducted a recent study and found that 31% of all knowledge workers are already freelancers, and 17% of knowledge workers who aren’t are considering making that leap in 2022.

So, how can employers rise to the challenge and avoid further talent shortages? How can businesses satisfy the needs of valuable knowledge workers while still protecting their bottom line?

Contract Staffing as a Solution

The shift towards a gig-based market is well underway, and as knowledge workers’ values shift to align with the benefits of contract, short-term work, it will only become more and more desirable.

Contract staff can be beneficial for many reasons, even beyond tapping into the growing gig economy, like adapting to economic uncertainty and having the flexibility to scale up (or down) fast. It can also be more cost-efficient than the typical hiring process, and it gives your business the opportunity to trial employees before permanent hire (if that’s still the end goal). Within the tech industry, contract staff is common because it enables companies to tackle a specific project without long-term commitment. It’s a chance for companies and contractors alike to learn and develop in a mutually beneficial way.

But managing a network of contract employees and freelancers can be tricky for businesses equipped mainly for permanent roles. This is why an experienced partner with consulting and contract staffing at their core can be a game-changer. Your business has its own areas of expertise, its own core. Find a trusted partner to handle the other stuff, so that you can reap the rewards.

To learn more about the powerful impact an experienced strategic partner can have on your business, check out this case study detailing 3Ci’s successful partnership with a Fortune 100 bank.