Viewing archives for Digital Transformation

Why are the first 3 months with a client so important?

The first three months are a crucial time when a mid-market business hires a CIO or CTO. Find out why it can make a difference — when it’s done right.

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Making a roadmap for growth

We all want to see our businesses grow, but without a technology roadmap for growth it can create a lot of headaches for a mid-market business. Our experts discuss the value of a roadmap for growth and why you should start one.

Watch the full video here!

 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Vision + CTO = efficiency and growth

The right CTO will help a business leader turn their vision into a reality. Find out how our expert CTOs can make a difference to your mid-market business.

Watch the full video here!

 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Backoffice automation

Automation can actually have a large and immediate impact on a mid-market business’s bottom line. Our experts discuss an example of how automation made a huge difference for a client.

Watch the full video here!

 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Unlocking business growth with technology

Once you have your core processes and technology sorted, it becomes much easier to look for new ways to grow. Our IT and technology experts discuss how they’ve helped clients leverage their existing customer base and find new markets.

Watch the full video here!

 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Solidifying your company culture

Meeting apps like Zoom and Teams have been incredibly useful for keeping businesses going during the pandemic. And now hybrid work is the new normal. So how do mid-market business leaders solidify their company culture in this new environment? Our experts discuss how IT and technology can help.

Watch the full video here!

 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

Investing in technology, moving into new markets

Many mid-market business leaders see IT and technology as a straightforward business expense. The real visionaries understand that technology can take an organisation to a new place. Listen to our IT and technology experts discuss how they’ve helped mid-market businesses scale up and even move into new markets.

Watch the full video here!

 

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

The power of technology: driving business growth

Watch the full version here! Technology can be a choke point for a mid-market business, or it can actually drive growth. Streamlining systems and processes, automation, investing in technology to move into new markets — there are so many ways to use technology to remove obstacles to business growth. Our experts discuss the power of technology in a mid-market company.

Visit our Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

The future of digital transformation

The future of Digital Transformation is difficult to separate from the past and present as the hype-cycle of tech marketing swirls so rapidly. Marketeers seize on anecdotes from early adopters when the truth is that digital transformation isn’t the same process for every company.

But stories of pilot and demonstration projects, such as drone deliveries and driverless cars, are important guides to what will gradually become mainstream in the mid-market. Quietly and unremarkably, extraordinary technologies, such as machine learning, become everyday apps and simple business hygiene.

And sometimes technology changes rapidly. The pandemic drove the future of Digital Transformation in two fundamental ways.

 

 

Firstly, business and domestic consumers quickly adopted online channels for finding and buying a wide range of products and services. This also extends to after-sales and re-ordering, which are widely online now in a way that seemed unlikely in 2019.

Electronic payment is now normal, and cash has been side-lined. Paper brochures and catalogues have disappeared from many sectors, and everyone expects online service and support.

Secondly, rapid adoption of home working kiboshed old-fashioned managers who said, ‘That will never work.’ Not that it was a simple process. When users are scattered, systems and processes must be defined and must work well. Contracts, orders, and payments must be electronic. Collaboration must be online, and any integration gaps are painfully exposed.

Often digital transformation is driven by people’s attitudes rather than what is technically possible, and attitudes have changed irreversibly.

So in the near future, for many mid-market businesses the next phase of Digital Transformation will focus on the following:

  1. Data has mushroomed, but rather than seeing it as a problem, companies will leverage these new assets for smarter use by humans or AI. Combining data from different sources is now far easier, and cloud-based processing allows for rapid insights that would have been unthinkable even quite recently. Data visualisation technologies, simple machine learning, and process automation are now a reality and can provide a competitive advantage to companies who take up the challenge.
  1. Internal integration and adoption of the cloud should be in the rear-view mirror. The next phase will focus on external integration. Businesses should only select tech products that support integration and should gravitate towards suppliers, customers and partners who form integrated communities. These integrated communities will out-perform those that are not.

Beyond these near-term changes, as cutting-edge tech becomes more commoditised and more widely available, companies will have to work harder to distinguish themselves by their actual product or service. Their brand really must mean something, and they really do need a competitive edge. For example, now any company can stream movies like Netflix; Disney+ has stepped in and enjoyed incredible growth on the strength of its content.

In fact, many forms of leisure will increasingly be online (though online leisure becomes more complicated as social media, content and play converge).

Similarly, products and services will be increasingly virtual, and paid for with virtual currency. Companies will need to tune into this accelerating change and invest in new types of virtual storefronts and virtual branding. Though I hate to use the term, this is the metaverse.

But there is also convergence between digital transformation and ethical and environmental concerns as both regulators and consumers drive this focus. Traceability of products, optimisation of materials and energy consumption, privacy, security, and justifiable decision-making will all become part of the digital transformation agenda.

Digital Transformation is not simple, and companies will increasingly be bought for their data and their technology capabilities. Digital Transformation will be a key value driver, and companies often have to secure their future value by buying another’s.

All these transformations will be good for your business if you also successfully meet human needs. Zoom and shared docs are no substitute for real face-to-face collaboration. You cannot have a real creative discussion, shift entrenched opinions, or lift someone’s spirits online. Digital Transformation can drive everyday productivity, but mental health and employee well-being for most people also means human contact.

Most people want their company to have a vision beyond profit; they want to be part of something greater than an integrated process, and they want to draw more from their work than just their salary. Digital Transformation can absolutely make a difference in a mid-market business, but only when you add in the human factor.

Visit our  Digital Transformation Knowledge Centre which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT leaders. We work exclusively with ambitious organisations and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

5 steps to ERP implementation

An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project is when you integrate all your company’s core processes into a single system—finance, HR, manufacturing, supply chain, services, procurement, whatever else you need to run your business, back-end and front.

ERP can transform your company. When it’s done right, a new ERP system will deliver savings, service improvements, better compliance, and provide a sound platform for digital expansion and future growth.

But ERP projects are large and expensive undertakings. They are a major exercise for the entire organization and will consume the attention of all key staff and leaders for months. So before you start your ERP journey, have a look at our 5 steps to implementing an ERP.


You may also be interested in our blog post Do You Actually Need an ERP Project?


1. Have clear and specific business objectives.

Many ERP projects derail because the company never worked out the key priorities. When the inevitable glitches arrive, they don’t know where to compromise. So, your very first step must be an honest boardroom discussion about business objectives.

What are the outcomes that you’re looking for? Some examples:

• Redeploy four FTEs by avoiding any rekeying between the ERP and website
• Eliminate orders from customers on credit stop by eliminating the lag between finance and order processing
• Integrate with a new customer’s ordering systems within about two weeks of contract signing

Of course, your own needs will likely differ. Just notice that the objectives above are (a) measurable and (b) can be readily assigned a monetary value.
An ERP project typically has twenty or more such key objectives, and it’s crucial that the board have consensus on each of them. Because then there will be far less room for argument when the road gets bumpy. And later you’ll be able to point back to your requirements document and show that it was all there in black and white from the start, avoiding disputes internally and with suppliers.

2. Assign clear ownership of the project.

Too often ERP projects are run by a gaggle of people with vague roles. Instead, the CEO must absolutely appoint someone with the necessary technical know-how, business experience, people skills, and leadership qualities to run a complex project. (We would, of course, suggest one of our fractional IT leaders join your team.)

The CEO and this leader must then be clear on who is accountable for which aspects of the project. These people must have the space to do their jobs—avoid interrupting them with day-to-day issues so they can genuinely focus on the ERP project.

This can be uncomfortable for mid-market companies with ingrained ways of working. But a combination of flexibility and accountability is critical to success—plus you can see it as opportunity to develop people for the long-term.

To continue reading, download the article above.

Visit our ERP and Integration Issues Knowledge Centre, which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the UK’s largest and most experienced team of part-time (we call it ‘fractional’) IT directors, CIOs and CTOs. We work exclusively with SME and mid-market organisations, and we frequently help our clients use IT to beat their competition. Contact Us and we’ll be in touch for an informal conversation.

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Graeme Freeman
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