Viewing archives for Private Equity

The Future of Digital Transformation

Let’s start with a definition. For us, digital transformation means using IT and technology to dramatically change your business for the better.

That may mean a custom or bespoke software product. Or it may mean integrating your systems on the back end, or a complete overhaul of your IT systems and suppliers. Whatever the tech issues, it means focusing on your customers, your market, and your risks. Every choice is to ensure that the internal operation of your company is not limiting its growth.

Another important point is that the transformation is individual to your company. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and anyone telling you so is after your wallet.

That doesn’t mean we won’t see big changes in the next few years. Again and again we’ve watched as what used to seem like extraordinary technologies—such as voice recognition, complex mapping and routing, and software robots—quietly become a part of the everyday life of a mid-market company.

Similarly, though the excitement about drone deliveries and artificial intelligence seems to have faded, we still think they’re coming. Whenever I see such innovations being tested, I think they’re important guides to what will gradually come to our sector, the mid-market.

How the Pandemic Transformed Digital Transformation

Before we get into what’s coming, it’s useful to look back. The pandemic changed digital transformation in two fundamental ways.

First, everything went online, and faster than we had thought possible. Everyone now expects online sales, service, and support. Business and domestic consumers rapidly adopted online channels for finding and buying a wide range of products and services. This also extended to after-sales and re-ordering, which are online now in a way that seemed unlikely in 2019.

Similarly, paper is on its way out. Cash has been side-lined by electronic payment. Printed brochures and catalogues have disappeared from many sectors. (In fact, if your business is still reliant on paper, that would be the place to start a digital transformation of your company. More ideas here.).

Second, we saw a rapid shift to remote work. Not that it was a simple process: we saw business struggle when their systems and processes were badly integrated and ill-defined. But everyone, whether they liked it or not, quickly got used to collaborating online.

In every situation above, old-fashioned managers were saying, “It will never work.” Which leads me to conclude that often digital transformation is driven by attitude rather than what is technically possible. And attitudes have changed irreversibly.

What’s Coming to the Mid-Market

In the near future, for many mid-market businesses the next phase of digital transformation will focus on the following:

  1. Data, data, data. It’s never been easier to accumulate data. Companies will leverage these new assets for smarter use by humans and 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. The businesses that adopt data visualisation technologies, simple machine learning, and process automation will have a competitive advantage.
  2. External integration. Internal integration and adoption of the cloud should be in the rear-view mirror. (If that doesn’t describe your situation, that’s the first step to transforming your company.) Businesses should only select tech products that support integration and should gravitate towards suppliers, customers, and partners who form integrated communities. Because integrated communities will out-perform those that are not.
  3. Points of difference. As cutting-edge technology becomes 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 surged ahead on the strength of its content.
  4. Environmental, social, and governance concerns. Both regulators and consumers will insist upon more transparency when it comes to data use and environmental sustainability. Traceability of products, optimisation of materials and energy consumption, privacy, security, and justifiable decision-making will all become part of the digital transformation agenda.
  5. Virtual currency. Products and services will be increasingly virtual and paid for with virtual currency. It remains to be seen which form of digital currency will prevail. But mid-market companies 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.

What Hasn’t Changed—and Likely Never Will?

Most mid-market businesses are deeply concerned about supply chain issues, recruitment, and energy costs. New technologies—and the judicious application of existing solutions—can ease all these issues, but only if you successfully meet human needs at the same time.

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 for most people, an enjoyable job also means human contact.

Most people also want their company to have a vision beyond profit. 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 include the human factor.

No matter what your sector or the size of your business, a digital transformation won’t take unless your staff feel included and valued.

With all that in mind, now it’s time to think about your company. If you redo your IT and technology with a magic wand, how would you do things differently? What barriers to growth would you remove?

Here are 10 ideas to start your Digital Transformation Journey

For more guidance on digital transformation, see our free, plain-English guides here. And for a no-strings, no-pressure conversation about the digital transformation opportunities within your own business, get in touch.

 

 

Private Equity Series 2 | Key Takeaways

The final installment of our second Private Equity Series asks the panel for their concluding thoughts. One key takeaway: there are no shortcuts. Find out what else they had to say.


Private Equity Content Series: 

Finance & Accounting
Human Capital
Legal
technology
The Role of the CFO
Q&A
Key Takeaways

Visit our Private Equity Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

Private Equity Series 2 | Q&A

Our expert mid-market PE panel answers questions from viewers about integration, leadership continuity, cross-border agreements, and more. A wide-ranging, straightforward, and informative discussion.


Private Equity Content Series: 

Finance & Accounting
Human Capital
Legal
technology
The Role of the CFO
Q&A
Key Takeaways

Visit our Private Equity Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

Private Equity Series 2 | technology

technology is sometimes an overlooked aspect of a PE deal. But it can make or break a transaction. In this installment of our second Private Equity Series, Adam Shapiro of Yahoo Finance defines explores the role technology plays in PE deals, and how IT leadership is crucial to M&A.


Private Equity Content Series: 

Finance & Accounting
Human Capital
Legal
technology
The Role of the CFO
Q&A
Key Takeaways

Visit our Private Equity Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

Private Equity Series 2 | The Role of the CFO

Why is a CFO so important to a successful PE deal? What specifically is their role before, during, and after a transaction? Adam Shapiro of Yahoo Finance gets the answers from a panel of experts.


Private Equity Content Series: 

Finance & Accounting
Human Capital
Legal
technology
The Role of the CFO
Q&A
Key Takeaways

Visit our Private Equity Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

Private Equity Series 2 | Legal

In the second Private Equity Series, Adam Shapiro of Yahoo Finance once again guides a forthright discussion of PE issues for mid-market companies. In this installment, they look at “when the lawyers come in.” What are the potential legal pitfalls in a mid-market PE transaction, and how do you avoid them?


Private Equity Content Series: 

Finance & Accounting
Human Capital
Legal
technology
The Role of the CFO
Q&A
Key Takeaways

Visit our Private Equity Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

Private Equity Series 2 | Human Capital

In our second Private Equity Series, Adam Shapiro of Yahoo Finance once again leads a panel of experts in an honest and insightful discussion of PE issues crucial to mid-market companies. In this video, they look at human capital: maintaining institutional knowledge when a company changes hands, and smoothly merging corporate cultures.


Private Equity Content Series: 

Finance & Accounting
Human Capital
Legal
technology
The Role of the CFO
Q&A
Key Takeaways

Visit our Private Equity Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

Private Equity Series 2 | Finance & Accounting

Another informative video in our second Private Equity Series, with a panel of experts led by Adam Shapiro of Yahoo Finance. This one delves into two important topics: how cybersecurity issues can kill a transaction, and how to avoid letting emotion affect the objective valuation of a company.


Private Equity Content Series: 

Finance & Accounting
Human Capital
Legal
technology
The Role of the CFO
Q&A
Key Takeaways

Visit our Private Equity Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

Private Equity Series | Key Take Outs

In our Private Equity Series, Adam Shapiro of Yahoo! Finance leads a discussion with experts — in technology, Finance, Legal, PE and Wealth Management — on PE in the mid-market. In this installment, the experts provide the key points for CEOs and business owners.


Private Equity Content Series: 

Key Take Outs
Building Value
Due Diligence
Mitigating Risk & Cyber Security
Buy & Sell
Earn Outs

Visit our Private Equity Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

Private Equity Series | Earn Outs

In our Private Equity Series, Adam Shapiro of Yahoo! Finance leads a discussion with experts — in technology, Finance, Legal, PE and Wealth Management — on PE in the mid-market. In this installment, how mid-market CEOs and business owners should think through the rewards and complications of earn-outs, and how IT plays a part.


Private Equity Content Series: 

Key Take Outs
Building Value
Due Diligence
Mitigating Risk & Cyber Security
Buy & Sell
Earn Outs

Visit our Private Equity Knowledge Center which includes all content related to this topic.

Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

Subscribe to our Business Insights

Plain English board-level briefings focused on technology strategies to deliver competitive advantage and business success.

* Please enter an email address
newnewsletterrecipient

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Thank you.

You’ll now receive regular expert business insights.

Call us on 0203 020 1864 with any questions.

Graeme Freeman
Co-Founder and Director

Subscribe to our Business Insights

Plain English board-level briefings focused on technology strategies to deliver competitive advantage and business success.

* Please enter an email address
newnewsletterrecipient

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Thank you.

You’ll now receive regular expert business insights.

Call us on 0203 020 1864 with any questions.

Popular content for CEOs

Latest briefings written by IT experts
I would like to receive:

Popular content for CEOs

Latest briefings written by IT experts
I would like to receive: