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Digital transformation to enable new ways of working

19 October 2021 at 8:13 am
David Spriggs
David Spriggs sheds light on the three P’s of digital transformation, and how a digital-first approach can enable new ways of working.

David Spriggs | 19 October 2021 at 8:13 am


Digital transformation to enable new ways of working
19 October 2021 at 8:13 am

David Spriggs sheds light on the three P’s of digital transformation, and how a digital-first approach can enable new ways of working.

Each year, the Infoxchange Group conducts a survey to understand how not for profits use technology to improve their operations and make a bigger impact. The survey highlights the benefits of a digital-first approach, enabling staff to work remotely, simplify reporting and enhance impact. 

Digital technology already plays a critical role in the delivery of services for many not for profits, and chances are it’s going to play an even more important role as your organisation develops and matures. This is the essence of digital transformation: organisational improvement enabled by digital processes and confident staff. The benefits are profound and wide-ranging – more time to spend with clients, improved satisfaction, enhanced service delivery, evidence-based decisions and a culture of innovation.

Even before the pandemic, many not-for-profit organisations had started implementing a digital transformation program. As lockdowns and work-from-home scenarios were rolled out, some organisations were already well advanced on their digital transformation, while many were still in the planning and early implementation phase. 

Unfortunately, the pandemic upended the most carefully laid plans. Things shifted, and fast. 

With lockdowns and social distancing measures a key component in keeping employees safe, the physical office was no longer a viable option for most organisations, including many in the not-for-profit sector delivering services to people in need whose needs were exacerbated by the pandemic. 

Many organisations were forced to pivot to a remote environment in just a matter of days. In many cases, the effect was to rush, rather than slow down, digital transformations that were already underway, leading to patched, improvised and generally less than ideal implementations. For some not for profits, carefully prepared digital transformations were stalled.

Getting started

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all digital transformation. Every transformation is unique to the organisation that undertakes it. Each organisation sets its objectives, budget and schedule based on its circumstances and priorities. What digital transformations do have in common, however, is the three Ps: people, process and platform.

People must take priority when it comes to digital transformation, as it’s the people who will be impacted most by the transition. It’s crucial to consider stakeholder collaboration, staff buy-in at all levels, change management, training and client expectations. 

Second cab off the rank is process, which covers governance, guidelines, best practices, tracking and workflows. 

The platform element includes technology infrastructure, information systems, business intelligence and digital marketing.

The journey begins with an assessment of where your organisation tracks across five domains: technology foundations, information systems, IT management, digital marketing and cyber security. In most cases, key IT personnel in an organisation will have a sense of where the most pressing needs are, but sometimes the assessment phase reveals deficiencies that were previously undiagnosed.

Then comes the strategy, planning and implementation phases. Depending on what’s required, the turnaround can be quick. When new information systems need to be acquired, it’s best to proceed at a pace that enables staff to come on the journey, learn new skills, establish new processes and adopt a culture that embraces technology change as a means of improving services for your clients or members.

Organisations can’t implement large-scale digital technology transformation overnight. But once embedded, digital transformation will improve your organisation’s capacity across a range of areas. In many cases, it will enable new ways of working and lead to the adoption of new models of service delivery.

Most important is to get the ball rolling. Read this guide on how to make a digital technology plan and deliver on it. It has templates and examples you can use to create a digital transformation and technology plan that will help you: 

  • select the right platform/technology
  • save money
  • avoid crises
  • make better use of your time.

If you haven’t yet started your digital transformation journey, the Digital Transformation Hub is here to help with guides on topics such as what digital transformation means for not for profits and how to deliver digital transformation projects successfully

You can schedule a conversation with one of our technology experts at no cost to talk through your options and decide how to make the move.  

The sooner you start, the faster you’ll be using technology to amplify your impact. 

This article is part of a monthly column with Infoxchange exploring the importance of digital technology. 

David Spriggs  |  @ProBonoNews

David Spriggs is CEO of Infoxchange. He is passionate about creating a more digitally inclusive society and the role technology can play in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the not-for-profit sector. David is also chair of the Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance and a board member of Specialisterne Australia.

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