This article was sponsored by Multapplied Networks, a leading SD-WAN enabler.
As an internet, managed or cloud service provider selling SD-WAN, you’re not just selling a product. You’re selling a ground-breaking methodology, and a cutting-edge technological concept. And in doing so, you’re also helping customers cash in on a massive buzzword: Digital transformation.
As we explained in a recent blog post, digital transformation is a hot topic right now, and it’s something that enterprises across all vertical markets are trying to achieve. In fact, 83 percent of organizations prioritized digital transformation in 2019.
Make no mistake about it: SD-WAN is a fundamental component of digital transformation, as it provides a strong, flexible, and secure foundation for supporting digital applications and services.
Many businesses, however, are struggling with their digital transformation initiatives. Oftentimes, digital transformation projects fail to move beyond pilot programs, and wind up getting abandoned because they fail to meet expectations.
Service providers should look at this as an opportunity to act as a trusted guide, helping customers navigate digital transformation and generate strong results.
Here are 5 tips that a business should consider when exploring digital transformation.
1. Knowing your use case is key
One of the top reasons why digital transformation fails is because of a basic lack of communication between administrators, managers, and end users. Every department within an organization should be on the same page in terms of how they want digital transformation to impact their business.
Every industry has its own unique use case for Digital Transformation and this use case needs to be communicated amongst employees in the right way. Restaurants for instance, may view digital transformation as upgrading their in-house customer facing applications like their Point of Sale Systems, or upgrading to digital menus. Companies in the oil and energy sector on the other hand, may view digital transformation as integrating IoT with their machinery. The goals surrounding digital transformation vary from business to business and from industry to industry at the end of the day.
This is why digital transformation should be handled with a top-down approach, starting with the C-suite. It’s important for the company’s leaders to explain why they are exploring digital technologies, and the benefits that they will provide for the organization (like reduced waste and higher profits), and to voice their support for digital change.
2. Form a detailed plan
Many companies are going through digital transformation today without forming a detailed strategy. By taking an informal approach to digital transformation, new technologies will flood into the organization in a haphazard and loosely-defined way. This can open the door to risk, and vulnerabilities.
Best practices call for outlining a digital transformation roadmap so that new technologies can be strategically deployed, tracked, and measured for impact.
3. Focus on solving problems
Digital transformation can be overwhelming, when considering all of the different areas of the enterprise that can be digitalized. How do you know where to start?
To prioritize digital transformation, form a task force and have them visit individual department heads and teams. Meet with workers, and explore various challenges they’re facing on a daily basis. Then, experiment with specific technologies to help streamline operations.
4. Set up digital lighthouses
When approaching each department, a task force should look for technologies that can scale across the enterprise. What works in one department or branch—like SD-WAN at a remote site—may also help another area of the business.
Experimental digital solutions are commonly referred to as “digital lighthouses.” The point is to spread lighthouses across the enterprise, in turn spreading digital transformation in a way that is strategic and methodical.
5. Remember: It’s a process, not a project
Digital transformation can be a difficult concept to grasp, because it’s not like most enterprise projects. With digital transformation, there is no specific end goal other than becoming digitally “fit.”
Digital transformation, in other words, is all about establishing a state of agility across the enterprise. It’s about implementing highly-responsive, flexible, and secure digital technologies that can provide real-time insight and real-time management capabilities.
SD-WAN is just one example of digital transformation, but it’s an important one. With SD-WAN, a business can digitalize its network while also supporting all other digital technologies. And by using Multapplied’s white label solution, service providers can retail full control over branding, markup, and infrastructure.
To learn more about Multapplied’s approach to SD-WAN, click here.
Alex Caw is a Sales & Marketing Associate at Multapplied Networks.