What Digital Transformation is Not

Are you going through or about to start a digital transformation? Perhaps you want to allow your users to work from home as effectively and efficiently as they do when in the office? Is that a key part of your digital transformation plan? If so, stop and consider what digital transformation is and what your users require to enable them to work from home or other locations. Also consider what is required from your company infrastructure.

People at desk.
Peopling working at a desk.

Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is not just a project or a programme of work but a journey that can take many years. Many organisations who want to embark on a digital transformation journey think it may be perhaps a 12-month, 18-month or even a 24-month programme of work. But, in reality, digital transformation is likely to take most organisations two to five years.

This is because many organisations have legacy hardware and software that prevents them from transitioning more quickly. And although paper unfortunately still seems to be a big part of any organisation, it is important to see which paper-based processes can be converted to digital ones – this may even mean asking service providers and suppliers to change the way they work. Going from paper to a digital platform isn’t the only thing that full transformation involves. This transformation is based on the fundamentals that people can work anywhere, when they want to and how they want to, and although this may not be practical for some industries or job roles, ideally the option is there to do so.

Remote working

Remote workers need to be given the ability to work as effectively and efficiently as they do in the office, if not more so. With this in mind, the roll-out of new hardware such as the Surface Book along with new software, which in many cases is Office 365, gives users additional products and features.

However, it’s not sufficient to just give users new hardware and software; remote workers need to be taught how to use them. Take, for example, a user who historically has a desktop PC with a wired keyboard, mouse and monitor. You intend to give them a new Surface Book that can convert from a traditional laptop to a tablet. The interaction that a user has with this new device compared to their old PC is different; they need to understand how to use their new technology. A Surface Book in tablet mode is similar to a tablet, but not all users know how to use a tablet and even if they do they may not have one with a digital pen. Using a digital pen in meetings can help, especially during meetings when sketching out ideas.


When rolling out Office 365, most of the tools will be familiar to users; however, there are tools other than online versions of Microsoft Office. Training users on how to use these new pieces of software is essential to realising their true value.

Digital transformation doesn’t mean just giving all your users new laptops and cloud-based software. Organisations need to look at the company as a whole and user interaction throughout the business.