Over the past few years, a single, global imperative has emerged for organizations across every industry—Digital Transformation. With new, digitally native companies projected to make up 50 percent of the S&P 500 in a decade’s time, existing leaders in business and IT know that they must embrace disruptive technologies, develop a sustainable digital strategy, and secure access to the depth and breadth of technical skill.
What does this transformation look like? Fit-to-thrive companies have adapted their operating models from end-to-end, integrating the silos that once categorized departments. Technologists, business leaders, and innovators collaborate in stride, co-enabling their joint pursuit of a common goal—to establish clout in a saturated market. Cross-industry partnerships have become ubiquitous as well.
Since technology enables, but doesn’t replace, business as usual, digital industry leaders like Microsoft and its national solution providers epitomize modern B2B and B2C relationships. These partnerships are symbiotic; they thrive on the seamless exchange of accurate insight, and propel mass innovation via collaborative efforts. While Microsoft focuses on imagining and building the best digital offerings, solution providers amplify the value of Microsoft technologies by placing them at the nexus of deep technical skill, industry knowledge, and a thorough understanding of customers’ business goals.
Take cloud computing, for instance. 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft Azure to enable stronger communication across space and time, confident that their data will live well on the best-in-class cloud platform. However, Azure’s key advantages come when it’s applied as a service. Microsoft Solution Providers assume the cost and burden of having to deploy updates and prevent issues; they democratize access to prime cloud real estate with a subscription-based model; and through an ongoing partnership, they develop and align cloud strategies to meet the unique needs of their customers.
Yet, we’ve only scratched the surface of cloud-born possibility.
Collaboration tools like Office 365 serve as the backbone for the digitally fit workplace by connecting people and information, anytime, anywhere
The cloud advantage, coupled with the as-a-service model, optimizes a host of other digital tools for the modern workplace. The most critical of these serve to empower productivity, collaboration, data insight, and security.
Not only do employees expect the workplace to offer the same ease of communication and access to information as they enjoy at home; but today’s fast-paced, competitive business landscape puts greater pressure on employees to perform better, faster. Collaboration tools like Office 365 serve as the backbone for the digitally fit workplace by connecting people and information, anytime, anywhere. But although a vast majority of companies already use O365, many only leverage Exchange. Solution providers empower clients to exploit full value from the entire O365 spectrum—Power BI, Delve, OneDrive, Skype, and more—by building customized tools that drive user adoption. For example, Microsoft’s 2016 Partner of the Year designed an intranet solution atop O365 using SharePoint Online, which has proven to drive 4x more employee engagement than traditional portals—and you probably know by now that engaged employees are great for business.
Happy employees equals happy customers. This saying rings truer than ever. Happy IT staff equals happy employees. That’s an adage of our era. If you work in IT, you’ll know firsthand how heavily everyone relies on your support. So, when repetitive, yet necessary, tasks—such as an employee on and off boarding—consume hours of IT’s time and energy, these valuable workers burn out, and company-wide chaos ensues. Automation tools, in IT and other departments alike, foster productivity and innovation by freeing up a time to focus on strategic initiatives.
Automation-as-a-Service grants access to expensive productivity tools on tap, plus the key ingredient of expert guidance to ensure ROI.
The Digital Frontier’s sprawling fields of opportunity and lack of centralized control have earned an appropriate nickname: The New Wild, Wild West. Where stiff competition and open opportunity comes with a security risk. Cyber breaches can cost millions, not to mention wreak havoc on reputations and morale. For a good reason, digital industry leaders put security at the forefront of their priorities, helping clients shield themselves from cyberthreat without stunting business growth. Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), for instance, makes it easier for organizations to secure employee devices across an ever-sprawling workforce. The Azure cloud, which supports most of Microsoft’s newest products, also grants top security to companies who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise; and solution providers help align clients’ security strategies with up-to-the-minute industry insight to meet evolving compliance and regulatory standards.
Sound like a lot of moving parts? That’s Digital Transformation. It requires a team effort. The most cost-efficient and dynamic way to garner this team effort is by capitalizing on the strengths of various providers on an as-needed basis: Harness the power of world-class technology without necessarily investing in stand-alone products; allow your employees to funnel time and energy into the tasks that best match their talents; and invest strategically in IT support and guidance by securing agile access to a team of experts across the digital spectrum.
Founded in 1993, Catapult Systems is a full-service consulting firm headquartered in Austin, TX, which specializes in digital transformation and cloud-based technologies.