By Corey Moss

Last year on the Convergent Tech Blog I wrote an article The Digital Discussion of Convergence and Disruption, which referenced velocity of change (in part influenced by this Forbes article) discussing how things are changing fast in the world, with small companies taking traditional business concepts and turning them upside down – this to go along with the relative high stakes that are involved.

In the technology industry, leaders innovate (or should I say must innovate) rapidly, then promote these innovations through correlating marketing efforts to strategically gain market share – which in turn also leads to scaling faster than those who may still be clinging to older, standard business models. In the business world, whether an organization is technology-based or not, this same exact thought process applies. In short, advance and transform – or else.

Though not a big believer in the premise of “AV/IT convergence” as some know, I will focus on the convergence factor in terms of how IT and other technologies will continue to play a role in the expansion of the tech space we’ve always known as AV. More of this will be picked up in part 2.

How to start a digital transformation?

According to Microsoft blog Starting a digital transformation? What you must get right from the start, the author specifies that in the very near future, every successful company will become a digital business, though not every company making the attempt will be successful. He points to the uniqueness of each business’ situation in terms of the difficulty of predicting the winners and those companies that won’t make it.

In a May article in the Harvard Business Review What the Best Transformational Leaders Do, such categories as new growth, core repositioning and financial performance are included. In ‘The 2017 Transformation 10’ chart in the article, Amazon leads the pack, a company that along with expanding its core retailing platform into new categories, has also built the world’s largest cloud computing enterprise – Amazon Web Services (AWS) – which accounts for just 10% of Amazon’s $150 billion in revenue, but generates close to $1 billion in quarterly operating profit. Other tech companies included are Apple, Adobe and Microsoft – all built on varying mobile, cloud and software platforms.

It’s also detailed in the article how many firms that have tried to transform have failed, a common reason being that certain leaders will try to approach such change as an all-encompassing process, in essence the old company simply morphing into a new one. This, as I’ve seen in certain instances, even through re-branding efforts as has also been considered a possible mistake if there isn’t a well thought out plan behind it that includes a measure of transformation.

An organizational focus on digital transformation – readiness and adoption

Where we begin with the organizational focus on digital transformation, one must first review the organization itself in terms of its readiness along with strong consideration of well-built cross-functional teams developing and/or implementing strategy, with the involvement of IT as well where most technology implementations will reside these days. There are also those who consider that by just implementing “newer” technologies, they’ve supplied the answer to a road toward such transformation, however it is a much more concentrated effort for sure.

One needs to focus, as we speed along in this mobile-first and increasingly cloud and software-first world (though hardware still does carry weight in certain areas of AV tech), on how organizations must adopt a mobile business platform to go along with cloud and software adoption. Extremely late to the game these days (late to the game has already passed) will translate to little to no plan for such adoption, leaving those who have not moved in this direction way behind the eight ball. And honestly, they’ve had more than enough time as it is.

Unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) represents one focused area of tech advancement for the organization in which cloud, software and mobile all come into play. We know that business does not get done without at least two to four people engaging in some sort of collaborative effort (which thus led to the creation of the huddle room), and with the tools for conferencing and collaboration which we now have, a meeting should be able to get done from anywhere at any time – whether in the office or on the road on a laptop or mobile device, with few limitations.

Thus any enterprise organization should be able to accomplish their transformational goals while being able to provide the proper tools for getting business done within, along with generating the best experiences possible in all ways for their customers. There truly should be no question as to how to accomplish this in 2017, and there will be more discussion on that to come.

Is there a deadline?

Should a deadline for such transformation be considered before it becomes too late, and an organization finally fades into a non-transformational abyss? A major step, in which companies must learn how best to marry technology with human resources, could possibly present a strong answer to this question.

For technology to be considered a main transformational contributer, people within an organization need to be viewed as main contributors to overall success as well. With this, the need for management/employee team concept has never been viewed as stronger and so in demand as it is now for transformation, and in certain respects – survival. Ongoing education, training and certification all become keys to the process here. Don’t forget to add collaboration and mobility to that mix as well – the technologies, the talent, and the training. All in sync, of course.

More to come.

Me at Barco

With over 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, The Final (AV) Word and The Show Corner. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers.