Digital transformation is a term that has become popularized in the last couple of years and is one that sounds a whole lot scarier than it is. Digital transformation is simply utilizing digital solutions to solve business and other practices. Whether it is moving to the cloud for mobile access, migration of legacy processes to digital for analytics, or even just providing a product through digital means a la Amazon or Alibaba, companies are transitioning to digital for their needs and taking advantage of cloud services and infrastructure to do so. Never has this been more important than during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Companies that have put off digital transformation have been left unable to work while those already moved to the cloud are still thriving and keeping their folks employed.
Our company has used Jira as a workflow/ process tool to assist in many of the everyday processes in our world of engineering and consulting. We’re using this tool in our everyday development processes but we’ve also adapted it to work for us in tracking our business opportunities and recruitment needs.
As a consulting services company, our opportunities pipeline is the lifeblood of our organization. We need to ensure that each lead is tracked and handled in a timely fashion. We also need to have a way of performing analysis on our lead generation and success rates as this allows us to continuously improve our performance. Through Jira, we have developed a workflow that transitions our leads from the high-level states of fresh lead through estimation, proposal, client submission, and client decision. Each step of our workflow requires a transition of assignee that allows us to know whose hands the process currently resides in.
This provides traceability and accountability throughout the process in the comfort of your cubicle. Analyzing the data can be done through filtering Jira queries which need only be done once as you can save your queries.
For visual folks personal dashboards can be created with drag and drop tools to track things like analytics about your clients.
We’re always seeking new talent to help grow our team. This allows us to expand our business and provide rapid reaction time to our clients when their world is on fire. As such, recruitment is a task that is always in process. Recruiting only when you need someone is a surefire way to lose out on some amazing talent. The workflow for recruitment is significantly more simple than, say, the opportunities workflow, but it is equally as valuable to track candidates through our processes. The workflow makes it extremely easy to get a visual on what candidates are in the pipeline and when offers are extended. Candidates start in an application state, transition to a phone screen, interview, and if they’re still up for consideration move to offer extended. Candidates can be removed from the pipeline at any step in the process if say their resume doesn’t match our needs or their phone screen went poorly.
Missing the Boat
COVID-19 has exposed many companies who have failed to digitally transform as their workforce cannot be productive in a remote environment. Public schools often lack the financial support to update technology, have had to scramble to adjust to remote teaching, counseling, and administration. Many of the tools that our educators use on a daily basis are not available to them unless they’re on the school’s network, and VPN access has not been something schools typically provide their employees. My wife who has been a guidance counselor for 14 years, can attest to the struggles that we’re putting on our public schools during this time. Ultimately, this has caused a lot of overtime work and stress on these folks and their IT departments to scale to solutions that can support remote education and day to day activity.
Companies failing to adopt digital transformations during this crisis are mounting deficits and filing for bankruptcy in some cases. Most folks don’t think about it, but retailers that have failed to digitally transform by offering online sales and reducing their physical footprint are chief amongst these casualties. Meanwhile, digital stores such as Amazon have seen steady increases in sales through offerings such as digital grocery shopping.
What else is out there?
Companies aside, people themselves are performing digital transformation in their own lives. The first thing I did when starting to plan my wedding was create a spreadsheet in Google Drive tracking guest names, RSVP’s, and the number of guests so that my wife and I had access to a shared spreadsheet. Everyday folks are using digital solutions for storing their photos and often migrating their old photos and videos to the cloud.
In many regards, the consumer space, and people in general, have been quicker to adapt to digital transformation without even realizing it. Part of this is the emergence of IoT products which can be accessed via cloud services from the convenience of our phones.
Digital transformation sounds infinitely scarier than it is, most folks are doing this without realizing it in various aspects of their lives. In the end, it is simply defined as taking any information or offering and making it available over the internet. Those who have accelerated this as a priority for their organization will have seen improvements in traceability, analytics, and efficiency as employees can perform their work anywhere. Furthermore, this COVID-19 pandemic has further underscored the need for digital capability which is essential for a remote workforce. At IPS, we’ve been digital for a while now which has made our transition to a remote workforce seamless. How are you doing with digital transformation, do you see the merits?