Welcome to the Digital Craftsmen blog
In this blog post, our focus is on Digital Transformation, and we thought what better way to present the Digital Craftsmen perspective than ask technology industry veteran and company founder Simon Wilcox to share his thoughts on the subject. As you’ll find out, he brings a healthy dose of realism, mixed with pragmatism and good solid advice for businesses who are navigating their way through the myriad of software solutions and evolving businesses practices.
Digital Transformation is the current hot topic for the technology industry, what’s your view on it? How will it transform the technology environment?
It will undoubtedly have a massive impact on the users of technology and with that comes change for the technology industry. For example I was at RegTech in London this week and there are over 600 companies in that space alone, providing compliance solutions to the ever increasing regulatory burden. A move towards a digital future for business will rely on a lot of new infrastructure which will fall into three main areas
- Cloud SaaS – many new entrants to the market are cloud native, heavily utilising the platform capabilities of the major public clouds. These allow customers to get up and running and look for ROI quickly but often fall foul of their own compliance departments when it comes to data sovereignty and access by the third party providers.
- On-Premise – the traditional route is to put capital equipment on site and dedicate it to the new software. The challenge here is that it doesn’t suit rapid prototyping and a fail fast and move on mentality favoured by agile development teams. Some clients counter this by building their own private cloud systems on-premise and acting as a supplier of compute resource to the rest of the business.
- Hosted Infrastructure – a combination of the best of both options, a commercial provider of private cloud can allow a customer to scale as necessary whilst not incurring capital costs and the ongoing cost of ownership of the equipment.
All of this change will put pressure on internal IT departments to deliver and operate a very sizable programme of change.
Do you think Digital Transformation is applicable to all businesses regardless of size and industry?
I think it is applicable in different ways. Regulated industries are embracing digital transformation as a way to meet the regulatory burden in an economical way. Smaller businesses can improve customer service by joining up their data silos to improve the customer experience. Some can find new markets or opportunities by getting a better understanding of their business and marketplace through transformation that breaks down barriers between data silos and enables cross-business analysis.
Lastly, new businesses, particularly small start-ups in retail and entertainment are already transformed, utilising SaaS systems across Accounting, CRM, bookings, social etc that are all integrated. This allows them to move faster and react to market changes faster than their older rivals, who must transform their own business or lose out.
What experiences and services does your company offer to businesses who are looking for a partner they can trust to deliver on their plans?
We are specialists in cloud and server management so we take care of the new platforms required to deliver transformation. We also provide people and process around the secure management of these platforms. We help businesses by managing their new estate, or in providing resource to manage their existing legacy estate, freeing their own teams to concentrate on the new infrastructure.
We have a huge array of experience across multiple technologies and sectors. Our team is multi-disciplinary and able to solve just about any problem.
Why should they trust you?
We have been in business for 16.5 years and have incredibly high retention rates for both staff and clients. Our longest serving member of staff has been with us nearly 15 years and our longest serving client for 11.5 years. We are constantly evolving the business to keep abreast of new technologies. We are partners with AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, VMware, Alienvault and Veeam. We were recently re-certified for Investors In People in recognition of our comprehensive commitment to staff training and development.
In addition, we are certified to ISO27001:2013 and Cyber Essentials Plus. We operate an ITIL compliant Service Desk and have staff trained to advanced levels in Security and Service management.
How does your partnership work with businesses which specialise in Digital Transformation?
Very few businesses are attempting Digital Transformation on their own. They are working with a coalition of software providers, consultants, internal business & IT teams and external specialists to deliver change on a large scale. We tend to work in partnership with stakeholders in the process in a variety of ways
- End-client – we provide IaaS and managed services along with infrastructure review and consulting.
- SaaS – for smaller SaaS operations we can provide the Ops end of the DevOps tool chain, allowing them to concentrate on their core IP, the software and its problem space. 24×7, secured to the highest standards.
- Traditional software vendors – we can help design and deploy repeatable environments for clients to enable the software house to provide a hosted infrastructure platform to clients who no longer wish to go through the capex/rollout cycle.
- Consultants – many consultants are assisting with strategy, audit and planning with their clients but may not have an answer to the inevitable question of “and how do we do that then?” – we help by proving infrastructure services on a recommendation or resale basis to enable consultants to deliver a broader programme of work to their clients.
What are you top three tips for businesses looking to move forward with their own internal Digital Transformation plans?
- Get senior level buy-in – Digital Transformation is hard and will stretch the business, without buy-in and support from the very top it will struggle to realise the ambitions of the DT Programme.
- Challenge assumptions – there will be a temptation to build a faster horse, digital transformation can enable a complete revolution in business processes.
- Address skills gaps – both in the business itself as staff are asked to work in different ways but also in the IT teams that support the transformation at a technical level. Don’t be afraid to use external resources to manage the new infrastructure, or to back fill to support the legacy whilst existing staff are cross-trained to the new cloud-based technologies.
Why not see how we can manage your Digital Transformation challenges, freeing up your time and team to focus on building the business opportunities.
Speak to a Craftsmen today on + 44 20 3745 7706 or email us on [email protected]