Digital transformation. What is it and why should you care?

By Emma Da Silva, VP of Marketing and Operations, Small, Medium and Corporate at Microsoft Canada

Digital transformation. Whether you work in the private or public sector, these two words should mean a lot to you. As the Canadian economy rapidly digitizes, the organizations that best keep up with the fast and furious pace of technological change will outperform those who don’t.

“Canadian small businesses who adopt the latest IT outperform their peers. They increase their annual revenue 15% faster and create jobs almost twice as fast as their slower peers.” – Boston Consulting

Who has the time to talk tech?

With so many technology trends coming and going, it’s hard for Canadian small business owners to know where to invest. Few people outside of the technology industry have the time to keep up with the dizzying amount of innovations in technology.

A familiar story

At least that’s what I hear when I sit down with the women and men running small businesses. I hear owners say things like: “We’re just so busy trying to keep the lights on. We don’t have time to keep up with the latest technology. Plus, we don’t really have the money to invest in new software or hardware. What we have works, so why change it?”

If that sentiment feels about right, I’d like to try to help cut through the static. We’ll start by talking about digital transformation today, and then in future pieces, I’ll get into the practical details of how to retool your organization for the new economy.

Digital transformation, defined

For growing businesses, digital transformation translates into new applications of innovative technology that help businesses realize all kinds of meaningful benefits. Digital transformation can help create opportunities (often globally); boost productivity; spark collaboration; enhance internal communication; deepen relationships; cut costs while driving revenue & profit.

Canadian digital transformation stories

Need some inspiration? OK! Let’s share just a few short stories of Canadian businesses and agencies who digitally transformed how they operate using the cloud:

  • Kids labels creators Mabel’s Labels (a company founded by four moms that was recently acquired by Toronto-based CCL Industries) modernized their IT—empowering their team led by women to work from anywhere & reduce their IT costs from $21,000 to $7,000 per year.
  • Interior design firm Bennett Design (also founded and owned by a woman) leveraged cloud services to empower their design team to create , collaborate, save & share files with confidence.
  • Diply.com a leading social entertainment publisher start-up got rid of the high costs, headaches & worries of managing servers. They now deliver a secure, smooth & reliable user experience to 1 billion+ web visitors per year.

For Microsoft case studies please check out Microsoft Customer Success Stories.

What about you?

Let’s get you started on your digital journey! In my next piece, I plan to offer readers eight ways to digitally transform your organization. In the meantime, check out the What I Wish I Knew ebook. In it, successful entrepreneurs share real-world advice based on running their businesses from the ground up!