Digital Transformation or a series of Tactical Projects?

By David Helme – ‎Digital Transformation and Development Manager.

EPI-USE launched a new business line around a year ago called Mendix Solutions (www.mendixsolutions.com) for rapid application development (RAD) using the extremely powerful Mendix platform (www.mendix.com), which is probably one of the fastest ways to transform your ideas into business applications.

I have participated in many conversations with people who have said they want to undertake a digital transformation in response to either taking a defensive position as a competitor is attacking them, or wanting to catch the next wave and be the attacker. Geoffrey A. Moore in his excellent book “Zone to Win” explains how companies can respond by either adopting a defensive or offensive position.

With this in mind – playing offensive of defensive – do you undertake a digital transformation or deliver a number of tactical projects?

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Business transformation is about making fundamental changes in how a business is structured such as IT, HR, Manufacturing, Service and how it sells its products or services, and in the case of public sector, how it delivers its services. A good example of the public sector doing this is the UK government www.gov.uk site.

This takes a lot of time; money, sheer determination and full buy in from all stakeholders and shareholders. If done successfully the results are spectacular and game changing.

When the discussion goes further and taking the reference point of transformation from above, the conversation tends to veer towards that it would be too difficult to take on a full transformation at this time.

If you are not in a position to undertake a full transformation you can deliver programs that are aimed at improving efficiency, effectiveness, ensuring compliance or delivering a new business model. Projects we have delivered in the financial sectors are doing this now. These digital solutions are removing inefficiencies, ensuring compliance and introducing new business lines within a few weeks. If the new business lines are successful, they are scaling them rapidly, if not they are closed down quickly.

The majority of clients we have, and conversations we are having with other organisations seem to be concentrated in delivering a series of tactical projects focussed on driving efficiencies from existing systems and processes and in new ways in engaging with clients and employees.

So to answer the question “Which is right for you” only you can answer that. The good news is that with technology like the Mendix platform you can develop digital applications quickly and in short periods of time, so the return on investment can be very quick. One of our retail clients, Clarks Shoes, had a ROI within a few months through a simple payslip application. This was through the application eliminating the costs of producing and distributing over 170,000 payroll documents every year, as well as the significant man hours saved.

To find out more about digital transformation, head over to Mendix Solutions or learn how Clarks delivered their payslip project with the Mendix platform.

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