Digital Transformation: How To Prepare After Article 50 Challenges

27th March, 2017 by

In June of 2016, the UK collectively decided to pull away from the European Union, what is now called “Brexit”. This decision led to economic and policy disruptions that are now coming to terms. More than six months later, negotiations are beginning to rock the UK. Read on to discover how to harness digital transformation to protect your organization from future decisions when looking at the coming uncertainty towards your processes and systems.

Organizations Now Face Even More Uncertainty

Last month, the UK Government triggered Article 50, effectively firing the starting gun on the negotiations that will lead to Britain’s exit from the European Union. But while we can finally be certain Brexit will happen, in many ways organizations now face even more uncertainty and a need to digitally transform themselves to cope. Read on to find out why:

  • The negotiations are slated to take at least two years, but that period can be extended indefinitely by agreement if no deal is reached in that time-frame.
  • If a deal is reached, we have no idea now what shape it will take, what regulatory and tax changes there will be or how long it is likely to take to implement in practice.
  • If a deal isn’t reached, we don’t know if the Government and/or the EU will walk away or carry on talking until one is.

The Digital Transformation of Our Organizations Has Never Been More Urgent

Given that the only certainty seems to be more uncertainty, UK businesses – and foreign-owned firms that want to continue operating here – need to ensure they have the flexibility to transform their business processes and systems as quickly, easily and efficiently as possible.

The digital transformation of our organizations has never been more urgent. But what precisely does ‘digital transformation’ mean  in this case? Use of the term to signal everything from ‘buying a few iPads’ to ‘completely overhauling the business’ has rendered it almost as meaningless as the Prime Minister’s “Brexit means Brexit” soundbite.

What Does Digital Transformation Mean in this Case?

  • Transform for flexibility.
    In terms of negotiating uncertainty and being prepared for any Brexit eventuality, however, we can say a few things with confidence about the type of digital transformation needed. Savvy organizations will be aiming to ensure several things:
  • That IT systems can be changed quickly, efficiently and securely to suit whatever business landscape emerges.
    Typically, this means adopting a flexible, cloud-based architecture that lets you to configure the computing, storage and bandwidth resources you need, and scale them up and down as required, quickly and without the need for capital expenditure.
  • That the systems controlling organizational processes and workflow can also be changed quickly to reflect any new business and regulatory realities.
    That means having an agile development process based on, for example, microservices and open APIs. Ideally, you want everything broken down into small, reusable units that can be reconfigured quickly and easily.
  • That organizational culture mirrors the ‘re-configurability’ of the IT systems.
    In other words, you need to get rid of rigid silos and make sure you have a flat, non-hierarchical structure, where people can easily interact with any of their colleagues and organize themselves into new teams and configurations as necessary. Cloud-based collaboration and unified communication tools like Yammer, Slack and Microsoft Teams can be especially helpful here.
  • That the business is outward-facing, able to quickly adopt new ideas and forge innovative partnerships with organizations and individuals anywhere.
    That means actively reaching out and connecting with people all over the world, for example on social media. But it also means adopting open standards that will allow your systems to connect to countless others, in order to build new and exciting things together.

Brexit is happening. And whichever way you wanted it to go, the only way now is forward. Our companies need to be ready. But for what? In theory we have to make the very best of ‘it’ that we can. Sadly that means even BEFORE we know precisely what ‘it’ actually means.

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