What is Digital Transformation and why should you care?

Published: 27th April 2021

By Tracy Whitelaw

The term digital transformation has been used for several years now to explain how organisations of varying sizes can use digital technology to create or improve business processes, user experiences and culture to meet evolving business requirements.

Digital transformation requires change at every level of an organisation, with a central focus on user experience. For local government, this is one key reason why digital transformation is so important —it can help you better connect with your customers and communities, by placing them at the heart of everything you do. By taking time to understand both your internal and external users, digital transformation can be leveraged to completely overhaul a business’s day-to-day operations. It doesn’t always require large-scale, big-impact projects, but can instead be a culmination of a series of smaller changes that positively impact your users.

Start with digitisation
We know that many local councils struggle with getting started when it comes to digital transformation. Whether it’s an incomplete digital strategy, a lack of resources, or just not knowing which systems and processes can be changed, digital transformation can be daunting. For those in this situation, the easiest way to start is to consider some smaller changes that move your processes from analogue to digital. At LGAQ, we’ve helped several councils make the change to online forms, which has completely transformed the way they deal with their communities online and helped automate manual processes. This process of converting analogue information to digital is a critical first step in your digital transformation journey.

Establish digitalisation
When your organisation has become comfortable and recognises the benefits of some of the smaller digitisation changes, you can consider looking at digitalisation; the process of using data and digital information to simplify established ways of working, increasing automation, and realising efficiencies. Digitalisation has a strong focus on making data easily accessible, useable, and more efficient. With improved access to data, your council can make data-driven decisions, provide better service to users, and remove time-consuming manual processes. Areas such as contact centres, field services and customer engagement roles are all great areas to work on digitalisation.

Evolve into digital transformation
As organisations move into embracing digital transformation, they start considering the potentially unlimited opportunities that exist with the technology they have. Digital transformation is about adapting culture, process, and the business itself to make the most out of the technology and data available while focusing on delivering a great customer experience. Adapting your business processes shouldn’t focus only on ‘shiny object chasing’ over longer-term strategic goals. Digital transformation requires a long-term commitment, particularly in increasing digital literacy and data maturity. Ultimately it is about utilising available technology and available data to inform decisions and deliver products and services that provide a positive user experience.

LGAQ has helped several councils take the first step into digital transformation by using the JADU website platform and our LG Sherlock tools. If you’re considering digital transformation for your council, reach out and we can provide some guidance to assist.