Making Sense of the Digital Chaos

By Chris Gledhill on 3rd December 2019

Intro

UK technology market analysts, TechMarketView, say that we are in the ‘age of the relationship.’ This means that organisations are seeking to build trusted partnerships with technology suppliers who can help them navigate and make sense of the ‘digital chaos’ that we currently live in.

Strong stuff perhaps, but they have a point, recent years have seen a proliferation of new digital platforms and disruptive new products which have made it harder for business leaders to see a clear course in their own markets – one which leverages digital technology but is not subverted by it.

Digital transformation all too often seems to mean additional layers of cost and complexity without an obvious payback other than a fuzzy desire not to be ‘disrupted’.

With more than 25 years’ experience in helping organisations to use digital technology effectively, without the hype, PDMS has a unique perspective to guide you from digital chaos to digital productivity.

At PDMS we undoubtedly have some great software packages, a world class software engineering team and state of the art hosting and support infrastructure.  But we make our greatest contribution to our customers by showing how digital technology can contribute to their business strategy.

Our Approach – The LUCID Framework

We have gone back to first principles to design a framework that will provide a firm foundation for the effective exploitation of digital technology. One that is tailored to the objectives and capabilities of your organisation.  This framework is based on a combination of our industry insight gained from working on hundreds of technology projects and the current themes/challenges which are impacting on businesses across different industries and sectors.

Our approach is based on evaluating your organisation’s strategic goals and objectives, competitive environment and capabilities. Our new framework provides a guide to help understand the issues that are most likely to influence your organisation’s ability to achieve sustainable gains through investment in digital technology. We’ve called our new framework – LUCID and it covers the following areas:

 Legacy systems:

What existing systems are in place, what do they do well and what frustrations do they cause?  How can the useful capabilities be retained and what needs to be replaced?  How can the risks and benefits of technological change be managed effectively?

The tech sector has coined yet another new phrase – “heritage systems” new terminology to describe legacy systems. The point being to remember how much value is wrapped up in established systems which have benefited from years of investment and evolution.  Knowing what parts to replace and what to keep is an essential and technically sophisticated aspect of digital strategy.

User focus:

UX or User eXperience is one of the hottest topics in the IT industry and it goes without saying that customers should always be at the heart of your business strategy. However, it is important to remember that good user centric design applies to all systems users.  All businesses have an information supply chain which encompasses customers, internal users and suppliers, each with quite different usability considerations. Often systems designed to be easy for occasional users to navigate can be inefficient and frustrating for regular users.

Understanding different ‘user stories’ which drive the success of on organisation is essential to good usability design.  This in turn is a huge factor in the productivity of the whole organisation.

Compliance:

The more we rely on technology, the more important it is to manage risk and ensure compliance with your legal and fiduciary responsibilities.  This applies to the personal data that is ‘held in trust’ and to the security and serviceability of the systems on which your business depends.

Our approach is to identify both regulatory and good practice challenges faced by businesses and to look at the technical execution and legal documentation supporting key business processes.

Understanding and managing business risks associated with ICT in a rational way, without requiring the entire board to be information security experts, is an important prerequisite for effective digital transformation.

Identity:

Digital identity has been recognised as one of the key enablers of economic growth by organisations such as the World Bank and OECD.  It is also something of a political hot potato. We have over ten years of R&D investment in the technology, legality and the political reality of digital identity and associated services such as digital document signing, tamper evident encryption and regulatory frameworks.

We can advise on industry initiatives and we also have a strong understanding of the development of national cyber identity schemes such as the Estonian concept of an ‘electronic citizen’ or the UK’s continuing challenges in creating a market around ‘Verify’.

Data:

26 years ago, it was one the founding principles of PDMS that most organisations were underutilising their information assets.  In the intervening years technology has moved on and most organisations now have access to huge data assets most of which continue to be underutilised.

Much of the hype is around concepts such as ‘Data Science’ (aka post hoc and speculative data analysis) and a raft of technologies loosely associated with artificial intelligence.

While data is indeed an incredibly valuable asset, but it is critically important to use it in a rigorous and focussed way which reflects the objectives and challenges faced by the business.  Never has it been easier to confuse policy-based evidence for… well evidence.

Summary

Our new LUCID Framework is one way can help our customers navigate the stormy waters of ‘Digital Confusion’ by addressing some of the key issues faced by most organisations.  Our ultimate goal is to research, analyse and recommend a clear strategy for digital transformation which is firmly based in real world business goals and puts the leaders of organisations on the front foot when evaluating specific projects on the strategic roadmap.

Learn more

If you would like to have a chat about your current business challenges, please contact me

[email protected]