As recently discussed in this blog, digital transformation is a journey more than a destination. It’s true that you are never really ‘done’ with the evolution to digital maturity, because the finish line is constantly moving. It’s also true that digital is no longer an add-on. To go digital is not an option — it is integral to a company’s offerings.
For more than 30 years, International SOS has helped clients around the world keep their employees safe. With such a long and notable history, International SOS did not start out as a ‘digital native’ enterprise. Yet as the world’s leading medical and travel security risk services company operating from more than 1,000 locations in 90 countries, speed and agility are paramount to our business operations.
In order to compete in today’s fast-paced world of instant communication, established enterprises like ours need to fully embrace digital, including the transformation of legacy systems and processes. Your digital initiatives need to integrate with existing workflows, so that you’re not imposing a new customer behavior. As customer behaviors, expectations and experiences change, your digital process flow should adapt; not the other way around. Digital transformation means continuously adopting new technologies to meet your customers’ enduring needs.
There is no simple, established path to digital maturity. It is an ongoing effort; not ‘one and done.’ Digital transformation requires widespread company alignment, ROI-driven priorities and management of stakeholder expectations along the journey. Too often, digital initiatives are dismissed as an ‘IT problem’ that doesn’t affect the rest of the organization.
A Prescription for Success
True digital transformation enables companies to cross traditional boundaries, both internally and externally, opening up a variety of opportunities in new industries and sparking innovation. At International SOS, we have always focused on new and innovative ideas. Our digital transformation has helped us intensify that innovation with focused and agile execution, helping us better prepare to meet the challenge of providing a consistent service across wide-ranging conditions and cultures around the globe.
Additionally, digital maturity allows us to recognize the real threats versus imaginary ones, because you can’t jump at every shadow. Organizations that pursue digital transformation are more nimble, better equipped to adapt to unpredictable threats with evolving solutions. In fact, there is a very familiar parallel here… We have found that our digital maturity journey has greatly contributed to our ability to mitigate business risk, in much the same way that we help multinational corporate clients, governments and NGOs mitigate health and safety risks for their employees working abroad.