Digital Transformation – how do you stay up to date?

Keeping up to date is important, but it doesn't need to be difficult.

Yesterday’s news, today’s headache.

Digital transformation sounds really boring doesn't it? But in reality, all it really is, is making sure that your technical services are completely up-to-date and serving you in the best way possible. Perhaps you're looking to expand, optimise and save costs, integrate with the latest and greatest (like chat GPT) or perhaps you’re just fed up working with legacy code bases.

All too often in technology what was really exciting only a few years ago is now considered old, slow and potentially bad practice. Just like fashion, things come and go, whether it's functional programming to object orientated and back again, or compiled to interpreted to just-in-time and back again. It's very easy to be caught up in the hype, especially when investors start dribbling over the latest buzzword (blockchain).

Despite the reputation, digital transformation is not about pushing some new technology into a company that doesn't really have a use for it. It's about carefully considering which technologies can help achieve various goals, whether it's building a new service or optimising what you already have.

What’s all the fuss about anyway?

At this point, you might be thinking, why should I invest my time in a bunch of buzzwords anyway? To answer that, you can ask two very simple questions: a) do I want to make more money? b) do I want to save more time?

Sound too good to be true? Just as you wouldn't take a Bronze Age sword to an Iron Age brawl, it's a pretty safe bet that the business entering the market with the slickest tech embedded with the latest AI powered chat-bot, offering the best user experience, is going to beat the guy who turns up with a clunky WordPress site.

We’ve seen real life examples in agriculture of companies literally achieving 20% higher growth rates (we're talking crop growth rates) because they invested heavily in both collecting data, and then also acting upon it. And it's not as limited to one sector in particular, these examples span every single sector.

Should I even do anything at all?

I started this post by pointing out that technology comes in waves like fashions and it's definitely a fallacy to follow these fashions, regardless of your strategy or needs. As anyone who has run a business will tell you, it takes laser-like focus on your direction and vision to not get distracted, potentially fatally.

It could also be that you have the most appropriate tech stack and you don't actually need to do anything at all. Perhaps the gains that you may achieve from adopting new technology are just not worth it in the long run. However, I would put good money on the fact that if you asked 10 people in any large business what technology they'd like to see implemented to make their job easier, you will get 10 good answers.

This is the correct place to start. Especially as a consultant coming into a new business, my job is not to prescribe which technologies to adopt, but to ask what would make life easier, and hopefully more profitable. Then it’s about matching the right tool for the right job!

The right shiny new tool, for the right job.

This is only my second blog post, but I think that every single one that I do is going to have the section in it! It is absolutely vital to be dynamic and flexible when looking at the potential for improvement. Anyone who tells you that you have to go Microsoft or Google or Amazon, and you have to use .NET or C++ or JS is just wrong, and is thinking with their emotions rather than their head. Of course, everyone has their favourites, but at the end of the day, you need to find the right tool for the right job.

Perhaps you need a blazing fast streaming solution which is going to be running using Rust on some epically proportioned AWS servers, or the enterprise stability of Java running on a Kubernetes cluster in Azure, or perhaps something else which you've never even heard of!

This is what we do at Fluff Software. We listen, we learn, we review, and if needed, we build. We look to make the intangible tangible, and we turn your desires into nice shiny binary. At the end of the day, very few people care about the technology, what people really are after is the Apple effect, users who will drool over your product and keep coming back for more.

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