Digital transformation is defined as the use of technology to improve an organisation’s performance. There’s a lot more to it than just that, of course, but it’s a good starting point for this particular conversation.
The more complicated nitty-gritty of the actual transformation process is a challenging endeavour for any business, no matter how technical or advanced they might be. Pulling it off successfully requires an exceptionally crisp vision from management, and unfaltering leadership on every leg of the journey.
To get that right, and to support leaders in executing every stage as planned, I’ve learned that any digital transformation efforts simply must tie in to the organisation’s larger overall business strategy. It is far more effective to implement solutions that directly complement a bigger, over-arching goal than it is to digitise business systems for the sake of it.
So before any business endeavours to undertake that transformative journey, it’s essential to take a critical look at itself, to honestly determine strengths and weaknesses. That information can then be used to determine if the business is genuinely in a good position to engage on a digitally transformative journey; if it’s not, steps must be taken to get it there.
A long, hard look
I know this, because Tarsus Distribution did exactly that back in 2013, when management took a long, hard, look at the business, and identified that it didn’t have a division that could offer cloud services – a new kind of business for a new kind of customer. This was important because it was becoming clear that customers’ needs were changing in such a way that the existing business model would one day be unable to meet them.
Out of these revelations, and others, Tarsus On Demand (TOD) was born – a division dedicated to providing services from the cloud on which resellers can build additional revenue streams according to the needs of their customers.
But because of Tarsus Distribution’s over-arching strategy of transforming its internal structures and the products and services it provides to digital ones, TOD didn’t appear as just another division of the company – it was spun up as a separate business entity that could stand on its own. As such, it was kickstarted with a strategic investment and given a growth mandate, along with all-new, all-digital systems intended to ensure that TOD wasn’t hamstrung by the legacy systems of the parent business.
The point was to put models in place that talk to digital transformation. And that’s why we onboarded our partners and introduced them to TOD’s new consumption, transaction and subscription services – to match our customers to our new cloud-based products and fill the needs we knew were there.
Understanding the needs
We couldn’t have done this without first understanding the needs of our customers – resellers – and their customers – end users. Out of that understanding grew the need to transform, and only by examining the end goal of supplying services that complement resellers’ existing business models in order to satisfy their customers did we end up with a workable digital transformation strategy, out of which Tarsus On Demand was born.
TOD is by no means the be-all and end-all of Tarsus Distribution’s digital transformation strategy; we’re simply the face of it for now. But we’re definitely a key component of the company’s future, and our growth mandate is in place to ensure that we keep on getting bigger.
100% in line
The point I am making is this: the actions taken by Tarsus Distribution to create Tarsus On Demand were 100% in line with the company’s over-arching strategy of aligning its internal technologies and processes to deliver digital products and services people want to pay for. Without that vision, the digital transformation could not have begun, making it incredibly important for any company to establish before even attempting their own transformation to digital.
Murendeni Mbedzi is the Tarsus On Demand CSP Product Manager.