The future of Digital Transformation

26 Oct 2020


Hey everyone! I’m Brian Parks, the CEO of Synapse Software and, in this video, I want to talk about my idea of the next generation Digital Transformation platform.

So right off the bat, I want to talk a little bit about Digital Transformation specifically and I’ve actually done a couple videos on “What is Digital Transformation?” and “Why would you want to start Digital Transformation with ITSM or ESM?” I’ll leave those linked in the description below, but what i’m talking about here is looking forward to the future – not just using the tools that we’ve been using for decades, even before Digital Transformation as a term kind of came into into common parlance – but what are we looking for in the future? What should we be expecting of the platforms that we’re using to drive our digital transformation specifically?

I’m not going to include things like Security, Privacy, and Regulatory Compliance – those sorts of things that realistically we should just kind of be assuming are built into our platforms. If we’re using a tool that doesn’t take into account Security, Privacy, and Regulatory Compliance, we really shouldn’t be using those platforms at all. In 2020, the the cybersecurity climate is such that we we really need to be using platforms that take into account those best practices on those fronts, so I’m not even going to talk about those aspects.

Instead, I’m going to talk about aspects that i think are really important to make Digital Transformation a success but that aren’t necessarily found in every platform that’s used for either Digital Transformation or Enterprise Service Management or whatever platform you might start with – your CRM, your ERP, that sort of thing.

Immediate Time-to-Value

So let’s start with the first one which for me is “Immediate Time-to-Value.” What I mean by that is not just being able to install the platform and immediately start using it within a couple days. As soon as it’s configured you should be able to use it, but you should also be able to use it as you continue to build it out so you can build it out for your organization and maybe bring it into each department one at a time.

But every time you make a change you can start using that and gain value from whatever changes you’re making. There’s no year-long or months-long onboarding process that you need to go through where you you can’t use the platform. Or worse, where you’ve purchased the platform but you still can’t use it because you’re still in the onboarding process.

I really want you to be able to use the platform on day one – hit the ground running and be able to start reaping the benefits of your Digital Transformation right off the bat.

Start Anywhere

Next one for me is “Start Anywhere.” What I mean by this is with any department, with any workflow that you want to start with. Find the one that you have the most pain points with and use that as your starting point and then grow from there.

You shouldn’t be forced to pick a Digital Transformation platform based on what it has configured before you even make any changes to it. You shouldn’t have to choose between buying a CRM or an ITSM tool or ERP; you should be able to start with a platform that can be any of those – or even something that I didn’t mention – to fit the the particular pain points that you’re currently experiencing in your business and then grow from there.

One-click scalability

Next is “One-Click Scalability” and what I mean by this is: let’s say you you have one department on the platform to start with and the the system is chugging along quite nicely without any issues, but as soon as you onboard a second department you start to feel some some sluggishness and the system just doesn’t have enough resources to be able to handle the additional load you’ve placed on it. You should be able to click a button – go into some admin portal and click a button – and maybe double the amount of resources that you have available to you or double the amount of systems that are supporting your platform and have that be implemented right away, no human interaction required.

You shouldn’t have to experience downtime, take down the system, install the system on a new infrastructure and then spin it back up again. You should be able to go from one to two, two to ten, ten to a hundred, whatever you need to do, and even if you need that capacity for some burst of load and then you don’t need it anymore, you should be able to scale down without too much headache – just at the push of a button.

And you should be able to control all of that from your side.

All Platforms

Next, I think the next generation Digital Transformation platform should run on All Platforms so you shouldn’t be limited just to desktop, you shouldn’t be limited just to your smartphone. You should be able to use it on all of those devices and ideally have an experience that is perfect for each of those devices – you shouldn’t just have the desktop experience crammed into a smaller screen size and call that the phone experience – so that you can have access to your digital transformation platform and all of your workflows whether you’re at home, in the office, on the go, on a plane.

Wherever you need to, you should be able to access that from whatever device you need to use it from.


The fifth element is that your platform should be Extensible.

What I mean by that is not just that you can hire developers to build things onto it but you should be able to make changes to your workflows and your platform as you need to, either as you onboard new departments or as requirements change. Or as regulations change and require changes in your workflows, you should be able to change the implementations in your Digital Transformation platform to fit those changing requirements so that, no matter what happens, you’ll always be up to date and you can continue to get that immediate time to value, so you’re not stuck with what you had when you first implemented your system.

User Experience (UX) First

Next let’s talk about User Experience.

User Experience is really important to me and I think it’s really important to most people, but a lot of times we don’t necessarily know how to accomplish that or how to achieve that for Digital Transformation. Really to work it has to be focused on the user. It has to be focused on everybody who’s going to be using the system along all parts of the workflow, and if the user experience is not up to their expectations, it’s going to feel clunky. They’re going to resist using it and it you really won’t gain the value that you hope to with your Digital Transformation

So having your platform focused on the User Experience first and foremost and ideally letting you customize the look and feel to allow for that user experience is key.

Service Oriented

Next, your system should be Service Oriented and I actually did a video specifically about this. I called it “Service-oriented Service Management,” but the the basic premise is that everything we’re dealing with is services: one department serving another, providing value to another, finding the the areas where different workflows between different departments have to sync up and provide services for each other.

The key is that the system should be built to support those services and not require that users change what they’re doing in order to use the system.

API First

Next up, anything in the modern day and age should be API First, and Digital Transformation systems even more so because we’re probably not going to be using just one system to do everything.

Back a couple decades ago, when ERP systems were first the hot new thing, the idea was that they were going to do everything. That’s why they were called “enterprise” – they would control everything within your enterprise and obviously that vision didn’t really pan out. That’s not necessarily a failing on their part; it’s just that that initial vision where they would be the “one system to rule them all” just wasn’t going to work out.

So we do have separate systems, but at the same time we don’t want them to just be isolated boxes with the data locked up, not able to communicate with other systems. So anything we do, we want to make sure that there’s an API so that the lowest bar is that we can hire developers to sync things up by using these APIs. But also at a higher level we should be able to connect with those APIs and make the systems use those APIs and talk to each other.


Next, things should be automated.

The whole idea behind Digital Transformation is that we’re moving from manual processes to digital processes, but in most cases automated processes, so that employees are freed up to do the things that they were really hired to do – not do all this paperwork, but to actually do what they got into business to do.

So that means that all that other stuff needs to be automated and for a successful Digital Transformation system, that means that any of the data that’s stored in there needs to be able to be automated based on specific events: based on when it’s created, based on specific schedules, etc.

I actually did a video fairly recently on the different types of automation.

Big Data

Next, “Big Data.”

Big Data is a buzzword, but what I really mean here is that you shouldn’t have to choose what data gets stored in your system and this system shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a system that only stores a specific type of data. It should be able to store whatever data your organization is generating and provide useful insights about it – all that automation, the api access, all of it on whatever data you want to store in your system.

This is your system, so there’s no data that is wrong to be storing in that system: you have your data, you have your system, stick it in there and the system should be able to figure out how to make that useful for you.


Next up, the system should be Intelligent, and again this gets into more buzzword territory with “Artificial Intelligence” and “Machine Learning” but what this should do is it should be able to provide additional insights and connections between the data that you’ve provided – again, tying back with Big Data and actually kind of augment your brain power so that you don’t have to think about these things.

You should be able to figure out what you’re trying to do and provide additional useful tidbits based on that.


Finally it should be Future-proof and what I mean by that is not that you’ll build the system and then you’ll never have to change it. What I mean by future proof is that it should be able to anticipate your needs and provide suggestions to you about how you can evolve the platform, e.g. be able to notice that there are things that you do on a regular basis and maybe provide suggestions on what to do with a particular record or what the next step is.

Maybe it’ll see that 90 percent of the time you don’t follow the standard workflow that you’ve defined, but you actually follow an exceptional case, and maybe it’ll recommend that that needs to be changed. I’m kind of thinking off the top of my head here but there’s a lot of options when it comes to future proofing; a lot of room for a next generation digital transformation platform to really capitalize on here.


So with that, that’s basically my vision for what the next generation of digital transformation is going to look like. I hope you found this helpful and I hope this gave you something to think about when evaluating the the systems that you build into your enterprise and the systems that you bring into the fold as far as integrating in with the systems that you already have.

If you have any questions about anything that I’ve talked about here, go ahead and leave a comment below. If there are other things that you think are important to have in a next-generation digital transformation platform, also definitely leave a comment down below. You can send us an email for more information on our vision for this and what we’re doing to to bring this vision about.

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