Think back to the fashions of the eighties. Huge hair, acid wash denim, lace gloves … and that was just the blokes. It worked at the time, but you wouldn’t want to wear it to the office today. Times change.

It’s like that in business as well. What worked reliably a few years back might not now. The strongest businesses aren’t the ones that find something good and cling to it determinedly while the world transforms around them. Survival and longevity means change – but it doesn’t have to be drastic.

Business transformation is a current buzzword, but it is nothing new. Gradual transformation has long been a part of Computer Merchants, and not surprisingly, much of it has involved smart technology use. We’ve changed a lot since we started out in 1979, but it has been more in the manner of an evolution than massive shifts.

Of course, that change was necessary. After all, the 16/32-bit processor launched by Motorola in 1979 wouldn’t attract many takers these days. It isn’t just the products that have transformed, though. The way we interact with our customers now was unimaginable just five or ten years ago. Some of our recent changes include applications that allow customers transparent, self-serve information about their projects, and unprecedented access to systems of record about their purchases. These adjustments allow us to have more meaningful conversations with customers, which in turn helps us to better understand their needs.

Not everyone enjoys change, and often with good reason. Anyone who has experienced an unsuccessful workplace transformation will know just what we mean. The most common reasons we have observed are trying to make too many changes at once, and failing to fully include relevant staff in the process. Taking care of these two elements drastically increases your chance of success.

Because we have continually sought out incremental changes that improve our systems in ways that improve life for customers and staff alike, we have been well-positioned to capitalise on new technology. We use that experience to help our customers to achieve their own transformations safely. One of the most satisfying parts of what we do is seeing how one small application can transform a customer from a mid-market player to market leader. IT is very often the unsung hero of the business, so it is great to help the technologists take centre stage.

This incremental approach works well because it respects the complex interdependencies of systems and processes that develop over years of business. It also helps to prevent culture shock among staff, and helps people to enjoy, rather than fear, necessary progress.

For more information about IT transformation, contact the friendly Computer Merchants team.

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