How is BT Ireland helping organisations embrace digital transformation?

31 Oct 2018

Gillian Chamberlain. Image: Connor McKenna

BT Ireland’s Gillian Chamberlain outlines some of the challenges for businesses who want to leverage the power of digital technology.

In her role as director of business sales and marketing at BT Ireland, Gillian Chamberlain is at the forefront of the digital transformation conversation and has a keen sense of industry trends. spoke to Chamberlain about the struggles and benefits of pursuing a digital transformation strategy.

Citing a survey conducted by BT in 2017, Chamberlain noted that top-level executives in organisations have digital transformation high on the agenda. Nearly 40pc of CEOs surveyed said that the process was at the centre of their enterprise strategy and nearly three-quarters of those are confident their programmes will help them achieve coveted objectives such as improved customer service, operational efficiencies and increased innovation.

While this is encouraging, Chamberlain is well aware of some of the difficulties encountered. She said: “We [BT Ireland] see digital transformation as an area that provides huge benefits to organisations, but it also presents significant challenges.”

How do organisations create a positive digital experience?

Providing a “seamless, convenient, personalised experience” is no small feat, but that’s what the digital customer has come to expect, according to Chamberlain. Certain trends crop up continuously. She added that while many organisations are embracing social media, there are others that could be doing a lot more.

The increased consumer move towards video content is also a key differentiator, said Chamberlain, who added that she is noting a “continuing migration towards a very visual culture”. Finally, proactive services to predict consumer needs using data and analytics are vital, yet complex.

The crucial point here, Chamberlain noted, is beginning by “understanding the consumer journey”. Once the end-to-end journey is made clear, a proactive strategy can be built on this foundation.

In the world of work itself, the sense of place is something that is changing. Remote work is increasingly popular and enterprises are keen to “digitise the employee experience”. The interest is also at a high level on the employee side, Chamberlain said, noting that many are excited for a “digital, flexible way of working”.

For remote working to be successful, Chamberlain said you need four key areas: better office connectivity, better collaboration tools, instant-messaging ability and a really good mobile device for employees, which they often already have in their hands. The good news here is that remote working is “relatively low-risk”.

View security as an opportunity

All of this digital progress is creating new benefits and while security is a major priority when it comes to digital transformation, Chamberlain said it shouldn’t be an innovation-killer.

She praised organisations that have taken a more “constructive view” by seeing security as an opportunity to differentiate. While security systems must be really strong, Chamberlain noted how important ease of use is for a strategy to succeed.

When it comes to how BT Ireland guides its customers along the digital transformation path, the network is the first building block, according to Chamberlain. “It is impossible for them [organisations] to realise their digital ambitions without the right infrastructure in place.”

Other issues include clunky and inflexible legacy technology systems, a lack of in-house skills, and security concerns. Chamberlain noted that by implementing the network and ensuring it is dynamic and secure, organisations are then on a steady path towards a digital future.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects