Digital transformation in the real world

Posted by Harry Boyne on Nov 14, 2018 3:00:46 PM
Old fashioned type  writer and modern laptop symbolising digital transformation

Our Managing Director, David Smetana was recently asked to share expertise on the digital transformation of the financial services industry; a sector that we have a wealth of knowledge and experience in. We think the article offers a great insight into the topic, and wanted to share it with you.

The digital workplace once required paperclips, pencils, file cabinets, and typewriters in order to run smoothly. Looking up a reference didn’t involve typing your file name into the search bar of Google Drive, rather it involved searching your file cabinet for the right information, hoping it had been filed properly.

Fast forward to present day: We’re in an era where we have access to our data with just one tap of a finger.

Thanks to digital transformation, we have come a long way.

Digital transformation has sunk its teeth into each industry today. From healthcare to finance, the digital experience across the workplace has been enhanced by digital solutions that were beyond any employee’s imagination just fifty years ago.

With the implementation of digital adoption platforms, digital learning platforms, and career management systems the employee’s capabilities have been doubled, even quadrupled.

I asked experts from the financial, recruitment and healthcare sectors to share their observations and experiences as to how digital transformation is impacting their industries

Financial Services

David Smetana, co-founder of Chalkline ( offers an inside look at how he is leveraging digital transformation to enhance financial services:


“We look after a number of businesses in the Financial Services sector and some of the key requirements from our clients are fluid collaboration between offices, increased efficiency and emails & documents hosted in the cloud.

Our experience is that they are often using legacy technology which we replace with cutting edge Microsoft solutions. The challenges are more prominent as companies look to scale their businesses, often opening up multiple new offices only to find that the existing solutions are no longer fit for purpose. Basically their IT legacy infrastructure was not progressing alongside the rest of the business.

There is a definite need for new IT strategy that can comfortably accommodate not only ambitious growth plans but is able to meet the highest standards of security and reliability, in accordance with FCA regulations.

At the very core is the ability to run a mobile workforce and scale without downtime and enable more flexibility to be able to work from home at any time.

Our solution is to introduce them to the benefits of the full Microsoft stack, which includes Office 365 (Exchange Online, SharePoint & Teams), Enterprise Mobility + Security suite (mobile device management) and Azure. This offers businesses the potential to enable scalability and flexibility in a way that existing legacy software simply could not.

At the end of the day, most businesses simply don’t have the expertise or the time to deal with all aspects of their IT infrastructure. We can effect real results and implement these in a short space of time, dramatically improving the efficiency of businesses.” (David Smetana)

The financial industry has been transformed to focus on engaging with customers on a deeper level, adopting a more customer-centric approach. This has been done primarily through the migration and consolidation of data into one accessible area while improving the quality of financial apps. Data analytics is a huge tool being leveraged by banks in order to better understand customers, identify business opportunities, and reduce costs.

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James Lloyd-Townshend, CEO of Frank Recruitment Group, shares his experiences with digital transformation in the recruitment industry, and how it has significantly improved processes:


“As a niche IT recruitment agency, a big part of our job is to assist clients with aspects of their digital transformations. But, like all industries, Recruitment is going through its own transformation too.

For candidates, the decision to change jobs is a milestone event, so human conversation via phone calls is still really important — and we don’t think that will ever change. However, our talent acquisition strategy now begins online, where we’ve adopted an omni-channel approach. For example, social media is something we leverage because that’s where the people are. We use tools like LinkedIn Recruiter which has algorithms to help our sales team source suitable candidates for roles.

We also appreciate that the majority of active job searches now begin with smartphones, so we are currently engineering all of our brand websites to be mobile-first. After we’ve made initial contact with candidates, we often find that communicating via WhatsApp is well-received. It’s a discrete and convenient way to get in touch, and can be particularly helpful for candidates who are still at another workplace and don’t want to answer calls.

To tie everything together and get a single, 360-degree view of our customers, we’ve recently implemented a multi-million dollar CRM system. This is the biggest part of our digital transformation so far, and has streamlined everything for our consultants to make their lives easier and more productive. Phase two of this project will be to integrate more third-party apps to allow for better multi-channel communications with our customers.” (James Lloyd-Townshend)

Recruiters can use data to assess the digital footprint of a candidate. Social media is used to evaluate the candidate’s overall personality in order determine if the position is right for them. The consolidation of databases and of resumes has become a powerful tool to help speed up the hiring and recruitment process. Additionally, candidates can easily engage with the company through different platforms.


Matt Cuff, MD, Switchstance Agency, contributes his observations of the improvements being made to the healthcare sector based on his interactions with clients.


“Digitisation is moulding the way that companies and people utilise information and continues to shift dramatically. Whilst this is the case for most industries, this statement rings especially true for the healthcare sector.

Through our experience working with various clients in the healthcare industry, we have a pretty firm grasp of the direction technology is taking them and the actions that need to be taken to get there.

In our experience collecting and processing large amounts of data just isn’t going to cut it anymore, being able to combine previous disparate datasets to explore correlations and trends is needed to create powerful insights and drive innovation. ‘Big data’ is a term that has been thrown about frequently, but it is not the gathering but the use that makes the difference. We have personal experience in this area, including the combining of diagnostic and prescribing information for Diabetes, opening up entirely new, powerful insights to enable better patient care.

Mobile apps are becoming a normal sight in hospitals and GP practices, whether that is to provide a video chat experience to connect doctors and patients, improve booking and providing patients with more flexibility and control or as a mean of collecting accurate data. The availability of such apps and software also helps manage operational activity such as staff rotas and care-planning.

Even making relatively small changes such as enabling people to book GP and hospital appointments online have a large impact in terms of reducing the burden on over-stretched staff.

In a hospital setting in particular, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) shows how technology has allowed a hindrance because of security implications become a huge benefit for doctors. What was once seen as too unsafe in a risk-averse environment has saved measurable savings in time and effort as well as improvement to the patient journey.

Maintaining an evolving service that matches the new consumer demands is no easy feat, especially in a sector as complex as healthcare — but technology is allowing them to create a new and fresh experience for patients.

As an agency that works closely with healthcare providers, we hope that technology continues to transform healthcare.” (Matt Cuff)

Telehealth is the concept of digitising the healthcare experience, which has significantly improved the healthcare experience for patients. Doctors have better access to patient data for improved quality of treatment. They also have use of better technology, which has a positive impact on the overall healthcare system. One huge example are robotics which have transformed surgery. They’ve transformed procedures that were once invasive and dangerous to be safer and quicker.

With digital transformation on the rise we must continue to embrace innovation and look forward toward the future.

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