The digital revolution has arrived. Global software spending is set to grow by 9.3% in 2023, and 87% of senior business leaders say digital transformation is a top priority. But technology investment is not a game-changer in itself.
The real value of digitisation comes from making changes through modern software. Yet, unfortunately, up to 73% of companies fail to deliver value from their digital transformation efforts – and this is often because there isn’t a strong enough link between their investment and strategic objectives.
For modern software to generate ROI, it needs to reshape and improve business processes. Here, we look at how to use cutting-edge technology to enhance collaboration and profitability on commercial projects.
Improving collaboration through digital software
Digital transformation plays a huge role in enabling close-knit teamwork. Professionals have doubled the time spent on collaborative work in the past decade, and connected employees are 20-25% more productive than disconnected teams.
Modern software is pivotal to the collaborative working environment. Tools such as online document storage and information management solutions are enabling companies to:
- Increase visibility. One of the most significant barriers to collaboration is a lack of transparency. Colleagues can’t always see the correct information to complete tasks or make intelligent decisions. Modern software provides a central database for all project information, including plans, drawings, specifications and documents.
- Create a single source of truth. Very few teams are based in the same location all of the time. As a result, it can be challenging to keep everyone on the same page – especially in project-based sectors like construction. Modern software gives teams access to real-time data, providing a single source of truth regardless of location. Digital solutions allow project stakeholders to access files, share real-time information and make updates from anywhere to improve collaboration and increase productivity.
- Simplify project workflows. Project communications can become complex, especially for companies working with suppliers and external contractors. Email chains, spreadsheets and whiteboards aren’t up to the job. Modern software streamlines workflows by channelling all data and communications through a single information management solution. Consolidating insights into one digital portal reduces the time spent looking for critical documentation, reducing project errors.
Driving profit through digital software
Closer collaboration is an essential element of running profitable projects, but there are other ways in which modern software can enhance the bottom line. For example:
- Better data management. High-quality information is the foundation of strong decision-making, which in turn improves profitability. Using modern software to store and share data prevents errors and reworks that impact profit margins.
- Create consistent results. In sectors with many repetitive jobs (like store fit-outs in retail), consistency is key to productivity and cost efficiency. Modern software facilitates accurate data capture and centralises information sharing, so teams have the insights they need to replicate identical results in multiple locations.
- Share best practices. Even with repetitive tasks, there’s always something to learn. Modern software allows teams to capture decisions and changes as they work, which can be applied to future programmes.
IconSystem: cloud-based collaboration software
The benefits we’ve shared apply to many types of software, so let’s look at how a specific solution can improve collaboration and profitability.
IconSystem is Elecosoft’s cloud-based information management software, used by companies in construction, hospitality and retail.
Our technology has helped many industry-leading companies to improve collaboration, including the UK supermarket chain Asda.
Before 2018, there were siloes between Asda’s property team and fixture managers. For example, information for store shelving requirements was managed by Asda’s visual merchandising team in a standalone database.
By moving shelving data into IconSystem, fixture managers could access information immediately, ready to order new fittings as soon as they were briefed to alter product displays or roll out seasonal promotions.
“Everyone has a lot more ownership of data accuracy,” shares Zoe Mitchell, Model Planner within Asda’s Retail Prototype, Specification and Design team.
Since migrating data into IconSystem, Asda’s fixture ordering accuracy has increased from 60-70% to 90-95%, and teams make immediate changes if they see missing or out-of-date information.
Other examples of IconSystem improving commercial decision-making include InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
It’s become more difficult for IHG to manage its design standards, continuity and building specification compliance as the company has grown. Investing in IconSystem has enabled IHG to create over 500 datasheets and digital control books, which are centrally stored and managed for use across property maintenance and development work.
“We can already foresee future opportunities for document collaboration, avoiding the need for endless emails and WeTransfers,” explains John Page, Manager, Procurement – Hotel Openings EMEAA at IHG. “It will improve the speed and efficiency of development projects and drive continually high standards.”
Choosing the best-fit modern software for collaborative working
Both Asda and IHG’s stories underline the importance of integrating company data so that stakeholders can work collaboratively to make profitable decisions. Collaboration software like IconSystem creates a pivotal connection between technology investment and strategic improvement to ensure digital transformation initiatives drive results.
As more companies invest in operational software, digitisation will no longer be a business differentiator. Instead, driving profit and company growth will rely on organisations choosing best-fit solutions to work closely together and make smart choices.