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How do you Enable Digital Transformation?

Enabling Digital Transformation relies on your organization’s ability to align and integrate back office, operational, and market-facing systems.

One of the most pressing questions on the minds of managers is how they can enable Digital Transformation in their organizations. While recent research shows that organizations’ digital vision and strategies are maturing¹, only about 5% of companies believe that digital differentiates them from their competitors². A major challenge then in moving Digital Transformation forward is understanding how enterprise technology can support, and help you achieve, your vision. This article takes a brief look at how the technology side of transformation can be broken down to help managers develop digital differentiation.


Enabling Digital Transformation relies on your organization’s ability to align and integrate back office, operational, and market-facing systems to mitigate risk, and promote efficiency, growth, and responsiveness, ultimately defining your point of digital differentiation.

Understanding the strategic value of your enterprise technology relies on deciding what part of your business it supports. To help with this, we tend to think of each technology as part of one of five components in your enterprise system. 

  1. Systems of Record

    Systems of record support your back office. They enable the fundamental processes of your business and act as the backbone of your enterprise technology. The strategic relevance of these systems is related to mitigating both security and performance risk. The priority here is ensuring that your company’s data is secure and that they can enable your other systems to perform how you need them to. This is often the first step in the realignment of enterprise technology when approaching Digital Transformation. 

  2. Systems of Engagement

    Systems of engagement are the market-facing components of your enterprise technology layer. They acknowledge that users – both within and outside your organization – expect digital experiences that resemble the ones they encounter as consumers. This means that if these systems aren’t intuitive and engaging, your employees and customers won’t want to use them. Systems of engagement support collaboration, responsiveness, and growth through delivering engaging digital experiences.

  3. Systems of Automation

    Systems of automation support your operations and the processes between your back office and market-facing systems. Systems of automation are key to moving your Digital Transformation forward because they free your staff from monotonous work and let them focus on more important tasks. This increases operational efficiency and promotes more innovative processes and profitability.

  4. Systems of Insight

    Systems of insight run across your back-office, operations, and market-facing activities. They enable critical data to be captured and turned into meaningful information. Implementing systems of insight improves decision-making and helps you continuously optimize your enterprise technology. 

  5. Controls, Sensors, Devices

    Controls, sensors, and devices also run across the entire organization. They extend the ability of your systems of engagement, automation, and insight. Devices enable mobility in your digital experiences and make it easier to share information whenever it’s needed, while controls and sensors increase opportunities for capturing data and automating processes. 

By breaking down the increasingly complex enterprise ecosystem and defining its business value, managers can decide where they should focus their attention and how their digital vision and strategy can be supported. 

Beyond defining the value of each set of systems, one of the most important parts is defining how your systems work together and create synergies through integration. Ultimately, the value of each system is proportional to the extent of its integration. Increasing the amount of information that is shared between systems increases the opportunity to develop insight, automate processes, and create engaging experiences. All this works to align efforts and improve your organization’s ability to respond effectively to your customers and define competitive differentiation. 


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