Back in the Autumn of 2017, I received an invitation from Mike Stannett, a lecturer and friend from my time studying at the University of Sheffield, asking whether I would like to support one of his final-year undergraduates with their final year project.
I had recently joined the Department of Computer Science's Industrial Advisory Board and, as described in a previous blog post, was keen to give something back to the department that had helped me get started in the IT industry.
I agreed to take a call with final-year student Joe D'Souza – studying for a degree in Information Technology Management for Business (BSc) – to discuss his research project into the impact of digital transformation on organisations.
As a business focused on helping organisations rethink delivery of their services to take advantage of digital technology, we thought we could provide some useful insight into the type of questions to ask and hoped that the outcome of the study might provide some useful insights.
Joe had done a lot of preparation and framed his proposed study well. We talked about a lot of different perspectives that might be interesting and Joe took on board some of our thoughts and then refined his approach, narrowing the focal point of the study.
Joe prepared a draft questionnaire on paper and then built an online survey using Survey Monkey. After a few trial runs and a bit of editing of the questions, we supported Joe in the launch of the survey, supporting his promotion with blog posts on our website, and LinkedIn and Twitter posts to encourage participation.
Over Easter, Joe analysed the responses and pulled together credible insight by looking at the maturity of the businesses, how their maturity affected the barriers and enablers to digital transformation, and how their aspirations for their digital transformation matched or differed from the outcomes.
Having read a draft of Joe's report, we agreed to pull out key messages and collaborate on a short-form glossy report to promote his study, linking some of his findings with our own insight from the industry.
We promised to share the output of Joe's study with those who contributed, but if you are interested in a copy of the short-form report, please contact us.
Having had time to reflect on the observations drawn out from Joe's research, we have used the information to enhance our messaging to specific customer segments and to consider new propositions that support our customers on their journey to digital.
The whole experience has been very engaging and rewarding for us – and I hope that Joe has enjoyed working with us too!