Over the past couple decades, digital transformation has become a key strategic issue for most every print business on the planet. You can probably think of examples of companies that have ignored the need to change, or started the change process too late, and where that led to. Of course, digital transformation is inexorably tied to IT and software solutions as well as your presses. But does that mean you simply can order digital transformation from the pricelist of your IT vendor?

The answer to this question is no, of course not. Digital transformation is not an item on the pricelist of any vendor in today’s world. On the contrary, the change process that would naturally accompany this transformation is dominated by more human factors, such as the need for a vision of the future, trust and internal support, clear communication about your goals and the underlying strategies to achieve them. The commitment of all parties involved and exemplary behavior on the part of the leaders are paramount to success.

To avoid wallowing too much in the abstract, let’s see how digital transformation is described on Wikipedia:

“Digital Transformation (DT or DX) is the adoption of digital technology to transform services or businesses, through replacing non-digital or manual processes with digital processes or replacing older digital technology with newer digital technology. Digital solutions may enable – in addition to efficiency via automation – new types of innovation and creativity, rather than simply enhancing and supporting traditional methods.”

You can have the best print MIS or ERP solution out there but it’s nothing without your people.

Sure, IT solutions form an important part of a successful transformation process. But their impact is often overrated. It’s safe to say that the contribution of your software solution might account for less than 50 percent of your total project success.  MIS and ERP systems are tools, some more rich in functionality than others. You can have the best print MIS or ERP solution out there but it’s nothing without your people.

Here are some of the questions that the board of every company should consider before jumping into any digital transformation initiative:

  • Do we all understand what digital transformation is and why it is so important?
  • Are we willing and motivated to change?
  • Do we know what we want to change? Do we have a clear vision and strategy?
  • Is the board willing and able to set the right example?
  • What is the investment in digital transformation and what is the return?
  • What will happen if the project fails? Or if we don’t change at all?


Taking the time to discuss these kinds of questions at the upper management level – well before the project starts – will certainly increase the probability of a successful outcome.

Print-specific software is an essential part of your digital transformation toolkit

We’re always emphasizing here that the print industry is unique among manufacturers. What “digital transformation” looks like to the old copy shop on the corner will be quite different from modern packaging plant running all digital presses with JDF integration. Want to learn more about what to look for in an MIS/ERP software? There are crucial differences when it comes to the needs of the print industry. Go here to download our free PDF quick guide.

Or, perhaps you’re farther along on your buyer’s journey and ready for a free trial. Go to Microsoft AppSource today!