Not every company today is able to differentiate digitisation, digitalisation, and digital transformation. From our observation, companies are still relying on their IT personnel or department to help them acquire a solution without even knowing what they really need. These are reasons that slow down if not deter companies from continuing their digital transformation initiatives. However, such inadequacy should be addressed.


Eileen Tan, Head, IT Services of RSM, right in the beginning of the “Digital Transformation Playbook for Charities” workshop that took place in July 2021, explained what digitisation, digitalisation, and digital transformation are, how they link to each other, and each of their distinctive nature:  


She added that “it (“digital transformation”) is a cycle of change and progress, both from a technological and cultural standpoints. It is about constantly reassessing opportunities to do things better, faster and in greater scale in the evolving environment in which one’s business operates.” In essence, the entire transformation phase can be defined as a corporate cultural change.


So, what did the charities think?

During the breakout session, participants from different charities discussed pertinent issues, concerns, and good reasons why charities should transform digitally based on case studies and points for discussion.  


Participants acknowledged that going digital can help in the following areas:

  • Improve and streamline work processes
  • Improve work transparency
  • Integrate systems
  • Be relevant and stay in the forefront
  • Access to information easily


Besides, going digital will also mean being more active on social media platforms and channels that can help to improve market presence and outreach, and capture relevant data from their target audience. However, the resistance they face are just as real:

  • Majority of the staff are resistant to change
  • Challenges in getting buy in from every staff
  • Difficulty in identifying a vendor that is trustworthy
  • Heavy reliance on the leadership team (only) to motivate staff and create a digital environment


In view of these difficulties, participants managed to brainstorm and share ideas on overcoming them. The groups identified that developing a comprehensive proposal and sharing of vignettes can possibly increase buy in. It is also instrumental that every department should be involved to offer their feedback and make known of their needs instead of relying on the IT staff or department to do the job. We have to remember that the entire digital transformation exercise is multifaceted.


Digital transformation is a firm-wide exercise that should ideally involve every staff. Forming a taskforce with a representative from every department is a plausible solution too. After all, it all boils down to how the message is being communicated firm wide, getting staff trained, and taking baby steps to achieve their transformation goals.


Taking their group discussions further, participants also shared the essentials that should be included in their digital transformation project plans. Some of these points include:   

  • Protection of personal data and case information
  • Responsible use of data shared
  • Access hierarchy for added security
  • Systems integration
  • Flexibility in catering for the different needs of different departments


Hoi Wai Khin, Director, Technology Consulting of RSM brought the participants through what they need to know about the Personal Data Protection Act otherwise known as PDPA, and solutions that could potentially help the participants through their transformation journeys.



Not only did participants from different charities gain much insight from each other, they also realised that they are not alone on their transformation journeys.


Please consult our specialists to find out how our team can assist you in your digital transformation journey.

Eileen Tan 
T +65 6594 7889 
[email protected]

Hoi Wai Khin 
Partner & Deputy Industry Lead, Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice 
T +65 6594 7880 
[email protected]