Digital Transformation is the buzzword now. Be it a panel discussion, a keynote presentation or a webinar, the message that transformation is inevitable is, in fact, resonating clear and loud if you’re to survive in this digital world. But only some people have wrapped their head around this buzzword. Most think that it predicts moving to cloud , others call it a strategic move or just a fad.
So, what is a digital transformation?
Digital transformation may look different for different companies and so it may be tough to find a definition, which applies to all. However, we define digital transformation as an integration of digital technology into various areas of a business resulting in vital changes to how businesses generally operate & how they provide value to their customers. Beyond that, it is basically a cultural change, which requires the organizations to experiment often, challenge constantly the current situation and cope through the pain and defeat of failure. Sometimes this means walking away from a well-established business policy that a company has been built upon to a set of completely new practices, which have not been defined clearly yet.
Why digital transformation matters?
A business may undergo a digital transformation for many reasons. However, the most probable reason is that they are bound to. It is actually a survival issue for many companies.
Howard King, in an article on The Guardian, emphasized that: “Businesses don’t transform by choice because it is expensive and risky. Businesses go through transformation when they have failed to evolve.”
Even the IDC report “FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2016 Predictions” mentioned that, “One-third of the top 20 firms in industry segments will be disrupted by new competitors within five years,” and that it is just a matter of “transform or perish.”
Given below are still many reasons for business leaders to believe that they need to transform:
Their competitors are doing quite well. According to a report from Forrester Research , the executives predicts that by the year 2020 47% of revenue will be influenced by digital.
They can make a good profit. As per MIT Center for Digital Business , “Companies that have embraced digital transformation are 26 percent more profitable than their average industry competitors and enjoy a 12 percent higher market valuation.”
They can become more efficient. A research indicates that “Nine out of 10 IT decision-makers claim legacy systems are preventing them from harnessing the digital technologies they need to grow and become more efficient.”
They will be thanked by their customers and employees. People have already started adopting digital practices in different facets of their lives. They are just waiting for businesses to catch up.
Digital transformation has become an essential element of business strategy. So, whether it’s setting up a new analytics tool or developing an app for your business, get it done quickly.
Digital transformation trends of 2017
Have a look at some of the hottest digital transformation trends of this year:
Change is inevitable and a constant thing that occurs quite often. So, the best way how modern enterprises stay ahead of the competition is by trying and testing new technologies until something works for them. Embracing proactive innovation or doing the new has thus become the trend. But the digital transformation is not only about technology. It is about a culture, which promotes the integration of the new technologies. Only enterprises, which are embracing this change are seeing encouraging results.
2. Top-notch customer experience
Customers generally turn away from brands that don’t align with their needs and values. They are only engaged and involved when they get better user experience. Entrepreneurs are becoming very much aware of this fact nowadays and are using smart tools to get an access to vital data about customer behaviors and preferences so that they can give their customers whatever they are looking for. After all, the main purpose of any digital transformation is to provide customers with improved experience
3. Big data and Analytics
In this age of digital transformation, it has become very important for businesses to rely on data and analytics strategies rather than counting on half-baked surveys and unconvincing demographics for supporting their decisions. Big data and analytics, in fact, helps in getting real-time feedback as well as understanding the real needs and expectations of the customers. They enable organizations to take smart business decisions.
Machines can now process huge amounts of data in real time and solve complicated problems all by their own. This is actually going to give the organizations the ability to evaluate complex data for predicting outcomes, identifying profitable opportunities and avoiding risk without any kind of human intervention. Smart virtual assistance like Alexa (Amazon) and Cortana (Microsoft) are now having an impact and introducing the consumers to a kind of AI, which is at their tip of a finger. AI’s further development in workplace is although a contentious issue but a big competitive differentiator in the market.
5.Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
AR opens doors to customer service, remote support, training and collaboration, whereas VR creates more opportunities in entertainment and gaming, along with immersive experiences in retail, tourism and hospitality. In fact, the popularity of VR and AR have already opened the gates for gamification in the workplace. Within next year, gamification will turn out to be a core strategy for businesses rather than just a footnote. There is going to be a solid roadmap for integrating gaming into workplace along with AR and VR for improved customer experience, employee engagement and retention.
6. API or application program interface
Enterprises are now increasingly embracing new tools and technologies for viability and as a result there is being a huge need to source from multiple vendors. The situation is also giving rise to the need for agility in this ever-evolving business space. In such a scenario, APIs are acting as a secret weapon for true digital transformation. They are helping the enterprises ensure that their customers get the best experience.
7. Work from Anywhere
In traditional setups employees generally, work from nine to five in office. But with the personal work environments now moving to the cloud, employees can work from any place having complete access to their work setup. This means businesses in 2017 can have more new developments as well as opportunities for the remote operations increasing their productivity and reducing overhead expenses.
8. Internet of Things (IoT)
Internet of Things offers incalculable insight into the mind of customers. It is even changing the daily life operations by helping create leaner enterprises and efficient cities. Both customers and businesses will continue to get the benefits from the IoT. With about 50 billion IoT Sensors by 2020 and 200 billion ‘Things’ on the Internet within thirteen years, it’s no question that the Internet of Things will be transformative to the business models.
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9. 3D & 4D printing
Gartner predicted last year that it would take some more years for consumer 3D printing to take off. But it has already been recognized as a game changer in the commercial world. By lessening the time-to-market as well as increasing ROI, 3D printing has even enhanced growth through work style innovation in different sectors. However, development in 4D printing is going to mean that objects may reshape themselves or self-assemble.
It’s clear now that digital transformation is no more a buzzword; it’s a reality. Nevertheless, for businesses to take full advantage of its benefits, it should be understood that technology all alone by itself cannot facilitate the revolution. People must also have an equal role to play in the success of digital transformation and be interested in investing in technology.
But it is also to be remembered that surviving as well as prospering in this world is only possible if you get ahead of all these digital transformation trends and convert them into attractive opportunities for growth and innovation.