Organizations of all sizes are adopting digital solutions to increase productivity, efficiency, and revenue. From enterprises to professional sports leagues to consumer-focused products, the intention is to improve customer experience through a combination of digital workplaces, software-defined architecture, DevOps, and cloud computing. In coming years, digital transformation will shift to focus on the human element and how technologies like AI and machine learning will play a vital part in realizing both business and customer experience benefits.
Though a buzzword throughout the technology industry, digital transformation is gaining steam amongst CIOs. Research firm IDC shows investment in direct digital transformation will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5% from 2020 to 2023, approaching $7.1 trillion dollars.1 Despite these numbers, many organizations still find themselves in the early stages, contemplating how to move forward. While digital transformation spending numbers may convince you of the trend, the path to success is far more unclear.
Here are four considerations business and technology leaders should make before they take the leap:
- Reimagine Customer Experience: The customer’s experience with your brand and solutions will become a top priority for digital transformation in 2020 and beyond. Human-centric design will lead transformation initiatives, requiring process mapping and looking for innovative ways to improve the experience for the end customer.2
- Focus on Business Outcomes: Adopting new technology is exciting but to enable tangible outcomes, requires focus and definition. Leaders must understand why a solution is needed, and how that will drive results that will accelerate your business. Some examples include:
- Reduce infrastructure costs by moving existing applications, workloads, and data into the cloud. Modernizing legacy systems using cloud technologies also enables greater agility and responsiveness to changing market trends and demands.
- Improve workplace collaboration and break down silos throughout the organization for greater efficiency and impact.
- Accelerate application development, resulting in improved quality and time-to-market. Many organizations are adopting methodologies including DevOps and Agile to incorporate automation and continuous deployment.
- Actionable analytics fueled by data from customer interactions provides useful insights, resulting better products and more accurate marketing segmentation. Improving customer interactions also results in increased customer retention.
- Obtain Buy-In from Everyone: A transition in technology will ultimately change corporate culture and requires buy-in from everyone involved. As you explore your digital transformation initiatives, ensure leadership provides a solid commitment towards transforming operations and an adequate budget for execution. On the employee side, providing training and an open-door policy to answer questions will be most helpful in overcoming resistance to change.
- Continuous Scalability: Traditional technology strategies have followed iterative step-by-step methods, which often lengthen the time it takes to go to market or address customer issues. On the other hand, digital transformation approaches achieve more dynamic results in innovation, employee engagement, and customer success. Furthermore, digital transformation solutions also integrate with existing legacy solutions, allowing you to extend the life of your technology while scaling up to serve more customers.
Once you decide which areas of the business will undergo digital transformation, you can then create the appropriate project scopes and prioritize according to business needs. We recommend developing a plan by working backwards from your desired results for the best outcomes.
What’s at Stake for You?
With these considerations in mind, you need to examine what’s at stake for your organization, especially as digital transformation takes hold. Without the appropriate channels for customer engagement and success, you risk losing out to the competition.
Furthermore, the emergence of new technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI adds pressure for innovation. By 2025, AI-driven enterprises will be up to 10 times more efficient and hold twice the market share of those that don’t adopt the technology.2 It is important to begin planning integration of these technologies now to be competitive in the future.
With the market moving faster, you must also be cognizant of your goals as your team works towards the right business outcomes. The wrong moves will not only prove costly, but also endanger business survival.
- IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation2020 Predictions, Oct 2019: https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=US45569118
- Five Digital Transformation Trends That Will Shape 2020, Feb 6, 2020: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/02/06/five-digital-transformation-trends-that-will-shape-2020/#189674502e2a