The term Digital Transformation is growing in popularity after the Government’s new found technology and innovation agenda, but few seem to be able to grasp just how dramatic change will be. The ANZ managing director at software company Progress, Craig Law, looks at how fast digital technology disrupted media industries in the past decade, business have only one option: adapt or die.
It’s easy for an organisation to overlook the need for change, but the trend is clear. Silicon Valley based Constellation Research Analyst Ray Wang stated that digital disruption will replace four of the top 10 incumbents in industries, including financial services, hospitality and travel.
“We are no longer an economy of products and services. The digital transformation demands that we focus our attention on experiences and outcomes. Business leaders and their organisations must shift to keeping promises—no matter how their customers interact with them,” said Wang.
To show how inescapable digital transformation is, let’s look at a more traditional sector like manufacturing. Industry 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution is a term used to describe how technology has totally disrupted the status-quo. Smart manufacturing, such as factory automation and environmental surveillance has replaced traditional processes.
This new industrial paradigm includes smarter robots, additive manufacturing, the Internet of Things and a host of other technological wonders. According to a Gartner Report, organisations adopting IoT will grow 50 per cent in 2016, reaching 43 per cent of organisations overall. Gartner estimates that slightly more than half (56 per cent) of businesses in asset-intensive “heavy” industries will have implemented IoT by the end of 2016, and approximately one-third (36 per cent) of “light” or “weightless” will do so.
But what good is all this industrial wonder if the customer experience is lacking? The role of information technology is vital to fully reaping the benefits of the new digital age.
Consider the transactional aspects surrounding a product. You need to make sure that inventory, supply-chain management/ERP and delivery/distribution/tracking systems are integrated and real-time to create an optimal customer experience—or all those production advancements could merely result in excess inventory. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if the customer is on a website or a mobile app, the experience needs to be connected and holistic to drive revenue and profit.
We’re at the tipping point; businesses must embrace change and accept that it will be constant in the new digital age. The Internet of Things, Cloud infrastructure, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS—represent some of challenges developers must keep abreast of. But these challenges also represent an opportunity for tech to drive business goals, and not the other way around.
Businesses that grasp this and embrace change will be the ones that survive. Resisting these changes will leave executives, managers, and their companies powerless. Organisations must pivot ahead of these social, organisational, and technological shifts or risk being left behind.
What’s in it for you?
So how can you digitally transform your business? First, clean up your digital shop front window – leverage technology to truly personalise web experiences across whatever screen is being used.
For IT, it means modernising existing applications and directing the course new business applications will take. Mobility and compelling web experiences for users across all channels must be centre stage.
Digital Transformation includes the change of an entire organisation to become more agile, delivering exciting customer experiences. Customer facing apps and websites are just the beginning of that journey.
Lastly and most importantly, businesses preparing for digital transformation must understand that change is constant. Digital Transformation requires strong leadership to drive change, but it also requires a vision for what parts of the company you want to transform. Those that thrive will be the ones who embrace and are prepare to transform their company into an agile mobile operation that adapts to their customer’s ever-changing needs.