Understanding the Digital Transformation Phenomenon


Digital transformation, often referred to as DX, is going through a growth spurt thanks to the ever-increasing realization that integrating technology in all aspects of business will reduce operational costs, evolve the user experience, and revamp existing business strategies.

This transformation is here to stay, and some experts believe that businesses who haven’t at least devised a plan to implement DX will fall by the wayside in the coming years. So what exactly is digital transformation, and why is it vital for your organization to consider it?

Digital Transformation Means Constantly Challenging Yourself

The days of finding comfort in a set amount of solutions are behind us. To remain competitive, your organization will not only have to look at what works now, but what may work in the future. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of emerging technologies at our disposal that allow for more disruptive opportunities than ever before.

For example, digital transformation is understanding that blockchain goes beyond serving as an underlying technology for digital transactions. New protocols have allowed for a wider range of programming capabilities — such as smart contracts and the exchange of digital assets. As cryptocurrency remains volatile, blockchain continues to put the power in the hands of decentralized users, and will revolutionize every industry from banking to healthcare.

Digital transformation is realizing that augmented and virtual reality are serving greater purposes than just entertainment. Businesses are harnessing the power of this technology to give educators better insight on the experiences of their students, allowing doctors to provide less invasive surgery — thus, bettering the patient experience, and even marketers are using this technology to find new avenues for promoting products.

Seasoned digital transformationalists know that vocal interfaces powered by machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) will be the new face of how customers interact with their in-home or mobile devices.

Setting up your organization for success means understanding that technology doesn’t always equal innovation. Instead, digital transformation is how an emerging technology can be correctly applied to meet new business goals and deliver value to your customers.

New challenges can be met with so many different angles, but more importantly, they’ll have to be met with careful consideration for how it is going to improve the user experience — regardless of the technology being used. Organizations that fail to deliver user-centered solutions that are on-par with increasing consumer expectations will have trouble finding success.

Digital Transformation, Apply it Correctly

Digital transformation will not look the same from one organization to another for two reasons – (1) Each organization has their own unique problems that need to be addressed, and (2) A digital solution that works in one specific industry won’t necessarily work in another.

DX may sound like an obvious problem-solver, but when applied, it’ll require companies to go through uncomfortable cultural changes and experimentations to current business frameworks. You can now visualize how digital transformation, depending on the rigidity of your business model, will be adopted at different rates.

Devising a digital transformation implementation strategy will be of the utmost importance for your organization to both survive and thrive. But this is not something that you should (and can) jump into, and
IDC’s research on the top CIO objectives over the next 36 months highlights why not.

The study states that due to ineffective technology innovation, cloud infrastructure transition, and underfunded legacy systems, 75 percent of CIOs and their enterprises will fail to meet all of their digital objectives by 2019. Yes, keeping up with your competitors and their DX strategies is important, but that doesn’t mean your organization should rush this planning. Poor implementation can spark employee pushback, skew a company’s vision, and have budgetary effects.

In reality, digital transformation is still in its youth stages, and it’s highly likely that your competitors are still working out the kinks as well. The main objective in these early phases in making sure your team is on the same page and thoroughly prepared before implementation. This means transparency, openness and feedback, empowering your employees, and clearly defining how DX will alter your organization for the better.

Digital Transformation, by the Numbers

Digital Transformation, by the Numbers

Although digital transformation has become a top spending priority for some businesses, only 48 percent have an adequate enough budget to actually implement a DX strategy.

Already, 56 percent of the companies that have a comprehensive DX strategy report their digital improvements have improved profits, according to a 2017 survey from Gartner. Additionally, nine out of 10 IT decision-makers within a company have expressed that legacy systems are holding back the potential of their company to harness emerging technologies, says Hitachi Consulting. As more benefits for going digital emerge from operations and consumer-experience standpoint, more businesses will figure out a way to make the transition.

Don’t Hesitate to Seek Advice

Evidently, you’ll want to get your digital transformation strategy off the ground sooner rather than later. But this period of change, though intimidating, should be looked at through a broad lens of opportunity and excitement. Every organization that is serious about their future will need to adopt a plan — but that doesn’t mean you have to go at it alone. With over a decade of consulting experience across a wide range of industries, Sphere Software has solutions that are scalable for organizations of all sizes.

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