1. Embracing digital transformation is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement.
What is digital transformation, anyway? Is it the disruption of an industry? Is it the complete transition to machine learning and digital payment systems? Is it the adoption of an IoT platform? It’s actually much more. A simple Google search will yield a range of responses. Articles draw out lists of trends and analysts name technologies that should be adopted. IDC best defines digital transformation as the process of coupling digital technologies with organizational, operational, and business model innovation to create new ways of operating and growing businesses.
In short, it’s an offensive play. Digital transformation is the way companies strategize to play against new opponents, or address new needs in the marketplace. And, many organizations are well aware of the benefits of digital transformation. In fact, 85 percent of enterprise decision-makers say they have a time frame of two years to make significant inroads into digital transformation or they will suffer financially and fall behind their competitors.
The adoption of technology-based business models have secured a future for businesses like Tesla, and have won market share for existing businesses like Domino’s. But be advised, digital transformation is not just about adopting the brightest and shiniest technology; it’s about using technology to adapt to our ever-changing environment.
2. Customers expect information immediately.
We’ve all watched Amazon disrupt retail. We’ve witnessed Uber upset the taxi industry. Now email companies do what USPS used to do with direct mail. As brick and mortar stores continue to shutter, there’s a clear view of winners and losers in this new ecosystem. Why? Because Amazon made shopping more convenient; Uber offered a safer way to pay with pricing transparency, and now businesses know if a consumer actually opened its message. Net: technologies that provide insights or make life easier for consumers will win every time. Of course, this isn’t headline news, but it strongly supports the case for digital transformation.
According to Information Age digital disruptors are expected to take 40 percent of Fortune 500 business from incumbents. But legacy businesses should transform with or without competition. Take a look at GE, which although the company is 120 years young, began using IoT to collect data from its engines. Today, GE can make cost-saving improvements using the aggregated data. This information not only helps the organization learn from its machines in the field, but it also helps customers and end users. By proactively using IoT technology to improve products, GE has proactively begun to offer information the customer could not have otherwise gathered without a scheduled maintenance check or inspection. Modern customers, whether B2B or B2C, will prefer this cost-saving, more convenient option every time.
3. Small digital changes can make a big impact.
Using technology to better support customer needs is one way to immediately approach digital transformation, but much of the required work happens in sectors of the business that may not touch the customer. In many organizations, the initial requirement for digital transformation is a culture shift.
Instead of measuring each change against its ROI, enterprise owners have to consider how technological solutions complement business goals and prepare the organization for the future.
For instance, making the shift to a paperless office environment can cut costs, reduce waste and drive efficiency. Digitizing enterprise information will enable the ability to store and mine the data for trends which will lead to more informed decision-making and faster response times. Further, when business performance can be measured in real time on a dashboard or in an app; issues can be addressed immediately. Depending on the industry, this information could prevent downtime and costly repairs; or spare customer relationships. Similarly, encouraging a remote workforce and the opportunity for simple mobile expense reporting can also reduce costs, improve morale and create a more nimble workforce. A series of small process changes can impact a business’ ability to be flexible in the long run. To help make the case, many advisors suggest tying digital transformation decisions directly to business goals in order to drive support and success.
Get in the game
Digital transformation marks the difference between businesses that have disappeared into oblivion and those that have progressed forward. In this competitive landscape, there is frankly no other way. The process of change requires a new way to think about the goods and services offered by creating a technology-based business model, shifting culture and using data appropriately to exceed customer expectations. There are new ways to operate businesses with optimized results and now customers have begun to expect the information. Technology is only one part of the equation.
If you’re interested in learning how IoT could help your organization digitally transform, connect with one of our Solution Engineers today.