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Digital + Transformation: Why it Starts from Within

Kristen Deyo
Digital TransformationCustomer Experience
6/21/2017

I know what you’re thinking - another blog on digital transformation (but hear me out!). Like you, I have spent countless hours wrestling with what this buzzword actually means and how we know when we’ve actually achieved a “digital transformation”. One thing I can tell you is true transformation doesn’t happen overnight, quite the opposite. It’s a process, a culmination of business decisions, new technologies and platforms, the leveraging of digital megatrends and taking a serious organizational look at ourselves in the mirror. Think your organization hasn’t started down the path? Think again.

The Digital Megatrends: Mobile, the Cloud, Big Data and Social

Technology is intricately woven into every aspect of our daily lives. Megatrends like mobile, big data, social and the cloud have undoubtedly transformed our personal lives - but can we say the same for business?

In a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review, these four megatrends were explored in depth with results highlighting that not only have these trends had a positive impact on businesses, but they are also being used to “craft completely new business models, develop new revenue streams and drive other material changes to impact their top and bottom lines.”

Mobile
Mobile initiatives are probably the most frequently adopted amongst organizations currently. In the context of both personal and professional, mobile has already proven to have a transformative impact on business operations and has fundamentally changed the way employees work.

From BYOD to developing internal apps, internal IT infrastructure has already shifted to meet the growing digital demand. Mobile has made the digital workforce possible, empowering employees to easily access corporate apps and data, collaborate amongst work peers and be more productive no matter where they are.

Cloud Computing
The cloud has completely changed the business landscape by driving increased efficiency, reducing cost and providing companies with the agility and flexibility needed to rapidly foster innovation and gain a competitive edge by easily scaling up or down in order to meet demand. And yet, according to the IBM Institute for Business Value, the cloud’s potential for driving business innovation remains virtually untapped.

Big Data
Organizations today have the ability to process and analyze large quantities of data to generate business insight in real-time. With developments including IoT, smart devices, and homes, wearables, mobile, the amount of data available for analysis is exponentially greater than it’s ever been before and there are absolutely no signs of it stopping.

Leveraging data and analytics helps organizations innovate and make smarter, more informed business decisions. Organizations are also able to generate insights faster and consolidate disparate systems of data into analysis more quickly. And with the advent of AI powerhouses like Salesforce’s Einstein or IBM’s Watson - AI engines can now make sense of that data and provide proactive recommendations on how to best leverage the data to develop new products and services, as well as provide a better customer experience.

Social
Social media has become a core aspect of modern business. It has transformed and catapulted brands and made them more human and responsive for their customers. It’s not just about understanding customer sentiment to the products or services you offer, forward-thinking companies are leveraging social for all aspects of their company from recruiting and HR management, collaboration with customers, partners and employees - but to drive new revenue streams, bolster brand impact and develop products and services based on social chatter and feedback in real-time.

Looking in the Mirror: Where Transformation Really Happens

While many companies are adopting these digital trends to increase efficiency, drive productivity and cut costs, some more progressive companies are embracing these trends to craft completely new business models, “develop new revenue streams and drive other material changes to impact their top and bottom lines.” However, simply spending more time on emerging digital trends, whether the ones outlined here or others (AI, IoT, etc), is not enough to boost transformative business outcomes.

Transformation is impossible without accompanying organizational changes - management mindsets, organizational behaviours, operating cultures, etc. Transformation happens when companies work at the intersection of these digital trends and take a look in the mirror and ask themselves:

  • How are we improving the employee experience and corporate culture?

  • Which technologies and/or platforms do we need to leverage to maximize the benefit of these megatrends and foster innovation?

  • Do we have a strategy/roadmap to improve and differentiate our core capabilities using digital technologies?

Conclusion
There’s nothing instantaneous about a transformation (disappointing, I know!). Instead, transformation happens at the intersection of a series of digital technologies and when we take a serious organizational look in the mirror. It happens when we stop looking at digital transformation as a buzzword and start taking the organizational steps needed to make transformational success possible.

At Stantive, we’ve seen the power of these megatrends at work with our customers who are delivering some truly transformation initiatives globally to their customers, partners and employees with OrchestraCMS. If you want to learn more or share your insight we would LOVE to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment, shoot us an email, follow us on social - we’re here!
 

Sources:
https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=PM&subtype=XB&htmlfid=GBE03470USEN
https://hbr.org/resources/pdfs/comm/microsoft/the_digital_transformation_of_business.pdf