What does digital transformation mean to you?
Keeping customers happy amidst rising inflation, an economic downturn, and supply chain disruptions is a growing challenge for businesses.
With many C-suite executives scrambling to deliver greater efficiencies, boost customer loyalty and protect revenues, organisations must embrace digital transformation and innovation.
With new technological advancements hitting the market weekly, many businesses need help identifying the best new solutions and digital platforms to meet their needs.
It’s a daunting situation, especially with the spectre of failed transformation due to mismanaged system implementation like Hershey’s still looming fresh in people’s memories.
So, how fast is technology advancing?
To give you a sense of the speed of change, consider this—Forbes reported 91.6% of Fortune 1000 companies are planning to increase their investments in Big Data and AI.
By 2025, nearly 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), while 70 per cent of manufacturers expect to use digital twins regularly (by 2022).
What does this mean for business transformation?
As customers increasingly expect personalised and instant experiences, organisations must become digital-first across all their operations.
Let’s explore how new technologies are driving digital transformation. And what businesses should do in order to confidently keep up with these latest innovations.
How is technology changing digital transformation?
There’s few places left where technology hasn’t made an impact in the last few years. It’s everywhere—transforming both our personal and professional lives. Of course, such rapid technological innovation is both exciting and terrifying.
For businesses, it may feel like navigating an endless conveyer belt of new digital tools and platforms, all vying aggressively to disrupt your industry. And, just when you’ve got your head around how one works, another one comes along to confuse you.
Consequently, many C-suite executives remain both sceptical and sometimes downright hostile to bringing on board new systems. And understandably so. Technology costs money and time. In addition, if poorly done, it risks talent and organisational reputation.
Look at the latest research findings, and you’ll quickly learn that most transformations fail. So no wonder companies are jittery about investing in digital solutions.
That being said, you can’t tackle new problems successfully with out-of-date solutions. And no, it doesn’t matter if they worked for you in the past.
Hence, understanding what technology is available and how it can help you achieve your business goals is critical to every type of transformation programme.
Let’s examine the top three technologies driving businesses to reimagine themselves for the digital age and achieve new levels of growth, efficiency, and innovation.
Implementing AI to automate business operations
Mckinsey predicts that by 2024, more than 50 per cent of user touches will be augmented by AI-driven speech, written word, or computer-vision algorithms.
By simulating human cognitive processes such as comprehension and production of language, knowledge formation, and memory, AI and machine learning are driving innovation in the workplace.
While in a recent survey, executives told SEMRush that AI technology is helping them leverage efficiency (79%), boost their ROI (54%), and generate considerable savings.
From collating and managing data and automating workloads to ‘search’ and ‘recommend’ algorithms (as used by Netflix and Amazon), these new technologies are paving the way for a new era of efficiency and productivity. Businesses can significantly streamline their operations and maximise output like never before by using AI tools to automate activities from customer service and operations to recruitment and talent sourcing.
In addition, AI’s predictive capabilities also can prevent outages and identify potential business disruptors, ensuring uninterrupted business operations. And with the power to analyse vast amounts of data, AI is helping businesses extract meaningful insights and forecast demand for inventory management. With AI’s potential to revolutionise how companies operate, it’s clear that this technology is not just a passing trend but a vital tool for success in today’s ever-evolving business landscape.
For example, Salesforce Einstein supports B2B businesses to drive sales and deliver hyper-personalised customer experiences due to its AI-powered data analysis capabilities and predictive analytics.
Before investing in AI tools, businesses need to ask the following:
- What do you want to achieve with AI and automation? By establishing your business needs and desired outcomes, you can benchmark investment into new digital tools for alignment with your corporate goals.
- What current business problems can AI help you solve? For example, tedious and time-consuming tasks such as collecting data can be gathered, sorted, and aggregated using AI, freeing employees to work on more complex and high-value tasks.
- How will you implement AI and automation tools into your current workflows? Preparing for a seamless implementation is central to ROI and the employee experience.
Join the revolution with the Internet of Things (IoT) & 5G
Advances in connectivity have made it easier for businesses to collaborate with stakeholders across the globe. With 5G networks, remote work, and digital communication tools, companies can work with teams and partners in real-time, enhancing productivity and efficiency.
With its many benefits, IoT is a game-changer for businesses looking to take their digital transformation to the next level. It opens up exciting new investment opportunities, reduces operational costs, and supercharges the customer experience.
According to research by the McKinsey Global Institute, IoT applications are predicted to deliver a collective economic benefit between $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion annually by 2025.
Additionally, over two-thirds of the value will be generated in business-to-business contexts, with business clients and consumers expected to claim over 90% of the value generated.
By leveraging IoT devices, businesses can track, monitor, and analyse customer data in real time, enabling faster and more accurate decision-making.
Indeed, with predictive analytics powered by IoT, managers can anticipate shifts or trends in customer behaviour before they occur, allowing for proactive rather than reactive responses, leading to an enhanced customer experience that is personalised based on past behaviours, preferences, and interactions.
In this way, IoT is revolutionising how businesses interact with their customers, unlocking new levels of insight and value.
Here are some tips to help you introduce the right IoT solutions into your business.
- Identify your organisation’s specific needs and goals, and determine how IoT technology can help you achieve them. For example, safety, security, customer experience, and operational efficiency are key areas to consider.
- Choose suitable vendors— they should offer a comprehensive range of IoT solutions, including devices, platforms, and analytics.
- Train your employees—packages should include face-to-face training (if adoption rates matter to you) and promote a culture of data-driven decision-making. Investing in employee skills in the right way is critical if you want your IoT implementation to succeed and deliver long-term benefits to your organisation.
Unleash the Power of Cloud Computing
This groundbreaking technology has revolutionised how you work, collaborate, and grow your business. Critically, cloud solutions have played a significant role in helping businesses recover from the pandemic by improving efficiency, according to 69% of companies surveyed in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Anything can now be a service with the help of cloud computing and remote access. For example, when you purchase a SaaS solution, it’s digitally delivered by vendors directly to you as a service. By removing the need for having a sales rep or engineer on site, means lower costs, streamlined operational management and greater accessibility.
Plus, the global Everything as a Service market alone is projected to grow from $545.35 billion in 2022 to $2,378.07 billion by 2029, according to Fortune Business Insights.
By enabling companies to better store and process large amounts of data without investing in expensive hardware, cloud computing can help you scale operations, boost productivity and streamline processes leading to significantly efficient and lower costs.
Indeed, as apps take over the world, businesses need to get them all talking to each other. That’s where APIs and system integration platforms offer hybrid solutions that work on-premises and in the cloud.
Use the following tips to help you create a Cloud Strategy for your business.
- What is your end goal? Before selecting a cloud service, it’s essential to understand your company’s core needs. Then, consider scalability, security, and budget to determine the right cloud solution for your business.
- Assess your available tools—take stock of the available tools and resources to identify gaps or areas where you may need additional support to implement your cloud strategy successfully.
- Define specific goals—develop a roadmap including specific goals and milestones. This will help you stay focused and measure progress as you move forward with your cloud implementation.
- Build a proposal—once you clearly understand your company’s needs and goals, you next need a plan outlining your cloud strategy and how it will benefit the business. This proposal should include a detailed budget, timeline, and execution plan.
- Execute your strategy and plan for the future—once you’ve received buy-in from critical stakeholders, execute your cloud strategy. Then, as you move forward, evaluate and adjust your plan based on changing business needs and emerging technologies.
Before you go
The truth is to gain a competitive advantage in today’s changeable market conditions—organisations need to embrace digital transformation to meet ever-evolving customer expectations, enhance business resilience, mitigate risks, adapt to a changing workforce, and expedite business outcomes.
A big part of the journey to digital is engaging with and comprehending the intricacies of how your business services and processes are actually managed and delivered with a view to identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement and growth.
In other words, it’s less about allowing the technology to lead your transformation but rather focusing on what technology will ensure you achieve your business goals and ambitions, both now and in the future.