Digital transformation is more than just a buzzword for the enterprise. Technology is reshaping how businesses operate and interact with customers in many essential ways. Digital transformation is about finding ways to use technology to retool processes, so they’re more efficient and effective. While many large-scale organizations are in the midst of digital transformation, many SMBs are at the beginning of their digital transformation journey. The concern is that organizations that stay complacent will be left behind. And they’re not wrong.
To remain relevant and win over more demanding customers, it will be necessary for most companies to undergo some form of digital transformation according to insiders. IDC tells us that enterprises will spend some $7 trillion on digital transformation by 2021. IDC points out that many companies will focus on modernizing operations, improving collaboration, building a global technology foundation for growth, and supporting simple, secure, and reliable access to data and services. In taking these steps, organizations hope to become more competitive, speed time to market, and drive innovation in all critical areas of an enterprise.
Get hyper-focused on your digital transformation path
But with all the talk about digital transformation out there, how do you separate hype from reality? How should you invest your technology dollars to make the biggest impact? Part of the equation starts with knowing what your goals are and working backward from there. Asking these types of questions can help:
- ‘What is core to my business?’
- ‘How can we make those processes more efficient?’
- ‘How do we beat our competitors to the marketplace?’
Organizations that can best zero in on their biggest challenges and then set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) around those areas can get hyper-focused on meeting their goals. For instance, if your organization struggles to analyze its current volume of data and wants a single view of your customers, you may need to start thinking differently about data management programs.
Data science and ‘out of the box’ analytics
How companies leverage data and analytics to power their business models will continue to be a significant digital transformation focus in 2019. It used to be that only large enterprises had the IT resources and capital to leverage big data to drive business outcomes. Today, however, SMBs are getting smarter about data science and business intelligence too. In doing so, they are pulling together data from different sources and across customer interaction channels – online and offline channels – to find valuable insights in real-time. When machine learning and deep learning is used to uncover customer, product, service, operational, and market insights, organizations can evolve from leveraging data to ‘save money’ to data programs that can generate new revenue streams.
Turning data into new revenue streams is sometimes called “data monetization” (Source: CITO Research). Companies can capitalize on making money from data sources using cloud-based analytics to look at customer buying behavior, product usage, sales, social media data, competitive data, and more. With those insights, businesses are able to launch new analytics-based offerings and open up new revenue streams. When shopping for cloud-based analytics tools, organizations should look for data analytics tools that can create highly interactive, visual dashboards so all business stakeholders can view, share and explore critical data. Users should also have the ability to dive into the data to discover trends, develop more personalized experiences for customers, and more. A trend toward more ‘out of the box’ analytics that includes algorithms for estimation, data mining, and forecasting can help business users simulate ideas and continue to innovate. More intuitive data analytics software is driving digital transformation by making it possible for ‘non-coders’ to pull data from various sources so it can be synthesized and explored in new ways.
As we look ahead to 2019, teams should be thinking about their most significant business challenges while being mindful of how technology can help them buck the status quo to drive efficiencies and serve customers better. When organizations can prioritize their challenges and leverage cutting-edge technologies, they can open themselves up to greater innovation and change. A hyper-focused approach helps bring digital transformation from the idea stage to reality. At Telapprise, we know the right technology levers to pull to make real change happen quickly. Get in touch to learn how we can help prioritize your technology and telecom initiatives to move projects forward.