3 Components to Successful Digital Transformation

By: Andrew Morawski

The line between our daily lives and digital lives has never been more blurred. Whether it’s buying a pair of shoes online, liking a Facebook post, or sharing a photo from a family party, digital systems and applications have ingrained themselves into our regular day-to-day. With this integration of digital into our personal lives comes the need for businesses to do the same. Customers expect a seamless experience across digital and physical platforms. This is why one of the biggest trends discussed today is digital transformation.

To stay competitive in today’s shifting economic landscape, businesses must adapt their operations to leverage digital capabilities or risk being left behind. Companies are recognizing this need for change. In fact, the Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending Guide from IDC estimates that global spending on digital transformation technologies will surpass $2.1 trillion by 2019 – including $732 billion in the U.S. alone. While spending on these technologies may be expected to rise, many organizations struggle on where to make the proper digital transformation investments.

The integral first step for building a digital organization is educating leaders about the possibilities and work that go into developing new, digital systems. Before starting any digital transformation process, the C-Suite must be in agreement. Digital and network based systems demand entirely new structures and management practices compared to their fixed predecessors. Incorporating these new infrastructures and successfully deploying them requires an understanding of the challenges ahead. To properly build, operate and grow a digital business, leaders will need to reallocate their time and attention, as well as financial and human capital for the transformation. A basic understanding of digital technologies starting in the C-Suite commits to a smoother transition as an organization undertakes the complexity of this process.

Once leadership has been educated on the need and digital transformation journey, they can begin to explore the solutions that will drive this change. Every digital transformation is different; however, there are some core components that each organization should consider to best position themselves for success during this transition.

Connecting for insights

We’re constantly reminded that better data provides better insights. Be it through articles on the rising need for data analysts, or how companies are using new programs to predict consumer behaviors, it’s clear that data is driving development. However, as everyone throws around terms like big data and data analytics, few realize the connective capabilities required to access this information and turn potential into reality.

Data insights are crucial for business development in any industry, but without connectivity there is no way to get this information to the right place to analyze. For example, a retail company may hold a promotion across one hundred different stores nationwide, but to analyze the success of their campaign, they’ll need massive amounts of data from each store generated by registers and inventory systems across their enterprise to be warehoused, transferred and easily accessible. With antiquated infrastructures, the company may not be capable of processing all that information. This could create delays or even cause a network to shut down if the infrastructure cannot handle the amount of data being shared. As a result, a business may miss key data patterns around the sale allowing for real-time adjustments or not be able to measure appropriate KPIs to determine if the sale was successful.


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