Staying competitive in the 21st century requires businesses to adapt to the latest digital technologies and incorporate them into their operations. Companies across all sectors are now embracing digital transformation as a means of enhancing their products, marketing strategies, manufacturing processes, and customer service. In this article, we take a look at some of the key drivers and technologies that are prompting more companies across the globe to shift towards digitization.
The Importance of Digital Transformation
Figures show that more than 91% of companies now intend to implement digital-first business practices. While some enterprises choose to embark upon the digitization process alone, others work in conjunction with experts in digital transformation like 3DS. If a business does not act to keep up with the rapid pace of digitization, they risk becoming obsolete as competitors use new technologies to develop better products and more efficient business models.
The 5 Drivers of Digital Transformation
Business leaders must realize that digital transformation is not a one-time-only endeavor. As the pace of digital transformation continues to accelerate, companies must continuously evaluate and elevate their business processes, models, and cultures. It can be said that there are currently five key drivers and technologies that are causing businesses to fast track their journeys toward digital transformation:
- Increased customer expectations
- The rise of artificial intelligence technologies
- Increased adoption of cloud-computing infrastructures
- Enhanced analytics via the Internet of Things
- Optimized financial services using Blockchain technology
Let’s look into further details at each of these 5 key drivers.
Higher Customer Expectations
The digital marketplace and the rise of e-commerce has resulted in a new breed of customer. They expect highly personalized services that are streamlined and consistent throughout all channels. With the proliferation of online reviews, blog posts, and social media, consumers are now more empowered than ever and are leveraging this to ask more from companies.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
Once only known in the realm of science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies are now commonplace. In combination with automation, AI is transforming the way in which businesses provide customer services, develop marketing strategies, make decisions, and optimize workflows.
Cloud computing infrastructures are now being adapted by companies of all sizes in every conceivable market sector. Shifting from on-premises services to cloud-based SaaS models enables more flexibility, better scalability, cuts down on IT overheads, and enhances data security. Cloud computing also enables companies to offer remote and hybrid working models that are highly attractive to IT professionals.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is having a major impact on supply chain logistics and manufacturing processes. Sensors in devices, objects and machinery can collect and transmit data that is used to develop automated processes and optimize supply routes.
Blockchain cryptocurrency technology is causing a revolution in the way businesses process payments, as it allows for complete transparency as well as total anonymity and decentralization. Many companies are using blockchain technology to start developing more efficient cross-border financial services and increase the resilience of their supply chains. Blockchain is in effect not limited to cryptocurrencies and can be used a wide range of use-cases. For example, it can tremendously improve the traceability of products, thus limiting the possibility of counterfeit, particularly in luxury sector. If a company stumbles upon a false product, the blockchain allows it to identify all the intermediaries and the ones that are at the origin of the problem, and recall quickly the product. Decentralization is a powerful way to guarantee the inviolability of the data.
How to Begin the Process of Digital Transformation
By adopting new technologies, businesses make sure they can provide high-quality services and products to their customers and optimize their internal processes. A company that fails to make the most of the opportunities that technology advances may offer will soon find itself outpaced by its competitors.
To start the path toward digital transformation, a company must first identify areas where digitization can make the most impact. Often, hiring professional IT consultants to provide expert advice can assist in locating what business sectors can be improved with the use of new technologies.