Connecting Technology and Business.

Digital Transformation - The strategy for transformation

The challenge. Digital Transformation is not a linear process. Many enterprises have already kickstarted a number of digital initiatives. Business compulsions and competition from outside might have been the factors for such initiatives but a coordinated and concerted effort to transform the enterprise from the traditional to a customer-centric organization requires much more than such disparate initiatives. Such a transformation would touch the vital organs of the business – Executives and employees, business processes and operations and even products and services.

Many business decision makers as well as technical influencers do not see the urgency to transform yet. The top management has settled down in the traditional style for too long and many decision makers are quite seniors in their field who had seen success in the traditional way that the mandate to transform gets little attention. It is an elephant in the room that nobody dares to deal with. They keep reacting to threats many of the times instead of shaping the future for their enterprise themselves.

The reality. Enterprises that aspire to transform use technology better than their competitors. They build not only digital capabilities but also leadership capabilities to stay in the right path during this journey so that the desired destination is reached with minimal obstructions. They may need to build skills in different areas and redirect their efforts from time to time. A joint research program between Capgemini Consulting and the MIT center for Digital Business recommends a comprehensive strategy for this transformation in enterprises.

Enterprises must first realize that the business scenario that they have been thriving on for so long is fast transforming into a digital oriented one. They must sense the real threat from outside in the form of startups and fast movers who are already enlightened on the role of digital to transform the way businesses are forced to go. The disruption created by digital technology is real and here to stay so that there is no choice but to jump into the bandwagon of digital transformation. They must do a deep dive into their existing capabilities and skills that would need course correction, development or rebuilding.

Enterprises must also focus on investment in the right areas for the digital transformation to be put on the right path so that it takes off and stays at the right pace. The whole organization needs to be mobilized towards the achieving of the pre-determined goals with the digital initiative from the top and percolating to the lower levels. Taking the organization together in the digital journey is essential and leadership skills are mandatory for this journey to be successful. While there might be various milestones in the way, enterprises should have a clearly defined destination in this journey. Some of the milestones might be reached sooner than the others but sustaining the transformation throughout and well beyond the perceived destination is essential as the business environment is set to see more disruptions than ever.

Digital Transformation - Uncover new revenue models

The challenge. There is a real undeniable threat by startups to the established businesses that have been ruling the market for centuries. The traditional business models are losing relevance today. Businesses can sell products that they don’t produce, can provide customers with services that they don’t directly offer, and many are moving away from selling products to selling product based services.

Customer preferences keep changing and the value they expect from goods and services that they consume is increasing. Technology is contributing hugely to this shift in customer sentiments. They want to connect to their brands through the smart devices that they hold in their pockets. They are willing to pay for the additional value they get from such systems that bring them closer to their service providers.

The reality. Thankfully, technology is contributing heavily in adding greater functionality to improve the worth of products and services that enterprises offer today. 50% of new business processes and systems will incorporate IoT in their products by 2020 and 25 billion connected “things” will be in use by then. There is also a change in the way employees look at this transformation in customer expectations. 41% of employees say mobile business apps are already changing the way they work. 40% of survey respondents say predictive analytics held the most potential to predict business events.

Enterprises can now create new revenue opportunities with intelligent technology that spans across systems. The Cloud offers larger avenues for innovation and holds the power to uncover possibilities that remained dormant all along. Data that once used be stored for compliance purposes are now being put to greater use through analysis and interactive visualization for decision makers to create new roadmaps for products and services like never before. Predictive analysis helps them look ahead and track market dynamics and change in customer sentiments.

Digitizing the enterprise can transform business practices and enable re-designing of business processes to stay ahead in the marketplace. Businesses need to re-invent products and services and deliver new market offerings that caters to customer needs.

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Digital Transformation - Using technology to drive efficiency

The challenge. 81% of medium businesses say that technology solutions could help improve business outcomes or run the business better. Meanwhile, technical decision makers agree unequivocally that there are two technology challenges that top the list – implementing new solutions or upgrades & containing technology costs. And both are seemingly at loggerheads. As the technology landscape keeps changing by the minute today, even newly installed solutions lose their relevance very quickly. Unfortunately, many conservative enterprises are still stuck with their decade old legacy systems. This results in compromised security, efficiency and productivity. Businesses reported a 34% increase in financial losses ($2.7M) due to security incidents even in 2014. Today, with the advent of sophisticated threats targeting enterprises, the impact is much higher.

The entry of the Cloud has brought a radical approach to this paradox. 87% of midmarket BDMs say Cloud solutions would help the business grow.

The reality. Enterprises can drive maximum business efficiencies with flexible, intelligent technology. They can capitalize on the IT investments already made for on-premises solutions by tweaking them to sync with the challenging requirements of the business. The cloud can come in as a less costly alternative when new needs arise in the system. Moving critical workloads to the cloud could also mean greater scalability at reduced costs. A hybrid setup can bring flexibility to the system by allowing administrators to weigh and choose the better option for their mushrooming needs.

Enterprises must realize that the greater the investment in digital the simpler it gets to manage and run the business. Less systems to maintain and more freedom to expand (or contract) brings in a desirable flexibility. Aligning IT with the business process with the help of a DevOps team would optimize business processes, enable more efficiency and faster decision making.

Going digital also ensures business continuity and improves security and protection against unexpected interruptions, data loss and modern security threats.

Optimizing operations involves digitizing corporate functions and developing a digital culture all around the enterprise.  A state of the art Enterprise Resource Planning mechanism is essential for minimizing wasted hours and financial resources. All efforts must be focused on maximizing the business benefits derived from IT Projects. Minimizing clutter in IT would lead to fewer systems to maintain and less cost to keep it running – a lean IT. Service operations need to be digitally streamlined to produce the greatest value by reducing response time and increasing agility.

Digital Transformation - Anywhere anytime productivity

The challenge. More than half of the workers in midmarket enterprises require access to company data. A survey says that on an average 14 types of mobile apps are in use in small and mid-size businesses but only 13% of such businesses are fully prepared to handle security challenges especially related to mobility. This has resulted in an increase of 23% of the cost of a data breach on an average. And the average price tag per breach is nearly $3.8M.

The reality. Empowering enterprise with mobile and cloud technology is essential to survive in this cut-throat competition economy. Productivity increases exponentially when people work together in teams seamlessly. A well-connected enterprise is bound to lead digitally by bringing people and information closer and making them easily accessible to stakeholders by breaking geographical and traditional boundaries. Setting up multiple communication channels to improve connectivity between individuals and data sources increases the potential of the decision makers to arrive at informed decisions.

Freedom to connect to the enterprise information from anywhere anytime boosts the confidence of the staff. Many enterprises see faster sales closures because the employee on the field is able to connect real-time with their colleagues and access information about products that tend to get updated dynamically.

With the increase in the number of devices handled by people, it would only be wise on the part of the employers to allow them to use one or more devices of their choice to connect with enterprise data. Connecting on the go would give them an added advantage to participate in strategic discussions and decision-making session from remote locations. Mobile apps would help them focus on their work anywhere they are. Visualization of data and interaction with the data models would help them dig deeper into the relevant data points would provide them a clear advantage while negotiating deals.

With the advent of the cloud, employees don’t have to get stuck to their work cubicles. Cloud empowers them with mobility and freedom to move about and get closer to their clients and customers. Cloud has thrown open possibilities of reaching out to customers breaking geographical and market boundaries.

Inherent with the increase in mobility is the risk of exposing enterprise info in user devices which might be pilfered or mishandled carelessly. So, it is essential to protect business data wherever it goes and safeguard it from unauthorized access and modern threats. Governmental regulations also require customer data to be kept confidential and that only for a certain period of time until the purpose for which it is collected and stored is met.