While the phrase is familiar, what does it really mean? Digital transformations have the power to change the way companies do business. For years analysts have touted its arrival, but the market’s been slow to catch up. And while there’s still a long way to go, the industry has now reached a point where adoption is actively happening. That means CIOs must step up their game.
While definitions vary, one of the best descriptions of this digital evolution was recently posted by 451 Research. According to their new report, “Digital Transformation: the what, the why and the how”, these events are defined as: “the result of IT innovation that is aligned with and driven by a well-planned business strategy, with the goal of transforming how organizations serve customers, employees and partners; support continuous improvement in business operations; disrupt existing business and markets; and invent new businesses and business models”.
Digital Transformations are seen everywhere and across all businesses – from local retail shops to hospitals and financial giants. Technology is no longer relegated to the back room, as true competitive advantage is gained by evolving to a more agile, flexible and scalable IT foundation. But that’s not to say all CIOs are prepared. 451 Research emphasizes less than 25 percent of surveyed organizations have a well-defined digital transformation strategy in place. Even more sobering, almost 30 percent of respondents have no Digital Transformation strategy at all.
And those who fail to align will be left behind. IT is playing an increasingly strategic role across organizations – with CIOs evolving from technology decision-makers to real business strategists. Planning must be done now to disrupt legacy processes and adjust resources with strategic priorities. But what exactly is being transformed and where do you begin?
451 Research Analyst Nick Patience stresses three critical areas where CIOs must focus:
Today’s decisions are data-driven, fueled by an unprecedented amount of information. Capturing accurate information is critical, as organizations with data-driven environments proven time and again to accelerate productivity, increase profits, and increase market value.
Building on this powerful information also requires a shift in business processes – changing the manner in which employees work and collaborate. Successful integration of such elements like file-sync and share tools, online collaboration and models like DevOps are proven to deliver the agility required to accelerate Digital Transformations beyond data.
CIOs must additionally evolve IT planning to include platform transformation – re-evaluating foundational infrastructures to boost agility. On-premise, monolithic infrastructures are increasingly becoming a thing of the past and Hybrid IT and Cloud Managed Services are the impetus for enhanced agility and automation.
The more rapidly organizations can store, process and manage information – the more feasible Digital Transformations become.