Although digital transformation (DT) is now a common pursuit of organizations across industries, there are still many – and often conflicting – perceptions and definitions of this method to reimagine how companies do business.
No matter how you view DT, at the root it’s how enterprises are adapting to 21st century requirements by deploying an array of digital technologies. And although 97% of CIOs are currently leading digital transformations, their priorities may differ. In that light, we’ve outlined the key aspects that lead to successful digital transformations:
It’s all about consumers
Business has always been about pleasing the customer, and with DT the priority is no different. Yes, the consumer experience should drive every decision. In fact, 93% of company leaders say customer experience will be the most important factor in business performance in 2022. But IT departments need to think beyond just the consumer. There not only needs to be more bandwidth for delivering personalized experiences for consumers, the transformation must also meet the needs of employees and partners.
It’s also about the data
Consumer experiences are only as good as the data that drives them. That’s why IT organizations need to eliminate silos and share data across the company’s divisions and departments. Unlocking data leads to real innovation and, consequently, increased employee efficiency and potentially more sales. Unlocked data streamlines operations and accelerates the launch of products and services. Unlocked data boosts customer interaction in mobile, in-store, and online environments. And unlocked data provides retail employees with real-time data so they can improve the in-store consumer experience.
The intelligence/data connection
Companies are investing significant amounts of money into Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. It makes sense in more ways than one. Automation allows for quicker data-based decisions, personalized messages and offers, as well as 24/7 chat bots that can provide customer support as well – or in some cases better – than humans. Of course, AI and machine learning, like the customer experience, only perform as intended with good data. AI and machine learning capabilities might be impeded when company data is stuck in silos.
APIs and the cloud
The cloud has been a critical innovation for managing enterprise workloads. The challenge is that while a single cloud platform can’t sufficiently handle the workloads, it’s also difficult to manage multiple clouds. This is especially true when transferring workloads between various cloud environments.
We have found that application development via APIs goes a long way towards resolving this challenge. That’s because APIs unlock the data of applications within multiple cloud environments. And integration via APIs can help companies realize a number of benefits such as increased sales, faster speed to market, and of course improved customer experiences.
Each company may have different reasons for undertaking a digital transformation initiative. The key is to be clear about your DT goals, and to focus on the areas where you can make a measurable difference.