Trends In Digital Transformation Strategy
Organisations need to strategise and see digital as a central and key channel for customer interactions and processes.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a large-scale health and economic crisis. Although no one across the industry foresaw the impact of the crisis, some companies across the world were able to mitigate its impact on the business because of their digital strategy. The pandemic has made the digital divide more visible and wider.
Digital transformation becomes even more important in the current scenario for businesses across sectors and sizes. Digital could have been their new way of doing business. Digital can help them to define and optimise processes, thereby positively affecting cost structures and toplines. It can make the GTM cheaper and faster.
The pandemic has accelerated the scale and pace of the digital transformation across sectors and geographies. However, the digital transformation does not end with migrating physical channels online or minor improvements to a select processes. Organisations must move away from taking a short-term approach to digital initiatives. Organisations need to strategize and see digital as a central and key channel for customer interactions and processes to improve customer experience, productivity, and offer new offerings or serve new geographies. Companies have to reinvent their operating and business models to its core.
Big Data, Advanced Analytics and Decision Intelligence
The companies are dealing with an even larger set of data, and therefore, it has become important that they understand and use this data to redefine their businesses to either outperform or give way to their competitors. Considering the current pandemic scenarios where offline activities came to a standstill, virtual and driven companies were able to forge ahead, whether they were eCommerce companies or the automobile industry. It has become even more important for the business to learn from and take decisions that are data driven.
According to Gartner1 by 2023, more than 33% of large organizations will have analysts practicing decision intelligence, including decision modelling. “Decision Intelligence provides a framework to help data and analytics leaders design, compose, model, align, execute, monitor and tune decision models and processes in the context of business outcomes and behaviour.”
Blockchain beyond crypto
Blockchain has traditionally been overhyped by the technology providers and underestimated by the end users. We believe that Blockchain has slowly started getting some use cases beyond the cryptocurrency.
We have started seeing real use cases for blockchain technology beyond payments in supply chain, contract management, medical records, claim processing, Property records, etc. Blockchain has a lot of potential to redefine business processes across industries.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA)
For faster response to market changes and to improve the GTM time it has become really important for organisations to free the employees from highly repetitive, routine tasks, thereby allowing them to focus on higher value work.
Robotic Process Automation is the process creating software ‘robots’ that can execute the repetitive day-to-day tasks and help organisations decrease costs and free employees’ valuable time. Enterprises are scaling their RPA deployments across industries.
According to Gartner “despite economic pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the RPA market is still expected to grow at double-digit rates through 2024. The key driver for RPA projects is their ability to improve process quality, speed and productivity, each of which is increasingly important as organizations try to meet the demands of cost reduction”
RPA is most strategic for processes in financial services, banking, healthcare, telecom, public sector and retail industries.
Internet of Things has been growing in relevance and usage in the past decade and continues to be one of the hottest digital transformation trends. According to Forrester2 “In 2021, demand for new internet-of-things (IoT) applications, technologies, and solutions will be driven by connected healthcare, smart offices, remote asset monitoring, and location services, all powered by a growing diversity of networking technologies.”
However, with the widespread deployment of IoT, security initiatives are becoming even more important. The world has experienced more numerous and sophisticated network and device attacks during the pandemics.
IoT developers are also increasingly exploring Edge Computing to take up larger workload than centralising everything in the Cloud. This is driven by improving possessors and connectivity standards coupled with more energy efficient power usage profile.
Forrester predicts that “the near-ubiquity of connected machines will finally disrupt traditional business in 2021.”
Digital Twins are now moving beyond the manufacturing industry to smart city planning, healthcare, supply chain etc. This process of creating a digital
and live replica of a process is gaining grounds even in legal representations for dispute resolution. The innovative mixing of limited twinning and real time weather by Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 has even put digital twins in the hands of everyday user.
In an enterprise set-up - sale, finance, marketing, production will all be interacting on digital twins for unthought of innovations to emerge.
Predictive maintenance will become a reality across distributed products in the hands of multiple owners / users. With the digital twin being tracked extensively, services and features will be implemented on demand or as per user context.
AI and Machine Learning are expected to continue their rapid advancement and deployment. One of the most visible forms of AI and ML experience in enterprise operations is in the form of Conversational AI. Conversational artificial intelligence is designed to understand, process, and respond to human voice while delivering an increasingly natural experience managing context and sentiment. Conversational AI is extremely beneficial for enterprises with its cost efficiency, scalability, and engagement potential and supports multiple business use cases:
· Online customer support (shipping, sizes, cross-selling etc.)
· Accessibility (text-to-speech, dictation, translation etc.)
· Computer usage (search, editing etc.)
· HR processes (training, onboarding, etc.)
· Health care (admin processes, medical insurance etc.)
· Internet of things (IoT) devices (Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Home. etc.)
At its core digital transformation is equivalent staying abreast with fundamental evolution of business and trade. Humanity has moved from and taken advantage of emerging opportunities from barter system to currency to digital payments; from mules to boats to ships and planes; and from calculators to computers to connected enterprises.
The wider usage of 5G in the next year is only going to accelerate the investments in Digital Transformation. Not just enterprises but even medium size organisation need to carefully consider the strategic business and market gaps that will open up or simply disappear with Digital transformation. The next set of global business leaders will have to look at Digital transformation as existential necessity and not an incremental investment. 21st century organisations will need to internalise digital transformation to truly leverage the power and discover new possibilities. Their ability to connect, predict, and adapt in real time for the benefit of customers will be the essential to business growth and digital transformation is the key.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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