According to Cisco’s CEO, 40% percent of businesses will not exist in the next 10 years and 70% of companies would “attempt” to go digital but only 30% of those would succeed.
So, what is ‘Digital Transformation’ (DT or DX)? Why is the transformation coming? What challenges does a business face during the digital transformation journey? How to effectively plan digital transformation so that your business thrives? This article is an effort to answer these questions in a simple way.
George Westerman, a principal research scientist at MIT defines ‘digital transformation’ as a radical rethinking of how an organization uses technology, people and processes to fundamentally change business performance.
Driving Forces Behind Digital Transformation
The main driving force behind digital transformation is Millennials (born between 1980 to 1999). They are becoming the mainstream B2B and B2C buyers. According to research by Merit, up to 73% of B2B buyers are now millennials. They grew up surrounded with PCs, Laptops, Smartphones, & Cloud. As a buyer they expect intimacy, immediacy and coherency from seller; they love to browse and purchase on mobile, they prefer videos compared to help documents, they want immediate results, and prefer that most information is online and live.
Another factor driving transformation is businesses focus not only on profit margins but also on creating the competitive advantage through innovation & disruption. Following are the nine disrupting technologies (at the core of digital transformation) leveraged by businesses to establish the competitive advantage.
Key Challenges & Strategies To Address Them
Digital transformation for a business becomes challenging due to multiple reasons. Key challenges include company’s operations being locked with multiple in use legacy systems, teams operating in independent silos, changing regulations, and time and resource constraints.
When a business starts the journey towards ‘digital transformation’, it is the clarity of goals and strategy that increases the chances of successful transformation. Here is a set of sample business goals that you can pick and choose for your business.
To achieve the business goals, businesses should carefully select the solutions and technologies. Good news is that there are multiple disruptive platforms out there that can get integrated with the existing systems. These platforms are designed with the principles of intimacy, coherence, immediacy, speed and disruption in mind. A common pitfall that must be avoided is not to invest in building the inhouse systems. The key reasons for failure in building the inhouse systems is the fast-changing technology, and inadequate experience and expertise in developing and maintaining solutions for a long term.
Last but not least, let’s have a look at some industries and relevant digital transformation solutions:
Industry Wise Hot Digital Solutions
Manufacturing: Sensors, design thinking, augmented reality, IoT, digital catalogs, agile inventory management, robotics, Duty Drawback Automation, B2B e-commerce – (Fast order taking & fulfillment), automated pick pack shipping, live inventory management, additive manufacturing, AI, mobility etc.
Wholesale: B2B e-commerce – (Fast order taking & fulfillment), automated pick pack shipping, live inventory management, Duty Drawback Automation, digital catalogs, smart warehouse, predictive intelligence, advanced analytics, augmented reality, cloud computing, AI, advanced analytics, agile inventory management, mobility etc.
Distribution: B2B e-commerce – (Fast order taking & fulfillment), automated pick pack shipping, live inventory management, automated customs documents – (insurances surety bonds), Smart merchandising, smart route management, operations automation, AI, mobility etc.
Retail: Smart merchandising, B2C e-Commerce, AI, virtual and augmented reality, mobility etc.
Supply-Chain: Mobility, advanced analytics, cloud computing, AI, block-chain, advanced application integrations, cyber security etc.
Banking: Mobility, advanced analytics, cloud computing, AI, block-chain, cyber security, e-Documents etc.
Real-estate: Mobility, advanced analytics, cloud computing, AI, e-Documents etc.