Blog / Leadership & Transformation

Digital Transformation: Current State of Affairs

Digital Transformation has been the tech buzzword for a while now with businesses large and small. Everyone from startups to well-established organizations is talking about it, frantically trying to understand what it all means, what it is they need to do to keep up, and, most importantly, how they could benefit from it. To make it simple: Digital Transformation means looking to digital to find solutions to do things better, identifying the areas of a business that can be automated and optimized. Revising the current situation of Digital Transformation, it appears that the recent technological advances have unlocked new ways of working. Moreover, they have given companies an unparalleled ability to cut costs while scaling — therefore, enabling challengers to undercut incumbents and to disrupt markets. Nowadays, it is hard to question the fact that Digital Transformation is critical for enterprise businesses if we consider the threat presented by the disruption. Their capacity to remain competitive and relevant is at stake — so, the alternative is to see their margins and their markets collapse. Organizations can evolve by putting business agility front and center. This way, they ensure that they are responsive to changing market demands and open to new opportunities.The digital transformation is a foundational change in an organization. Digital Transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of business, mainly changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. Apart from that, it is considered a cultural change that requires organizations to challenge the status quo continuously, to experiment often, and to get comfortable with failure. This sometimes means walking away from long-standing business processes that companies were built upon in favor of relatively new practices that are still being defined.The Digital Transformation is expanded worldwide. The Worldwide Digital Transformation team discusses the key predictions that will impact Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Information Technology (IT) professionals in the worldwide digital transformation industry in the coming years — over the next one to five. Senior IT leaders and line-of-business executives will come away with guidance for managing the implications that these predictions harbor for their IT investment priorities and implementation strategies.According to a recent report from the Harvard Business Review, inability to experiment quickly and legacy systems are on the top of the list of the main barriers that enterprises face in their digital transformation efforts. These are some of those barriers:
  • Inability to experiment quickly
  • Legacy systems
  • Inability to work across silos
  • Inadequate collaboration between IT and lines of business
  • Risk-averse culture
  • Change management capabilities
  • Lack of a corporate vision for digital
  • Lack of talent/skills required
  • Insufficient budget
  • Cybersecurity
Digital transformation is in full swing in many organizations, irrespective of the industry. This is due to the companies that exploit the opportunities presented by digital technology to build their brand, connect with their customers, and enhance sales models. Nevertheless, there are some significant differences from one industry to other — their culture, their systems, their processes, and even the capabilities of each industry. All of them come into play when it comes to digital transformation. Some sectors are more likely to implement Digital Transformation, so the grade of implication in the process might differ depending on their business. Here we are going to take a closer look at these four sectors - pharmacy, telecoms, finance, and technology.Nowadays, digital and technology are so interrelated that it should not be a surprise that the technology sector is more prepared than any other for digital transformation. Research by eConsultancy indicates that the technology sector is twice as likely to be classified as digital-first if you compare it to other companies in other sectors. Having the necessary digital skills already existing offers technology sector an advantage over others. That makes easier to instill a digital culture at the workplace, which is necessary to succeed with a digital transformation. By now, businesses in the technology sector have been using strategies like cooperative competition and venture investing to grow in the digital era. In the future, there will be a lot of opportunities for technology companies to grow, notably when they are using tools like cloud computing, flexible consumption, or cognitive computing. The benefits of investing in these methods have been proved by the well-known company Intel. It brought predictive analytics and machine learning into their digital strategy for digital transformation, using it in product design to accelerate production time.The development of digital technology strategy is entirely changing the finance industry in many ways. New technologies, like cloud computing, analytics, and robotics are among the most innovative digital tools that significantly update the core of banking and finance. We all know that human error is real, but using machines and robots makes easier to prevent any error. People have financial management at their reach — so nowadays, digital technology is at the heart of all interactions in finance.In recent years, technology has changed our lives entirely —mainly, the way we communicate with the rest of the world. There were less than half a billion global smartphone users just nine years ago. Nowadays, the amount of people that uses a smartphone is closer to three billion. It is a fact that the telecommunications industry is changing at an incredible rate, and all the businesses around the world know it. The telecoms sector has used digital technology strategy to tap into new business models and a globally connected network to access real-time data, customer support and social program to enhance user experience.Traditionally, the health and pharma sector has been a little slow to adapt compared to other sectors. According to McKinsey, almost 40% of pharma companies are unsure about how to align digital strategy with their customers’ journey, while only 10% based their strategic decisions on an understanding of how digital transformation has affected their business model and competitive environment compared with 22% across all industries. Because of all the information offered by the internet, patients have adopted a different attitude nowadays. In fact, approximately half of the people diagnose themselves before speaking to the doctors. As the patient behavior has changed, the pharma industry had to respond. Now, with digital at the forefront of their strategies, innovative practices are helping to enhance healthcare.Digital transformation mainly affects IT departments. That is why IT leaders are changing the focus of the IT departments, providing more people to support digital business initiatives. The training background of people who implement digital transformation affects every department of the company, so the professional staff must be qualified and have a knowledge base digital native.These are some of the digital transformation tools used by companies to stay ahead of the curve in digital:
  • TensorFlow: is an open-source machine learning framework developed by Google researchers.
  • Chatbots: is one of the most promising tech tools available today for companies.
  • Node.js: the platform allows using the same language on the front end and back end, allowing smaller development teams to spend less time rewriting code.
  • Hootsuite: this social media marketing and management platform can help companies to take control of their social media presence.
  • Stripe: builds economic infrastructure for the internet, allowing companies to accept online payments and run financial operations.
  • Trello: is key project management. The platform allows multiple teams across different working groups to collaborate on projects and manage multiple projects.
  • Slack: is a workplace messaging tool that has picked up a lot of steam in both enterprises and companies in recent years.
  • Quick Base: a low-code platform for business users that can help non-tech professionals more easily to create apps for their company.
  • Xero: is a cloud-based accounting platform for small businesses, accountants and bookkeepers.
  • SAP Concur: offers invoice management software to help small businesses keep their headcount down, save time on administrative tasks, and eliminate errors.

Miriam Pérez