Digital transformation is inevitable—businesses are quickly realising this, some panicking about their level of preparedness while others are digging deep to find the necessary tools to steer their enterprise through this disruptive period. The skill to transform digitally without hurting your core business processes has become crucial for organisations, particularly those who have been hesitant about letting go of their legacy data systems and now find their competitors exploiting market opportunities in a larger way.
You cannot resist TRANSFORMATION since your customers are fueling it!
Customer loyalties are at an all-time volatility high. The reason is simple—any purchase or investment decision has too many influencers. From social media to various web-enabled explorative tools, B2C and B2B buying decisions are showing high instances of inconsistency. Organisations are realising the need to reinvent their outreach, the ability to brand at the community level and maintain constant engagement with customers—each of these enabled by digital transformation technologies like cloud computing and Big Data. For many businesses, this is a serious phase of commotion but if they are ready to invest time and partner with a managed IT solutions provider, there is every chance they will get more than anticipated ROI, internally and externally. This includes identifying new market opportunities and making in-house processes leaner, less costly.
Even Hierarchical Changes are about Transformation
Not too distant in the past, Chief Technology Officers were looked upon as the final signing authorities to ensure the current IT infrastructure was kept up and running. Now, CTO job descriptions are changing. They are expected to drive changes, channelize organisational resources towards a more digital way of doing things. CIOs find themselves in a similar state—they might be eager to accept this change, but digital transformation creates challenges too. They realise virtualization and collaborative technologies driving data give them definitive leverage but they need to rethink how they can use emerging technologies for maximum benefits, create business opportunity traction and ease out latencies that have been holding them back. Some of these changes might need to be done at the fundamental level—a huge challenge in establishments where hierarchies have been baked for decades. This is why 2016 will witness IT transformation in an enormously disruptive manner.
Barriers to Digital Transformation
Industry interactions have helped us uncover some major patterns & roadblocks to evolving digitally. The emphasis is on the usual culprits and not regional or industry-specific barriers. This includes:
Lack of Functional Silos Competed for by Multiple Resources
The typical IT system yields very little actionable data. It is highly prized and chased by marketing and sales team, held sacred by decision-makers and protected at all costs with low levels of accessibility. This creates an unwanted situation where IT organisations find various on-premise teams compete for data resources and funding to extract more from such data. Better data collaboration, including creating journey maps and establishing solutions for data analysis barriers, can solve the situation. However, such a proposal can seem overwhelming, almost threatening to teams that are used to competing for company silos without depending upon an MSP or cloud solution provider.
Technical Budgets in Downward Spiral
The recent past hasn’t been exactly enthusiastic from an IT investments perspective. The emphasis has been on being very cautious, not testing the waters and investing only when ROI seems immediately realisable. We understand the limitations related to technical budgets but companies need to realise that not scaling up their IT ecosystem at this time means swimming against an unstoppable tide of digital transformation. This is not a makeover, but an eventuality that businesses should realise and try their best to acknowledge and deal with—we see a certain psychological barrier too but business technology investments need to be prioritized.
Customer Data Segregated
There is a reason why leaders preach unity—it makes things more streamlined, bringing about structural integrity. The same applies to consumer data. Unstructured, inaccessible, and sprinkled across disparate resources, customer data is not subject to a clearly defined strategy to drive gainful insight. When digital transformation talks about collating, warehousing and analysing such data, it generates an inherent sense of insecurity. What if senior managers at regional offices have been sitting on usable data to open up new revenue channels? Perhaps, the only resolution here lies in making decision-makers understand that Big Data journey is paved with such issues. This is not about digging up skeletons and re-evaluating past performances. The strategy is aimed at making dormant, deadbeat data more enterprising with a definite ROI.
Gaps between IT and the Business
To leverage a technology, businesses need to collaborate with their IT service providers and forge trust-based relationships with their business partners. This is difficult to achieve when data collaboration tools are not dependable and data remains un-communicated, un-scalable…leading to a situation where IT infrastructure is not in tune with the businesses’ outlook.
We also see a major flaw in how businesses are approaching technical upgrades, trying to push products rather than understand customer expectations and optimize the overall company-to-market approach, creating better outcomes. This however does not cover the entire list of reasons that impair digitally re-innovating your business…what is the biggest challenge according to you?