Technology innovations are on a continuous rise and we are seeing consumer behaviors change rapidly as emerging technologies are creating new and easier ways to connect. More importantly, these technology trends are profoundly affecting the way companies run their business. Consumer behaviors are fluctuating, market trends are dynamically shifting, people are hyper-connected and with all of these, some industries are affected more than others. Above all else, the economy is driven by factors like Big Data, IoT, social, business networks, mobility and connected devices that are paving the way to digital transformation.
Digital “Business” Transformation
Before moving onto actual transformation, one should have a clear idea on what digital transformation is all about. You might hear that it is about the paperless move to the application of digital technologies in all aspects of human society, but for enterprise businesses there is a much deeper meaning.
Ultimately, it comes down to the need for organizational change. It is about the pragmatic needs of business stakeholders and technology investors to drive performance benefits across all business units.
Technologies & Business Models
A business becomes a “digital business” when it is built on a foundation of digital technology. The technologies and business models that drive digital transformation are not always the same, and can vary based on industry and geography. In general, the following technologies play a significant role in the transformation:
- Cloud Applications
- Internet of Things – Connected and Smart Devices
- Predicative Analytics
- Big Data
- Business & Social Networks
The combination of business models and digital technologies, in turn, benefits the enterprise by improving performance in multiple areas. Broadly speaking, performance improvements can be achieved in the areas related to business revenue, improved efficiency, reduced costs, faster innovation, increased knowledge sharing, increase compliance and unmatched customer engagement.
The Digital Business Transformation Journey
But why transform?
Since transforming a business’ systems is challenging, organizations should be very clear on the reason for transformation and the driving factors behind it, whether it be customer-driven or IT. The transformation is never a lift and shift, and should be handled like a new implementation (even if existing assets are being converted).
To succeed in the digital world, enterprises should move from a legacy mindset to a focus on the future of connected systems. This will require significant drive from leadership.
And what should be transformed?
Transformations can take many different forms and can cause disruption in your business processes. Every step, system, interface, process, outcome and return have to be prioritized in such a fashion that user adoption is made possible. Systems can behave differently after transformations, and users who interact with the system should be empowered for the radical change. For instance, consider these dimensions before the adoption of transformation:
- Data – Collect and shift business relevant data
- Integration/Interfaces – Batch interfaces to be avoided
- Landscape/Cloud Adoption – Decide on what data needs to be on-premise or cloud
- Enhancements – Check for compatibility with your future system
- Business Processes – Adapt and extend to simplify business processes
- UX/Mobility & Analytics – Simplify UI & high-end analytics to be deployed/supported
How do you transform?
As mentioned, the customers’ intention of moving to the digital world are highly individualized. Many factors play a critical role in determining the transition. The digital core is an innovative foundation that enables businesses to experience the next generation cutting edge business computations.
The transformation should start with an assessment and analysis on where your business systems stand, how you want your future landscape to be, what level of simplicity to be achieved and how analytics and connected devices play with your data.
Migration of your existing data plays a major factor in your transformation process. You have to be clear on what data needs to be migrated and in what format. Sometimes, new systems will not support existing data formats and will require data conversions. Identifying the set of business-ready data, which refers to only data required to be migrated/converted, is highly recommended.
With the consumer landscape undergoing a constant change, the need for businesses to gain a deeper understanding of their digital consumers and deliver engaging, personalized experiences at just the right moment will continue to remain a top priority among all digital transformations.
Undergoing an assessment of your data, planning for the future of your connected systems and simplifying the business processes of your organization will help engage your leaders in embracing digital transformation.
About the Author
As a Solution Consultant with BackOffice Associates, Chris works closely with the team for Pre-Sales, Go-to-Market and provides strategic support in delivering solutions to customers who are on their journey to S/4HANA. Tasked with the responsibility in driving the set forth strategy, he also handles the Information Security Management System framework in accordance to ISO 27001 Standards.More Content by Chris Varghese