Companies that embrace digital transformation (DX) grow faster than their competition.
Did you know that digitally mature companies are 23% more profitable than their less mature peers? What’s more, 56% of CEOs say digital improvements have increased their revenue.
As you probably know, digital transformation isn’t one universal process. DX can relate to anything from IT modernization (like Cloud Migration) to digital optimization or developing new digital business models.
In general, DX is all about using digital technology to substantially improve or develop new business processes.
What kind of digital technology?
There’s a wide array of options ⬇
First on our list is big data. Or to be precise – not big data per se, but the innovative processing methods that help extract useful information from large volumes of data.
Big data are all the huge chunks of information, structured and unstructured, that companies collect every day. Big data is characterized by its sheer volume, variety, and complexity that makes it more challenging to process with traditional data management.
The potential of big data in DX is heavily linked to automation and analytical methods.
For example – with big data analytics, enterprises can get granular information about specific (or different) customer groups. This includes information about what they do when on the company’s website, what they buy, how, and how often. Empowered by all this information, enterprises can implement relevant changes to meet the future needs of their customers.
Hence, to enjoy a successful digital transformation, businesses may need to adopt big data and data analytics.
In this blog, we talk a lot about Cloud Computing and its potential to fundamentally change the way companies operate.
As a small reminder – Cloud Computing means storing and accessing data and programs on the internet instead of on computer hard drives. It’s a convenient way to access information online instead of having to build, manage, and maintain local servers.
As one of the fundamental digital transformation technologies, the Cloud can deliver multiple benefits to almost any enterprise.
First, it offers flexibility and convenience. Cloud Computing enables you and your team members to work safely from (nearly) any place across the globe. All thanks to a seamless information flow across locations and devices, plus fast and easy data retrieving, sharing, and storing.
Next, the Cloud is also scalable and cost-effective. With Cloud Computing, you’re free to choose how much computing power you need. As a rule, Cloud vendors allow customers to increase or decrease the computing resources as needed. Thus, although Cloud Computing may sound like an expensive affair, it’s actually affordable.
For these reasons – and many more – Cloud solutions remain a key DX technology.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
For many years now, AI remains both a cool (or horrifying) science fiction theme and a real, established business technology, that delivers measurable results. Most importantly, AI proved itself as the perfect tool for automating tasks and making complex decisions.
At the same time, it’s evolving. For instance, into machine learning – AI’s younger branch that focuses on the use of data and algorithms to imitate the way that people learn, gradually improving performance.
For this reason, and many more, AI is a booming market. Research and Markets predict that AI will grow 17-fold over the next five years to roughly $17 billion in annual global investment. And that in manufacturing alone.
With the rising availability of data, as well as better access to data and a deeper understanding of its characteristics (plus better compute power and connectivity), AI is gradually unlocking previously unavailable analytics and insights.
As a result, artificial intelligence and machine learning will continue to be at the forefront of DX for many, many years.
A few years back, AR was more a curiosity than a valid technological enabler. Today, enterprises understand augmented reality’s potential better. The share of expenses in the commercial sector continues to grow.
Initially, augmented reality was perceived mainly as an interesting trend in gaming. Remember Pokémon Go?
Today, AR is more than that. It has already made it to the automotive, medical, and marketing sectors.
AR goal is to empower a seamless connection between the physical and digital world. It aims to elevate the concept of human-machine interface to a new level. That’s why it’s commonly described as “IoT for people”.
And AR’s use cases continue to grow. Experts predict it to become a vital DX technology in the near future.
Internet of Things
IoT continues to be one of the most important DX technologies. Or, rather, a series of technological (and other) components – IoT is more of an umbrella term for multiple underlying elements and use cases.
66 percent of executives say that – from their perspective – there is no digital transformation without IoT.
Shortly speaking, the Internet of Things is defined as a matrix of interlinked devices connected to the internet and capable of transmitting and exchanging data without human intervention.
Thanks to greater insights and analytics from IoT, enterprises can achieve key digital transformation objectives, like increased efficiency or flexibility, responding more quickly to market and customer demands, and innovation across their products and services.
And with the development of new enablers (like wearables) IoT is developing actively within healthcare, emboldening mobile health initiatives – like monitoring the health parameters of patience remotely, without active supervision.
API Based Integration
APIs have become a standardized machine-readable mechanism for connecting partners. There is also a hot market for API startups, meaning APIs are becoming products in their own right.
But from the perspective of digital transformation, technological solutions based on API and integrated into the enterprise software are a simple and affordable way to enjoy the potential of machine learning, AI, and other technologies. Thus, companies can create comprehensive platforms for solving important business tasks promptly and with a limited budget.
Overall, API is a flexible and powerful tool to integrate different components into a single system. So much so, that 83% of IT specialists consider API integration critical to their business (State of API Integration Report).
Considering the increasing user expectations – a major driver in the swiftly progressing digital transformation trends – the flexible API’s popularity is no surprise.
Robotics – or Robotic Processing Automation (RPA) to be precise – plays an important role in increasing operational efficiency in multiple sectors.
Traditionally, RPA enables the automation of mainly repetitive, rule-based processes that had to be traditionally performed by users. From simple tasks to automating data entry, RPA is good at different business roles. Most suited processes are back-office tasks like financial planning and analysis, billing, order processing, accounting reconciliation, or ERP data entry.
However, the interest in PRA is growing. Now, its uses start going beyond just repetitive, routine tasks, and gradually begin to include segments of analytics and decision-making that were previously suited strictly for the human mind.
Especially popular in the manufacturing industry, one in four manufacturers report implementing smart robotics today as part of their digital transformation.
It’s trivial to say that mobile devices – smartphones in particular – have irreversibly transformed the daily lives of humankind. Over the past two decades, no other technology had such an influence on our very way of existing.
That’s why it’s no surprise that still today, new mobile technologies shape the business landscape. Not long ago, we were excited by the (deadly, in the eyes of some) fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. Suffice it to say, it emboldened many new use cases – for example, remote surgery.
Most importantly, 5G has the potential to transform business models and operations by dramatically improving how end-to-end users enjoy their services. All thanks to unmatched speed, minimal latency, and a higher density than ever before.
In their digital transformation, enterprises – especially cloud service providers – will have to invest more in network infrastructure to deliver and reap 5G’s full range of benefits. Yet, this investment will undoubtedly be worth the trouble, since mobile technology once again carves the pathway for digital innovation in many industries.
As a frequent guest on Gartner’s annual list featuring top strategic technologies, digital twins are also a key enabler in the digital transformation world.
Digital twins are digital representations of real-world systems or entities. The implementation of a digital twin is an encapsulated software object or model that mirrors a unique process, physical object, organization, or person.
With digital twins, companies get a detailed visualisation of their products or operations. And as digital twins increase in fidelity, they can be customized to perform different operations within an enterprise.
Considering the increasing adoption of IoT or AR, their use cases will continue to grow.
Citing Materialise, a market leader with 28 years of 3D printing experience:
“When 3D Printing meets the right application and the right partners, it has the potential to turn around an entire industry. Fueled by software innovations, it’s a technology that paves the way towards a true end-to-end digital manufacturing process”.
Sure, 3D printing probably isn’t the first thing that comes into your mind when thinking about digital transformation.
However, considering that you can use 3D printing for many, many tasks (like producing guns, which has become such a problem in the US, that even the President had to address it publicly), it has the potential to make a difference in many industries.
Plan Your Own Digital Transformation
DX provides an unparallel potential to advance and improve your entire business. Starting from upgrading internal operations and delivering better experiences to end-to-end users, it has the power to transform enterprises and drive substantial revenue streams.
And the longer you wait with starting your digital transformation, the more benefits can keep slipping through your fingers.
Maybe it’s worth considering your options today?
Learn more about how to approach digital transformation today by downloading our dedicated e-book (it will tell you all you need to know) ⬇