It is estimated that by year 2020, more than seven billion people and businesses, and at least 30 billion devices, will be connected to the Internet. It is expected that people, businesses, devices, robots and other smart and intelligent gadgets will be communicating, transacting, and relating with each other in a new world of digitally enabled business. Welcome to the world of digital business – see the digital snapshot below.
The emerging digital business is driven by digital technologies – social, mobile, analytics and cloud. The strength of these digital technologies doesn’t lie in the technologies individually but in the combination and the way organisations integrate the technologies to transform their businesses and the way the businesses operate. Your organisation’s digital maturity level is directly impacted by the way you develop and integrate the four technologies (social, mobile, analytics and cloud). Ideally, an organization transformed by digital technologies and capabilities will see drastically transformed and improved business processes, will attract and manage people/talents across the organization in new ways, generate new business value based on entirely new business models that are relevant, effective and efficient in this emerging digital age.
According to a McKinsey & Company digital article, you can find your own digital sweet spot – see the figure below.
Major areas where businesses can take advantage of digital transformation include:
Customer experience – with combination of customer experience optimization and process improvement, and cost savings.
- Product and service innovation.
- Distribution, marketing and sales – reach more diverse markets and much more customers in new ways.
- Intelligent information gathering and management.
- Customer service, customer experience management and contact centers, customer relationship management.
- Human resources and talent management – new ways of engaging with talents, collaborating, agile working, social collaboration, learning and powering education in innovative ways, etc.
- Management of the whole business to business chain.
However, several factors can impede an organisations drive to digitally transform.
According to a 2015 Digital Business Study by MIT Sloan Management Review, at the top of the barrier to organisation’s digital transformation agenda are such factors as lack of digital strategy, security concerns, etc. – see the adjacent table.