We’ve come to a point where almost every organization out there has become a digital entity. To the extent that they realize this will identify just how far along they are in their own digital transformation (DX) journey. Something I’ve learned over the past couple of years is that the digital journey can’t be defined by partners, vendors, or even specific technology solutions.
Digital transformation journeys are being defined by the organization and the end-user. And, it’s up to a capable DX partner to help the organization build that vision.
This means that a lot of these paths into the digital era are unique and custom. However, this doesn’t mean that it has to be complex or even expensive. IDC has been chronicling the emergence and evolution of the digital ecosystem, built on cloud, mobile, big data/analytics, and social technologies, for nearly a decade. Over the past several years, the adoption of these technologies has accelerated as enterprises undergo digital transformation (DX) on a massive scale. IDC predicts that digital transformation will attain macroeconomic scale over the next three to four years, changing the way enterprises operate and reshaping the global economy. This is the dawn of the “DX Economy.”
“We are at an inflection point as digital transformation efforts shift from ‘project’ or ‘initiative’ status to strategic business imperative,” said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst at IDC. “Every (growing) enterprise, regardless of age or industry, must become ‘digital native’ in the way its executives and employees think, what they produce, and how they operate. At the same time, 3rd Platform technology adoption and digital transformation is happening much faster than most expected and early competitive advantages will go to those enterprises that can keep pace with the emerging DX economy.”
In an IDC study, there are ten predictions to help people understand the major trends around this new DX economy. Let’s look at three key predictions:
- By 2020, 50 percent of the Global 2000 will see the majority of their business depend on their ability to create digitally-enhanced products, services, and experiences.For industry leaders, the fastest revenue growth will come from information-based products and services. To facilitate the development of these products and services, worldwide investment in DX initiatives will reach $2.2 trillion in 2019, almost 60 percent more than in 2016.
- By 2020, 67 percent of all enterprise IT infrastructure and software spending will be for cloud-based offerings. Today’s “cloud-first” strategy is already moving toward “cloud-only.” The cloud will morph to become more distributed, more trusted, more intelligent, more industry-focused, more channel-mediated, and more concentrated with the top 5 IaaS/PaaS vendors controlling at least 75 percent share by 2020.
- By 2020, over 70 percent of cloud services providers’ revenues will be mediated by channel partners/brokers. By 2018, IDC expects major channel partners to have transitioned at least one third of their business from hardware sales to cloud services sales/brokering.
The point is very simple: those organizations which leverage this digital revolution and the digital economy will be the ones to recognize real-world competitive advantages.
So, what can you do to help change executive perceptions around the digital revolution? And, most of all, how can you get on the journey yourself?
In working with a variety of verticals and customers here are three great ways to get the conversation around a digital transformation flowing:
- You’re already a digital entity; it’s up to you if you want to benefit from it. Take a look at your users. What kind of devices are they using? Do they have 2 or more ways they can connect into business systems? Most importantly – are you doing anything to either allow or optimize their experience? Your users are already very much a part of the digital world. And, you can optimize their experience and how they interact with core business data and apps. Every year, we see a reduction in the amount of laptops and traditional desktops being deployed. This is a direct evolution around the business world and the end-user. Digitally-enabled organizations will find ways they can optimize this mobile workforce, enable greater levels of cloud services utilization, and see where their business can continue to evolve. Legacy IT and business processes will only act as anchors in our quickly evolving digital economy. From the users all the way down into your data center – you can implement digital strategies to allow for automation, better user enablement, greater levels of density, better business economics, and more cloud.
- Your competition is looking at the digital economy and finding better ways to compete. You better believe they are. They’re looking at ways they can optimize hardware and software consumption, ways they can optimize user experiences, and ways they can leverage cloud services for even more business agility. Digital transformation isn’t a binary process; it’s not on or off. Rather, it’s a truly evolving strategy that morphs around your users, your business, and the market. Digitally-enabled market strategies will provide better competitive opportunities. This can be changing the way you manage your call center (by creating remote users and easier app access) all the way to enabling a consumption-based licensing and hardware model (where you never again pay for what you don’t use). All of these are digital strategies and considerations.
- You don’t have to go on the digital journey alone; just define your path, and a good partner can help get you there. I mentioned this earlier – it’s up to you to define your digital journey, and it’s up to a good partner to help get you there. This can be the creation of a hybrid cloud ecosystem or the enablement of a new mobile workspace solution. A good partner can help sit down with you, understand your business and your users; and then apply a digital strategy which fits your unique use-cases. The most successful digital strategies begin around the business, areas of improvement, and ways to optimize user interaction with core applications. Simply put – you don’t have to know off the bat what your digital strategy will look like but you have to start building the path. Good ecosystem partners can help.
Please don’t let this digital jumping point pass you by. We’re at a point in the market where you can actually capture all of the benefits of becoming a digitally-enabled organization. Whether you’re in healthcare, pharma, manufacturing, government, or any other vertical, you can absolutely leverage the befits of become a digital entity. And remember, even though your journey is unique, it doesn’t have to be a bumpy one. Defining your own digital strategy can mean moving more into cloud, leveraging more virtualization, or even adopting better user mobility technologies. The point is that you recognize where your own digital path lies and that you begin that journey today.
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