Digital Transformation refers to the use of advanced Information Technology, also called Digital Technologies, to transform or enhance the way business enterprise operate. This includes arriving at new business models, and novel ways to fulfill the core business needs of customers.
Business strategy and industry dynamics influence how enterprises adopt digital transformation. Enterprises need to be aware of technology chances that influence their industry and be aligned with industry trends. While using digital technology, companies may adopt hybrid models to fulfill omnichannel customer buying needs, example, supply goods using both the traditional way to shops, as well as go online with e-commerce.
Technology changes are happening rapidly. Chips and transistors that power computers are getting smaller, faster, cheaper and new forms of computing, example quantum computing, are overcoming physical limitations. Along with hardware improvements, came software advances, new applications, and new business models.
Technologies such as Cloud based software, using high speed internet, is making business software easy to consume, flexible to scale, and cheaper than on-premise software options due to the subscriber based models. Advances in computer technology and internet speeds allow mobiles and laptops to be more powerful and functional than large computers of years ago.
Machine Learning or “ML” use high volume of data to let the machine learn and determine the logic to execute the decisions, instead of explicit programming.
Advanced Analytics makes possible processing of enterprise wide data and ‘big data’, using predictive capabilities, machine learning logic, along with user friendly visualization and reporting capability, all geared to enabling superior decision making in real time.
Internet of Things or “IOT” consists of a range of smart and connected sensors that gather and communicate date of physical devices across the internet. Technology such as ‘Edge’ computing enables connection of devices in remote locations where internet may be weak. IOT includes ways of connecting ‘physical things’ via ‘digital twins’ that allow for two way communication between the physical and digital. IOT makes possible collection of huge data volume amounts in real time, allowing for use in applications in supply chain, maintenance, public safety, healthcare delivery, remote monitoring of equipment and proactive decisions.
Blockchain uses distributed ledger technology, that incorporates mathematics, cryptography, computer science and game theory, in a secure and decentralized way for creating and exchanging unique digital records without centralized control. Blockchain, with its ability to securely link records in the ledger, makes applications beyond digital currency or cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, possible. These applications could potentially include use in digital identities, tracking of physical objects, and in the exchange of value and assets as in the world of finance.
The list of digit technology changes is quite endless. Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Natural Language processing, Advanced Materials, Biotechnology, 3D printing, Drones, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Geo mapping, and Space technology are all advancing and converging thus offering great value and synergy in integration. Each new technology and advancement brings along challenges of security, standards, integration and scope for misuse. But the opportunities to innovative and profit for early movers, gives the competitive advantage.
Companies need to start the digital transformation journey by first being aware of the technology capabilities and assessing their own digital maturity. Next they can identify business use cases and conduct prototypes and small projects to test the capabilities for their business. As they gain expertise and comfort with the technologies and potentials, they can explore new business models and ways to get efficiencies and value. Finally, they need to execute live projects and scale the usage of digital technologies across their enterprise.