In today’s world, businesses have to be agile and adaptable if they want to survive. But what does this mean for their IT departments?
Digital transformation has become an important part of many companies’ strategies. It involves making changes in how they operate so that they can better compete in the marketplace. This includes changing the way they use technology to improve efficiency and productivity.
The fourth industrial revolution has finally arrived. Big data, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and high-performance computing are transforming how businesses compete and evolve. Winners and losers in this new era will be determined by how quickly they can recognise trends and disrupt industries.
When it comes to organisations that can predict needs and get products to market faster, the results are exponential. Consider UPS, which created a data-driven and AI-powered system to create optimal routes and increase delivery speed. As a result, the company improved customer service, reduced fuel costs, and reduced emissions, saving an estimated $300 to $400 million per year. Meanwhile, the Postal Service is having difficulty keeping up.
Technological advancements have always given some an advantage while leaving others behind, and because COVID-19 hastened digital transformation, we now live in a world where keeping up with modern technologies is critical. In fact, in response to COVID-19, 79 percent of executives reported an increase in digital transformation budgets, and 69 percent of companies surveyed indicated they will spend the same or more on such efforts this year as they did in 2021.
These efforts range from health systems expanding their telehealth offerings to businesses investing in agile supply chain management and businesses adopting new digital tools to enable remote collaboration.
To stay ahead of the curve, examine your own processes and determine how you can leverage the power of big data, AI, and other transformative technologies to propel your organisation forward.
So, how do you get ready to embark on a digital transformation journey? Here are four mistakes to avoid, as well as some pointers on how to get started.
One common blunder is failing to establish specific, measurable goals for digital transformation efforts. Begin by wondering, “What would you do if you knew?” to help you define your vision.
What information do you wish you had about your customers? What data or automations could you employ to boost efficiency? How might greater certainty and precision in your decisions help you make a bigger impact?
Consider the most pertinent question to your organisation to begin uncovering areas of opportunity that data, analytics, and digitalization can capture. Set yourself on a clear path by taking the time to identify the real question you’re attempting to answer.
I like to quote a statistic: 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years, but we only use a fraction of it. The second most common mistake in digital transformation and data maturation initiatives is failing to tap into relevant and available data.
First, determine what data you have in your organisation. You’re probably already collecting extensive data sets about your customers, products, supply chains, and other topics. Although information may be siloed, it can be organised and integrated to inform better decisions.
Second, look for external data sets to supplement your knowledge. You can incorporate publicly available data, such as census or weather information. IoT and digital data are also becoming more prominent, with the average cost of IoT sensors dropping significantly and the number of connected devices expected to increase 652 percent between 2015 and 2025. Open-source, proprietary, public, crowdsourced, cellphone, and mobility data, among other things, can be combined with your data to improve insights and create a competitive advantage.
For example, at my company, we’ve discovered that leaders in health care, parks and recreation, emergency response, and urban planning can all benefit from a mix of public and proprietary data. We’re specifically assisting them in using mobility and location intelligence to gain a more holistic understanding of their communities and better serve them.
Working with different types of data allows you to discover new insights that you would not have discovered otherwise because the information never existed together.
A successful digital transformation journey necessitates more than just data collection. To create a culture of data-driven decision-making, you need people with the right skills. That brings us to another common blunder: failing to invest in the skills and structures required to turn insights into actionable insights that are part of daily workflows.
Create a strategic data analytics capability to help your digital transformation efforts. This is accomplished by retaining analytics talent who can assist you in putting tools and technologies in place to increase your BI resources, define data governance, and create a roadmap for priority analytics investments.
If your goal is to reduce manual, redundant tasks, for example, you should invest in technologies that can automate processes, allowing people to devote more time to critical and creative thinking.
New technologies alter how employees work. Don’t underestimate the value of employee buy-in. If employees believe that new technology will disrupt their workflows rather than improve them, the technology’s success is unlikely.
Due to a lack of training, many businesses will purchase an expensive business intelligence tool but never fully utilise it. To avoid this blunder, put people at the centre of your digital transformation journey, bringing them into the conversation early and often. Communicate the benefits of new technologies and improved analytics to employees, and empower them to adopt new processes that will drive organisational success.
Organizations that learn how to use big data and combine it with modern technologies will be better positioned to achieve their objectives and make an impact.
Digital transformation initiatives, like any major organisational change, are not easy, but the benefits can be realised sooner than you think. You can take a big step toward making better, smarter, faster decisions for your organisation by investing in the right technology and creating a plan for leveraging new insights.
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