The rapid rate of technological innovation is changing how we live, work, and connect. It’s no surprise, then, that businesses are looking to digital transformation as the key to innovation, growth, and the discovery of new business opportunities. While it’s clear why digital transformation is important, however, how to get there is not so easily understood.
Constellation Research defines digital transformation as the methodology in which organizations transform and create new business models and culture with digital technologies. It’s about changing how you do business and engage with stakeholders—and then figuring out the technologies to support that vision. When these two are brought together, you get to digital transformation.
R “Ray” Wang, principal analyst, founder, and chairman of Constellation Research, identifies five technologies that are needed to be successful in digital transformation: mobile, social, big data and analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and the cloud. He says that the trend with the biggest impact on digital transformation has been the move to the cloud, because it “democratizes” access to technology.
“When we think about the cloud, it is an ultimate aggregation of not just compute power, not just storage, not just processing—we’re centralizing a lot of things in the cloud so that we can write it once and have multiple access points,” he says. “When you have democratization of access, it gives you so much opportunity to create new business models.”
For example, sales has access to better data and better information. As a result, salespeople can adapt team and collaborative selling techniques they couldn’t do before. Decisions are more democratic, and every sales rep can be productive. Indeed, digital transformation can revolutionize all aspects of an organization, from marketing and finance to IT and customer service.
5 factors for successful digital transformation
Wang lists five steps that can help organizations get to digital transformation:
- Understand your mission. Really think about what outcomes you are trying to achieve. What is that final brand promise? The reason this is important is because you have to understand your mission and what you’re trying to do to accomplish it.
- Build a culture of digital. A lot of time is spent talking about technology and business models—but how can a company “humanize” digital? Part of it is building a digital DNA and a culture of digital inside organizations.
- Remember—form follows function. Once you get those business models right, then you can think about the cool disruptive technologies. There’s the basic social, mobile, cloud, big data, and unified communications. Then there’s the other innovations such as IoT, cognitive, AI, robotics, or AR and VR.
- Move from gut-driven decisions to data-driven decisions. You can’t function without data, because data is the heart of digital businesses. And it’s about tapping into insights and taking advantage of these insights that help you differentiate.
- Encourage co-innovation and co-creation. You want to take advantage of P2P models that are already in place. You want to take advantage of network economies. You want to build a platform that even your competitors will build on top of.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 makes digital transformation possible
As Wang points out, cloud technology is critical to helping companies get to digital transformation. That’s where Microsoft Dynamics 365 comes in. It’s a new type of business application that breaks down the silos between CRM and ERP and provides both data and intelligence so you can capture new business opportunities.
Ready to take the first step to digital transformation? Turn to Trustantial. Our top priority is helping companies use technology to solve their most critical business problems, making them more efficient and profitable. We’re driven to help our customers achieve measurable results and reach their business goals. Contact us today to get started.