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Business Is Not as Usual in the Age of #DigitalTransformation | @ThingsExpo #IoT #M2M #Cloud

Enterprises must wake-up and transform themselves

Business Is Not as Usual in the Age of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation typically begins as low cost POCs (proof of concepts), that evolve into mission critical corporate initiatives as positive results, consumer demands and market trends converge.  Digital transformation becomes mission critical when consumers vote with their money to accept the digital replacements for physical products, services and processes.

Last month a regional retail book and entertainment chain, Hastings, filed for bankruptcy.  CFO Duane Huesers blamed "a decline in the market for "physical media properties" like music, movies, books, games and media rentals."  Hastings joins chains like Blockbuster, Borders Group and Tower Records that went out of business as a result of not making the transition to digital fast enough.  The strange part of this story is that Hastings never changed.  Faced with overwhelming evidence, market trend data and their own sales data that showed consumers were moving to Netflix, Amazon and streaming music, they simply could not take the steps to change.

Enterprises must wake-up and transform themselves.  They must jettison the heavy baggage that comes as a result of decades of institutionalized practices and methodologies developed and codified in an analog era - an era operating at a far slower operational tempo designed around the movement of physical objects.  The good news is when enterprises choose to digitally transform, the ROIs (return on investments) are typically compelling.  Nearly 30% of the firms we recenlty surveyed reported an ROI greater than 100%.

Where do enterprises start with digital transformation?  Modern western militaries have been engaged in digital transformation for several decades now and we can learn a lot from their experiences. Their efforts involved rethinking strategies, tactics, doctrines and changing budget priorities, organizational structures, technologies and more. They recognized the need to change and become faster, agile, efficient and precise by embracing digital to succeed in their missions.  They replaced mass with precision, and a reliance on physical (paper), with connected digital (mobile devices) equipment.

In the world of real-time precision introduced by mobile devices, IoT and sensors, data takes on a whole new level of importance.  In fact, executives in our survey believe big data and business analytics will have the biggest business impact of all technologies on businesses from years 2020-2025.  The winners in digital transformation will commit to developing in seven key areas at a pace sufficent to provide competitive advantages:

  1. Becoming a data-centered business
  2. Developing and implementing an OILS (optimized information logistics systems)
  3. Achieving real-time business operational tempos
  4. Implementing intelligent process automation using artificial intelligence and machine learning
  5. Ensuring a shared situational awareness through the use of collaboration platforms
  6. Utilizing real-time contextually relevant data to personalize digital experiences
  7. Redesigning and re-architecting to become a digitally agile business

Mobile networks and devices are now ubiquitous in most regions of the world.  Low costs mobile phones and service plans proliferate, and these are changing banking, commerce and global communications.  They are even shaping global economies and politics.  All of these activities are generating massive volumes of new data. Information is now available to people anywhere, and at anytime as long as they have connectivity to the Internet.  Information can be searched for, saved in our second brains in the form of cloud storage, and monitored by our third eye, a digital eye that provides perception beyond ordinary sight in the form of alerts, news updates, notifications, tweets, messages etc., 24 hours a day.  There is no such thing as business as usual in the age of digital transformation.

Follow Kevin Benedict on Twitter @krbenedict, or read more of his articles on digital transformation strategies here:

  1. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  2. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  3. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  4. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  5. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  6. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  7. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  8. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  9. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  10. The Advantages of Advantage in Digital Transformation
  11. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  12. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  13. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  14. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  15. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  16. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time

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Kevin Benedict
Senior Analyst, Center for the Future of Work, Cognizant Writer, Speaker and World Traveler
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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Kevin Benedict is an opinionated futurist, Principal Analyst at the Center for Digital Intelligence™, C4DIGI.com, emerging technologies analyst, and digital transformation and business strategy consultant. In the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries, and is a keynote speaker at conferences worldwide. He spent nearly 5 years working as a Senior Analyst at Cognizant (CTSH), and 2 years serving in Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work where he wrote many reports, hundreds of articles, interviewed technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries. He has written articles published in The Guardian, wrote the Forward to SAP Press' book titled "Mobilizing Your Enterprise with SAP", published over 3,000 articles and was featured as thought leader and digital strategist in the Department of Defense's IQT intelligence journal. Kevin lectures and leads workshops, teaches and consults with companies and government agencies around the world to help develop digital transformation and business strategies. Visit his website at C4DIGI.com.