Digital Transformation Is Now a Necessary Strategy

July 6, 2021  |  Mark Hillary

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a focus on digital transformation. One look at Google Trends easily demonstrates how this topic has grown in importance over the past year or so. Some companies were forced to pivot quickly because of the pandemic – it prevented normal business activities and therefore immediate change was essential.

But many others are now exploring how to change and improve by accelerating all those plans and discussions around what might be nice “if we have the time.” It’s an exciting time because not only are so many companies exploring how technology can improve their business, but so many new technologies are emerging and being adopted by enterprises.

Regardless of industry, it will be difficult to ignore this wave of change. There will be many new market entrants in areas such as banking and finance because of how technology allows them to offer services via apps – rather than a traditional banking network with branches in every major town. Some industries will be entirely reshaped – look at how the auto industry is exploring the idea of a car as a service, rather than just focusing on selling more units.

There are too many trends to effectively summarize where transformation will take place first, but I believe these five are critical and all executives need to be aware of how their business may be transformed by them:

Internet of Things (IoT):

sensors are everywhere now and offer the ability to improve how a property or industrial plants are managed or the option to create digital twins, so maintenance costs can be reduced and resources targeted more accurately.

Cloud:

nobody buys software and installs a CD on their computer now. We all just pay for software as it is used, with services delivered online from the cloud. This concept is being applied across more and more services, but the ‘as a service’ concept is entirely driven by cloud computing.

Artificial Intelligence (AI):

this is transforming how brands interact with their customers. AI and Machine Learning are allowing companies to study their customer behavior in more detail, to spot trends and even predict future behavior.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA):

the use of robot agents to automate processes has matured in recent years and I believe this trend will continue to penetrate all industries, leading to the point where RPA skills become common digital literacy – like knowing how to write an email today.

Resilience:

although not strictly one single subject this combines cloud systems, information security, and business processes to create a more flexible and resilient organization capable of continuing to operate even during challenging situations – such as a global pandemic.

As indicated by the final point, there may be a need to combine several different technical areas to create transformation. However, the point is that this can no longer be avoided. Transformation is no longer a desirable future state. It is now essential for long-term survival. No company can afford to wait for the next pandemic to arrive without any plan for remote working and other resilience measures.

Read more latest blogs about digital transformation and RPA in particular: Becoming Strategic with RPA or discover Can RPA Break Free of the Hype Cycle?

Our blog How The IoT Creates A Need For Digital Twins is a must-read for engineers. The digital twin is about to go mainstream.

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