When I made the move from Telecom to Cisco in 2012, I would hear from CIO's constantly, how the network was everything to them. This is because all their critical applications and communications run over it and their business would be paralyzed if it went down.
Deliveries by drones. Self-driving cars. Technology is advancing faster than we ever could have imagined. We have entered a truly “smart” age that’s filled with smarter communications, smarter homes, and ever smarter lives. In order to keep up with the fast pace of technology, companies have to evolve. And evolution is at the root of going digital.
Here are five key reasons why companies of all sizes need to go digital:
1) Companies that don’t go digital by 2020 will not exist in a meaningful way in 10 years
It’s simple – if you don’t transform, you will lose your competitive advantage. Your competitors are new digital natives, 100-year-old companies, and anyone in between. In Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation, the authors write: “The elements of the digital world—software, hardware, networks, and data—are pervading the business world, and they’re doing so quickly, broadly, and deeply.” Companies that are winning are the ones using technology to their competitive advantage like “breaking some of the traditional paradoxes of operational excellence, helping you to build capabilities that improve efficiency and agility, power new customer engagements, and enable new business models—all while remaining largely hidden from your competitors.”
2) Companies that go digital make more $$$
3x more. – Look at Uber and Airbnb. They’re fully digital and fully automated. In fact, they don’t hold any inventory.
Companies like these have reconfigured delivery models to create new products and services that have reinvented entire industries. They use technology to change the way they do business—their customer engagements, internal operations, and even business models. Westerman, Bonnet, and McAfee, the authors of Leading Digital, put it this way: “To these companies, new technologies such as social media, mobility, and analytics are not goals to attain or signals to send their customers and investors. Companies with stronger digital capabilities are better at driving revenue with their physical assets.” If companies want to improve top line margin, they have to go digital, provide value and deliver positive business outcomes.
3) Transforming the customer experience is at the heart of digital transformation
Digital technologies are changing the game of customer interactions, with new rules and possibilities that were unimaginable only a few years back.
4) Automation is here to stay and organizations should welcome it
According to a 2016 World Economic Forum survey, an estimated 1.6 million manufacturing and production jobs will be replaced globally due to automation between 2015 and 2020. AI, if deployed correctly, has already been proven to boost productivity, create new employment opportunities for digital skills, and enable human talent to flourish. Food for thought – a digital workplace can improve employee focus and boost productivity by establishing new leadership targets and methods of measuring employee performance. It is guaranteed that your competition is either considering, executing or reaping the rewards of it already.
5) Digital is about moving fast and companies have to be agile to compete at a high level
By 2019, 74% of IT Operations will have embraced SDN (software defined networking). By 2020, people will be creating and storing data at a rate of 1.7mb’s per second. And the speed of everything is going to increase dramatically. Studies say companies that have embraced DevOps, release applications 200% more frequently than companies that haven’t. Think what this means in terms of competitive advantage.
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When I joined Level 3 in 1998, this commercial came out shortly after. Many people feel, including myself, that this is one of the most innovative commercials in the history of the dot com era that no-one knew about. When you think about, the internet was recently born as was Level 3 and everyone was beginning to get a feeling of the potential of the innovation that was about to take place. This commercial is still way ahead of it's time and I challenge you to play it for someone who's never seen it and ask them when they think it was created.