Building a Digital Transformation Roadmap

Digital Transformation: What is It Why is It Needed?

What is Digital Transformation?

Looking at how enterprises adopted technology evolution, you will notice that, until recently, enterprises just needed to focus a single or a few distinct improvements to gain or keep a competitive advantage. Currently, with rapidly-evolving technologies in parallel, enterprises require a complete and consistent approach to effectively exploit the evolution.

According to i-scoop, digital transformation is the profound transformation of business processes, activities, models and competencies to fully leverage the opportunities of technology to increase performance.

An enterprise should be able to adapt currently trendy technologies such as:

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning,
  • Bots or recommender systems,
  • Big data analytics,
  • Composite applications running in several systems

Furthermore, their applications may use integrated data (both structured and unstructured) and endpoint devices such as mobile phones, tablets, sensors, or automation counters. Digital transformation is all the steps required to utilize such technology.

Why Transform?

While technology evolves, people adopt the new digital technologies in to their ever-changing needs and habits. Attempts to reshape the market then follow this change in the marketplace. To keep or gain a competitive advantage, companies must be effectively agile to the evolving technology and digitize how they do business.

Although this is a cross-industry behavior, not all industries are equally vulnerable, with retail, technology, media and entertainment, finance and telecoms being the most vulnerable:

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There are three major demands that drive the need to digitize business processes: customers, competition -with competition unable to satisfy customer digital service demands-, and employees who need a more flexible working environment.

According to recent surveys, the IDC predicts that digital transformation budgets increased from $14.4 billion in 2014 to $50.1 billion in 2020, and is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by the end of 2019, starting with connected devices.

Elements of A Digital Transformation Roadmap

How to Transform?

You should take the following characteristics into account when modeling and standardizing a digital transformation project:

  • Digital transformation is a continuous “journey” and not a one-time project. It usually starts with small “quick wins” projects and then expands to companies effectively adjusting to the technology evolution.
  • Not all industries have equal needs in order to proceed. The media and entertainment industry must digitize more areas than energy industry.
  • Not all companies start from the same point. For example, companies with an ERP or CRM system are more digitally mature than those that do not.
  • Digital transformation, as any project, requires senior management commitment and proper funding

What to Transform?

Digital transformation focuses on sales and marketing along with operations performance. This may also make your organization’s business model feasible and effective:

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Business Model Transformation

Digital transformation does not change how a company uses technology. It just changes how to do business with technology.

New digital business characteristics may include:

  • New digital products attached to physical ones
  • New supply chain and sales platforms
  • New distribution channels for promoting and delivering products
  • New customer communication means and endpoints
  • Cross-functional collaboration
  • Digital collaboration means and ability to work anytime and in any place (business globalization)
  • Reshaped organization boundaries with new digital partnerships and collaborations

Sales and Marketing Performance

Sales and marketing functions always pioneeredthe adoptation of new technologies, because more of 70% of customers put high pressure to companies to adopt new technologies.

Currently technology realities, such machine learning and artificial intelligence with advanced analytics,help marketing and sales team simprove their customer experience.

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Operational Performance

 

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Operations, starting from production and maintenance up to finance, IT, and procurement, are the most adapted functions regarding technology.

  • - Finance functions use financial applications such as accounting systems and enterprise ERPs
  • Artificial intelligence applications were first developed for Production areas (expert systems)
Current operations with highly digitized improvements:

 

Technologies and Digital Potential

 

 

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Below are the main technologies that support digital transformation

Infrastructure Platform

Cloud-based platforms provide the necessary infrastructure to make digital transformation projects financially feasible and accessible. Transformation elements -such as predictive analytics or machine learning- require high computational resources and subsequently high IT investments to be effective. Cloud solutions offers these resources as services and thus requireno initial investment. Furthermore,web-based solutions provide flexibility, accessibility, and manageability for end users.

Application and Data Integration

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Integration is the key factor in digital transformation. Applications may run on different platforms and use different technologies and data. Integration should turn them into a composite application that can reference the superset of data. Furthermore, it must be easily adjustable and provide monitoring and administration capabilities.

A cloud-based, middleware solution, based on enterprise service bus architecture, such as Dell Boomi, can govern and manage this application and data integration, providing the required low code development, monitoring, and ease of adjustments.

Using SFDC as Master Application or Process Initiator

Usually an ERP or CRM system serves as the “master” application, containing and governing the superset of data and services. Because of this, a sales and customer performance CRM, such as salesforce.com, should be aware of all customer related information, regardless of the source. This requires initial data migration and establishing the subsequent update flows.

End-User Environment

The end user should be able to interact with the environment anytime and anywhere. Except for connectivity, this creates certain technology requirements such as:

  • Cross-channel information and functionality that is strongly related with content management systems such as hubspot.com
  • Email and collaborations providing virtual offices and knowledge forums,
  • Tools such as video conference, chat, and hangouts that form a “virtual mobile office”

Although end user services are not directly related to the offered upgraded services, digital transformation may “showcase” them through a company’s digital store, thus increasing the value of the company’s products. For example, Google.com provides the necessary tools to assure all end user functionalities

Content Management

Hubspot.com provides ease of development and implementation solutions, along with cross-channel functionalities and other content management capabilities.

Composite Application Management

Agilepoint provides frameworks for monitoring, managing, and evaluating processes based on their interfaces and running systems, along with end user intervention such as approvals.

Big Data Analytics, Advanced BI Reporting

Analytics should adequately interpret user intent and subsequently pass the results to advanced marketing tools. Analytics modules require consolidated and clean master data. Advanced decision supporting systems, such as scorecard and dashboards,provide high picture information with KPI figures.

AI and Machine Learning Modules

Artificial intelligence systems, such as chatbots, may provide enhanced and fast 1st level support to end users, or may accelerate the production process by automating tasks. Machine learning modules exploit big data innovations to apply statistical models to a set of data. Advanced marketing techniques, such as predictive lead scoring and account-based marketing, then use these models are their sources. Salesforce.com Einstein provides an environment for modeling and implementing such scenarios.

Conclusion

Today, most companies acknowledge that they must digitally transform to survive, and that they should initiate a relevant project in the short term. Companies also need application and data integration, advanced analytics, and artificial intelligence, along with strongly committed management,to achieve the optimum ROI and to ensure the success of their digital transformation project. Cetrix cloud services is a proven, effective, and reliable solution service provider for enhancing customer experience and boosting sales & marketing performance. Strong partnerships with DX industry leaders, along with cloud orientation and effective project management, provides the necessary guarantees for successful project completion.

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