Competing effectively in a digital economy
Unify Issue 4
In industry and in business, real technological game changers haven’t come along that often. Iron and steel, steam, electricity, mechanisation, telephony, computers, automation, mobility and the Internet are arguably the major milestones.
To that list we must now add digital transformation: the integration of contemporary digital technologies across every area of a business – regardless of size – driving fundamental change in the way it operates, communicates and manages relationships with its customers, partners and suppliers.
So profound is it that analysts are calling it Business 4.0 or the fourth industrial revolution.
Many believe it will do for business what the cloud did for IT.
Thanks to technology, the power balance within the purchasing cycle has shifted. Customers now drive the conversation, while suppliers are left to cater to their rising demands. The result is that all businesses have had to rethink their digital strategies in order to meet customer expectations. The game has changed, and business communications must change with it.
To find out how organisations are coping with these pressures, Gamma surveyed 407 IT decision makers about their experiences on the field of digital change.
As it turns out, they’re experiencing real, tangible benefits. While the main driver for digital transformation has been meeting consumer expectation, the results have instead been a boost in operational efficiency as well as sales.
It’s little wonder then that an overwhelming 78% of respondents would prefer if the pace of digital transformation in their organisation was faster.
But before technology can transform, management must transform first. IT leaders and the wider C-suite must be on the same page if they are to embark on the same journey. You can download a copy of Gamma’s Digital Transformation Report from: www.gamma.co.uk/transformation-game
But rather than a purely technological transformation, it is a business transformation too. A change in thinking and culture at the very heart of the organisation. Requiring companies to question how they currently operate and to test and deliver new ways of working, new businesses processes, adopt new mindsets. Moving from a product-centric to a customercentric philosophy.
It portends a time when as much as one third of a business’ value will be digitally derived. And already company boards are taking notice with CIOs looking to define and implement digital transformation agendas before the competition beats them to the punch.
At root digital transformation is about creating smart, customerfocused companies through a combination of flexible and open IT systems, APIs and intelligent devices brought together by high capacity communications services.
Gamma is already working with many large enterprises on their digital transformation strategies, supporting their virtualisation, cloud computing and telephony initiatives, and giving them a communications infrastructure on which to explore and develop further innovation and even greater levels of flexibility.
Most organisations now recognise that digital transformation is crucial to competing in the digital age. As a recent poll by Gamma shows, 87% of the more than 400 companies taking part have already begun transformation projects, with more than three quarters of those wishing they’d started sooner.
The reported benefits of digital transformation are a powerful incentive. Gamma’s research points to increased efficiency of business processes, improved customer satisfaction, better revenue growth and significantly lower IT costs.
Customers have led 60% of organisations to up their digital game
But increasingly it is customer expectation that is leading companies into digital transformation. The Gamma study reveals that the changing demands of customers have led 60% of organisations to up their digital game, while 57% saw it as a way of increasing business performance.
Putting communications first Truly seamless interaction with customers, partners and suppliers is paramount in digital transformation, with all channels of communication playing a part. While email, messaging and social media all have a part to play, Gamma’s research shows that for most organisations – and certainly for their customers – voice still remains pre-eminent.
Yet nearly three quarters of those contributing to the research felt their companies were not making best use of voice and, worse still, the larger business community was gradually losing the art of conversation.
Equally surprising, in a world of digital, cloud and converged communications many firms still rely on traditional hardware PBX-centric voice infrastructures. A switch to an alternative technology – say cloud voice – would be a relatively painless, yet valuable first step towards larger overall digital transformation.