National Principal Architect
Digital transformation—or perhaps better stated as digital business transformation—is top of mind for every CEO. And it should be. Transforming organizations through technology innovation, digital business processes, and tightly integrated value and supply chains is essential in order to drive growth and lower costs. In fact, according to IDC predictions, two-thirds of Global 2000 CEOs will put digital transformation at the center of their growth and profitability strategies in the next two years.1 

But it’s not just the Global 2000 that are affected. Every business, regardless of size or industry, is impacted by digital transformation and must adapt or risk being left behind. It’s a fact that the pace of technology change today has never been faster. As IT leaders, we are well aware of how disruptive new technology can be within our organizations—and that’s not even considering some of the noted technology “disruptors” we’ve seen pop up in recent years, turning entire industries and business models obsolete nearly overnight.

While the topic of digital transformation is not new, there is a new sense of urgency. Our business ecosystems expect it. Our customers demand it. Competitive advantage, customer experience, and brand differentiation are severely affected by the lack of it. Without question, it has reached the point where succeeding in the marketplace—regardless of industry—depends on digital transformation. According to Forrester, businesses have a lot at stake in 2016 and mastering digital is among their list of top 10 critical success factors that will determine who wins and who fails in the age of the customer.2

Much More on the Horizon

As technology professionals, we’re accustomed to disruption. You could say it’s our job. Especially when you consider that it’s our responsibility to evaluate technological innovations in the marketplace, to set strategic direction for IT, and to implement technology solutions that lead to improved business outcomes for our organizations. Nothing about that description says “status quo” in my mind.

But given the speed of disruption in the marketplace, keeping pace with change and preparing our organizations accordingly are difficult. And there is so much more to come. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow exponentially, allowing more IT and non-IT objects to be sensed and controlled increasing the integration between the physical and digital world. And the emergence of what Gartner refers to as the “digital mesh”—the ongoing blending of the physical and virtual world through digital technology—is putting more and more pressure on us to transform our organizations.3

Regardless of Where You Are Now

Digital transformation is a complicated voyage. Some organizations have begun their digital transformation journey, but most have a long way to go or have not even begun. Breaking down organizational silos, establishing common platforms, integrating data and processes, and changing the way business is done involves people, processes, and technology. And no true transformation will occur without a balanced approach to all three.

No matter where you are today in your digital transformation journey, here are five steps you can take that will help you position IT as a digital business enabler:

  1. Establish a cloud strategy and execute it. Digital transformation depends on a successful cloud strategy.
  2. Assimilate with other Lines of Business (LOBs) to connect with business drivers, to understand business processes outside of IT, and to align technology decisions with customer experience. Digital transformation involves implementing the capability to engage customers the way they want to be engaged and anticipating their wants and needs before they are even aware of those needs themselves.
  3. Refine your communication and collaboration capabilities. Both innovation and efficiency rely on breaking down barriers, connecting talent across the enterprise, and collaborating to cultivate and develop ideas. Leverage Unified Communications and Collaboration tools to transform the way you communicate internally and externally.
  4. Leverage the full capability of the technology you have. Review your technology investments and make sure you’re consuming the features of the products you have already implemented. And make sure those capabilities are linked to business outcomes.
  5. Ensure that all technology decisions you make—including products and services purchased as well as designs selected—are not overly complex, are easy to manage, and integrate with other applications. And ensure social, mobile, and analytics capability are factored into every new technology decision.
At ePlus, helping organizations navigate their digital transformation is what we do. Through our master architects, engineers, and consultants, we help our clients to see what is possible and then help them get there.

For more information on how ePlus can help you navigate your digital transformation, email us at tech@eplus.com

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