What are the digital transformation drivers that are external to the company and yet are making going digital a strategic imperative?   The digital transformation drivers span a variety of categories, and while their impact on each industry or company may vary, all these drivers in totality, are forcing companies to alter their strategic course. The digital transformation drivers, in turn, influence a company’s digital strategy and transformation roadmap.

Digital Transformation Drivers:

Mobility:

  • According to research estimates, there are over 2.3 billion smart phone users, and the mobility revolution is far from over as the penetration is still at less than 50%.
  • Due to the proliferation of smart phone and the smart phone usage across all interactions and transactions, companies have to think mobile first.
  • The landscape of application is shifting from random, siloed apps to interconnected and integrated local and remote apps and a smooth omnichannel experience.
  • As businesses and consumers make their smartphone a convenient informational and transactional tool, the opportunities for businesses expand exponentially.

 

Cloud Computing:

  • Cloud computing has changed the game with regards to availability, extensibility, deployment options, and time to market.
  • Given the competition among cloud providers, the costs are low, and the barrier to entry is now lower than ever.
  • No need to invest in idle hardware in anticipation of demand. Bandwidth, disc space, fault tolerance, failover – all come packaged for companies big and small.

Internet of Things:

  • The intelligent things connected to the internet are growing exponentially. According to research by Cisco and Gartner, somewhere between 26-50 billion devices are expected to be connected.
  • Presently, the dominant areas that are connected include hardware, software, connectivity, and location based services.
  • Combined with big data and analytics to make sense of the enormous data streams and the machine learning paradigm could revolutionize IoT as we know it.

Social Platforms:

  • There is social networking for every niche imaginable across work, play and life in general. The amount of time spent on social media platforms have overtaken the time spent on TV.  Today, with mobility in tow, consumers are gazing at their social media streams more than ever.
  • Companies have to listen to customers, who are influencing purchase decisions, including decision short-lists with reviews, ratings, rants, and raves.
  • It is imperative for brands to leverage social media as a real time marketing channel to gauge consumer perceptions and react, and at times proactively shape the opinion flow.

Big Data and Analytics:

  • The one significant impact of our connected world is the unfathomable amounts of data generated by creators and proliferated by many others. IDC estimates that by 2020, the global volume of data will exceed 40,000 exabytes or 40 trillion gigabytes of data.
  • Tools and technologies, particularly the concepts of data-as-a-service have made big data and analytics reachable by many companies.
  • Today, data not only aids knowledge and decisions but also could be a source of monetization.

Consumer Expectations:

  • Today, consumer expectations are driven by what they experience in other walks of life. The experience of using an Uber or an Airbnb or Netflix shapes the experience expectations of what they want from a bank, a department store, or an airline.
  • With the rise of smartphones and mobile commerce, consumers no longer consider omnichannel an innovation, but table stakes.
  • With the proliferation of choices, brand loyalty is changing to price loyalty, situational multi-vendor options, and seamless preference based fulfillment.

What other digital transformation drivers do you think are relevant to this discussion? Has your company started the digital transformation journey? If so, what are your internal and external factors?