What is digital transformation?
Digital transformation is a concept that has consumed the business world for some time now. But after all of these years you may still struggle to know what, exactly, it means. That’s because what digital transformation is for one company may not be what it is for another. Digital transformation means seeing the process as a full business transformation, rather than just digital adoption. While almost all digital transformations require companies to adopt new technologies, that alone does not cover it. Digital transformation must be a top-to-bottom, core-to-edge overhaul of how your company conducts business, leading to improvements in your business culture and your overall customer service experience.
Why you need digital business transformation
In 1994, the internet age was dawning and digital-only businesses like Amazon.com were emerging. When Amazon.com opened for business, it quickly shook up the book-selling industry. Their competitors had to figure out how to adapt to a similar business model or risk becoming obsolete. What was once a purely brick-and-mortar experience became, almost exclusively, an e-commerce solution. Around the world similar start-ups and digitally agile competitors have shaken up their respective industries, forcing others to change or lose relevancy.
Another disruptor has been technology itself. As technology continues to evolve at an exponential rate, experts predict that major changes will continue to occur at a rapid pace. For instance, 4G LTE vastly improved network capabilities in 2014 and now 5G is poised to revolutionize the world. Gartner forecasts that 14.2 billion connected things will be in use in 2019, and that the total will reach 25 billion by 2021.1 Now’s the time to ensure you have the network capability, flexibility, and agility to adapt and transform for what’s coming just around the bend.
Setting top digital transformation priorities
The more proactive you are about digital transformation, the greater advantage you’ll have over slower-to-adapt competitors. For you, it might mean incorporating technology like artificial intelligence and cloud services to power your operation. Others might require seamless connections between channels and enhanced mobility solutions. What you need for a successful transformation will depend on your business, your industry, your workforce, and most importantly, your customers.
Five Pillars of Digital Transformation
Building a strong work culture is the first step toward transformation. Then, you need to create a future-ready environment that enables a nimble workforce. We’ve identified five pillars of digital transformation that you need to make a smooth transition.
Connect the critical parts of your business
Digital transformation starts at the network level because your network is the backbone of your business. Seventy percent of executives believe that networking capabilities underpin digital transformation initiatives.2 The 5G networks of the future will help you become innovative in ways you never thought possible. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) can help you automate and simplify your network to quickly respond to change. Learn more about managed network services.
Accelerate the digital workplace
Your people are the hands and feet of your organization. It’s important to give your employees the tools they need, while also clearing away obstacles that could inhibit productivity and collaboration. Mobile-first solutions can empower employees to connect with customers whenever they need to, virtually anywhere. Deliver applications quickly and securely so everyone can keep moving. Enhance workforce mobility and productivity with Mobile Business Solutions.
Secure your enterprise
As you move further into the digital realm, you expose your company and data to those looking to steal it. It’s important that you secure every step of your digital transformation journey. Your organization must build a security plan, pressure test it, and augment it. This means applying a zero-trust approach, having keen threat visibility, and regularly assessing your infrastructure and policies. Learn more about how you can keep a lockdown on your data.
Measure and improve your operations
Your business has probably changed a lot over the years, and that change will never stop. Knowing how it should change tomorrow starts with preparing and innovating today. That starts with getting a grasp on your data. Remotely tracking assets and capturing critical business analytics can provide insight into how you may need to adapt and grow. Use technology like Internet of Things to gain near real-time intelligence so you can better manage your full application stack.
Enable employees to better serve customers
As technological advancements increase, so do customer expectations. The goal is to create a seamless, omnichannel customer experience that allows you to connect when and where your customer prefers. This starts with giving your employees the tools they need, such as a cloud-based contact center platform and unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) solutions. Learn more about customer services experiences.
Digital Transformation Challenges
While there’s widespread awareness that digital transformation for enterprises is critical to building competitive advantage, there are still barriers to overcome. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your digital transformation. These initiatives can be difficult to implement quickly, especially if you have many different stakeholders to engage and processes to remake. Transformation initiatives can lose momentum if not properly managed, causing them to fall short of delivering the intended value. That’s why you need a partner you can trust who has the expertise and experience to ably guide you through the process.
How Verizon can help
Strong partnerships and the right support can help you make your business digital ready for transformation. At Verizon, we’ve helped companies of all sizes and around the world to overcome the barriers to digital transformation. We engineer solutions that can empower your enterprise to do more, helping you increase efficiency and improve customer experience. With us by your side, you can reap the many benefits of digital transformation.
Check out our decision-maker’s guide to successful digital transformation to learn how we help organizations, just like yours, get ready for what changes lie ahead.
1Gartner Identifies Top 10 Strategic IoT Technologies and Trends; https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2018-11-07-gartner-identifies-top-10-strategic-iot-technologies-and-trends; November, 2018
2IDC White Paper, sponsored by Verizon, Digital Transformation: Discover the Right Path to Avoid Hype and Disappointment, September 2018