Getting your enterprise ready: A roadmap to digital empowerment

What makes a business ready for the future?

Is it an efficient operating model? Reliable connectivity? Today’s most innovative organizations understand that readiness is not determined by any one thing at any one time.

All teams need tools that allow them to innovate freely. They need sophisticated defenses that help neutralize threats before they become serious. Sensors and software should not only collect and analyze data, but help forecast and operationalize decision-making. Customer service needs to be frictionless, memorable and secure — over and over again.

Readiness is fluid, and creating it is a project that far-sighted enterprises never finish. They do, however, start somewhere.

By one recent study, 68% of surveyed businesses said their digital transformation efforts have yielded positive ROI.1 But while companies recognize the case for digital transformation, its value goes beyond a one-time expenditure. Treating digital transformation as a continuous journey helps leadership not only drive change within their enterprises, but also across their entire industry.

By Gartner’s estimates for endpoint installed base, 4.82 billion connected things were in use in 2019, and that total is expected to reach 9.25 billion by 2023.2 With so many points of connection, and with 5G’s unprecedented network speed and throughput, new business models will take flight, new customer experiences will emerge and new threats will proliferate alongside them. The task is to look at your organization and envision where you want to be in five or 10 years, and ensure you are laying the foundation to get there. Getting ready is not a “someday” task. It is today’s.

Technology providers tend to forget that getting ready requires different tactics from different enterprises. Few providers can make all the digital pieces of your business talk to one another. And with the advent of 5G Ultra Wideband, the business imperative to innovate will only accelerate.

Organizations of all sizes need to keep up with the breathtaking pace of change. Today, readiness touches every part of your enterprise, at every millisecond. Preparing for an always-on business environment is complicated, but with the right roadmap and partner, deep, meaningful digital transformation is possible, and can be a major competitive advantage. Organizations can feel they not only can keep up with, but outpace, the changes, challenges and competition to come.

In this whitepaper you will learn…

  • Why continuous digital transformation is critical for enterprise success

  • How digital-savvy organizations approach getting ready

  • Why digital transformation is a play in five acts

  • Why your organization must prepare for 5G

  • The next steps in your digital journey
     

The rationale for ready

The case for digital transformation emerges from profound shifts in corporate practice and society at large.

Intelligence on the move

The mobile digital workforce is exploding. In 2018, 70% of global employees worked remotely at least one day a week,3 and by 2023, it is estimated that 43.3% of the global workforce will be mobile.4 As more team members and contractors log on remotely, a growing percentage of CIOs’ waking hours will be spent trying to keep sensitive, proprietary information secure.

Cloud migration

Additionally, enterprises are migrating from inefficient data centers to the cloud. By some estimates 84% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy.5 Such shifts indicate a growing level of comfort with offsite storage solutions, but with adoption comes risk.

Security

To bad actors, an explosion in the points of digital connection represents an explosion in opportunities. With distributed applications spreading across digital ecosystems, the surface area for cyber attacks is growing. In its latest Data Breach Investigations Report, Verizon analyzed 41,686 security incidents, of which 2,013 were confirmed data breaches spanning 86 countries.Poorly configured servers practically invite bad actors inside.

Customer experience (CX)

Customers, too, are demanding more advanced experiences from the companies they support. By one study 56% of customers actively sought to buy from the most innovative companies, and a full 80% of customers said the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.7

Fortunately, technologies are now widely available to innovate and develop new business models. Enterprises should be looking at digital solutions that allow them to grow and stretch to achieve things they never could before. Again, it’s not whether these shifts are coming, but whether you’re ready for them.

Approaching ready

Organizations that successfully tackle the essential work of digital transformation view their enterprises through three lenses: Connection, Protection and Customer Experience.

Connect

Being ready to connect goes beyond Wi-Fi and wide area networks (WANs). It’s a contextual reset around what it means to meet the world beyond your walls — both physical and virtual. Whether you’re migrating your databases to the cloud or exploring how mobile edge computing can help power new, immersive customer experiences, being ready to connect is being ready to react.

Protect

Readiness to protect is top of mind across the C-suite. In a telling shift, CEOs increasingly hold direct budgetary oversight over cybersecurity spending, rather than CIOs.8 Enterprises have realized — at times painfully — that the reputational hazard of a data breach is far too great for security to be treated as just a line item on a budget. The breakneck pace of the digital economy requires organizations to think about securing their enterprises in bold new ways that extend far beyond the firewall.

Customers

Being ready for customers is perhaps the most challenging and exciting work of all. Offering a valuable service is table stakes. Taking that service to market with a strategy backed by sound, actionable intelligence — and with the ability to adjust both the strategy and even the offering in near-real time — will separate the innovators from the imitators. And when organizations harness the power of 5G, opportunities for CX differentiation will expand exponentially. 

5G is more than the next generation of wireless connectivity. It’s the seed of a revolution with the potential to transform both society and numerous industries in remarkable ways. From augmented and virtual reality to self-driving cars, remote telemedicine to a fully realized Internet of Things, the viability of these life-changing technologies will depend on the ultra-low latency and lightning-fast speeds of 5G. Its wide-scale adoption should upend old business models and drive previously unimaginable innovations. The doors that 5G is expected to open for businesses and customers are predicted to be so profound that this network technology has been called the key ingredient for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The power to act

In anticipation of this massive digital shift, leadership must start questioning their enterprises through the lenses of Connection, Protection and Customer Experience. Only then will they be prepared to start asking some challenging but tantalizing questions of their organizations. 

How might you rethink your supply chain if fleet telematics could help speed goods to market? How might your CX strategy evolve if you could serve up targeted promotions in mixed reality, quickly and efficiently? How might a well-deployed army of sensors connected through the Internet of Things (IoT) unlock new paths to fulfillment and procurement?

Anyone can consider these questions, but not everyone is prepared to act on them. That’s why digital transformation must be treated as a strategic journey, with clearly defined steps, states and milestones. Being ready means having the right insights — and the right partner — to help you strengthen operations, deepen customer relationships and safeguard your position.

The five states of ready

  • Start

    Organizations of all sizes identify new initiatives and partners that will put them on the path to transformation.

  • Adapt

    IT grows more agile and efficient, fueling improvement at every level.

     

  • Elevate

    Data captured at scale starts powering decisions that drive better outcomes.

  • Innovate

    Real-time insights lead to more nimble, adaptable organizations.

  • Disrupt

    The latest technologies help organizations design truly original experiences.

Ready to start

The first step of digital transformation is to start—but where?

Migrating from copper wireline to fiber is just the first step for enterprises at this state. The second is migrating data to the cloud, where software-defined networking in a wide area network, or SD WAN, can bring together distant and disparate assets more efficiently. Since management is centralized, orchestration of an entire network is easier — from provisioning to maintenance to upgrades.

The rise of cloud and mobile technologies, however, is driving the demand for a better-performing WAN. As your organization races to deliver experiences to more people in more places on more devices, the need for bandwidth on demand is skyrocketing. Traditional WANs — typically built on aging protocols, rigid routes and racks of hardware-intensive appliances — are simply not flexible enough to keep up.

An SD WAN solution helps enterprises quickly connect their people to the data they need, when and where they need it — while keeping OPEX and CAPEX in check.

The takeaway is that legacy businesses must shift, quickly and carefully, to using cloud-based apps and services.
 

Solution spotlight

Enterprises with a digital transformation strategy need the right connectivity at the right time, and LTE Business Internet brings it right out of the box. For teams looking to maximize their budgets and catapult their digital capabilities, Comprehensive Hybrid Connectivity provides a highly agile and programmable connected platform comprised of trusted and reliable MPLS; public internet; and ethernet services interconnected by SD-WAN and secured through mobile secure gateway. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all digital transformation toolkit, but a hybrid connectivity platform comes close.

Key questions to ask your enterprise:

  1. Are you using the right digital technology to give you an edge?
  2. What gaps or inefficiencies could you tackle digitally?
  3. How are you outpacing digital security threats?
  4. How secure are the mobile devices being used by your enterprise for critical data and activities?
  5. Could you improve customer experiences with new digital tools?   

Ready to adapt

This is the kind of behind-the-scenes work that may never be noticed by customers — and that is precisely the point.

The changes at this stage help enterprises make their IT more agile and efficient, driving value at every level of the business.

With an SD WAN in place, your teams shouldn’t be burdened with ongoing network maintenance. A suite of Managed Network Services can help your network adapt on the fly to changing service levels and bandwidth demands using software-defined policies. Layering on top a smart suite of WAN optimization services can help improve the performance of the most demanding apps, whether in-house, externally hosted or in the cloud.
 

Solution spotlight

Adaptation requires clear lines of communication. A cloud-based video conferencing platform like BlueJeans can help enterprises work more effectively and securely with distributed teams. Whether it’s mobile collaboration among field-based employees, remote learning or development breakout sessions, BlueJeans can change the way enterprises conduct business — both internally and with clients. It’s a natural complement to One Talk, a mobile-first solution that enables businesses to receive, route and redirect calls across multiple compatible devices. One Talk can help power entirely new mobile business models, from curbside services to radically enhanced field collaboration.

Ready to elevate

Technology can radically enhance business interactions at this stage, both internally and with end-users and customers.
 
For enterprises that must consider supply chains and shipping logistics, a next-generation fleet telematics solution can drive better efficiency, increased productivity and improved safety for vehicles and drivers. Sophisticated telematics can help produce significant efficiencies at the pump and on the road.
 
For retailers, manufacturers and suppliers, establishing a secure chain of custody is crucial to combatting wastage, limiting costly write-downs and delivering products to customers on time and in good condition. A truly intelligent supply chain is one that reduces blind spots at every plot point and accounts for every set of hands the inventory passes through along the way. Insight from IoT sensors can capture crucial data, powering decisions that drive more on-time deliveries and more efficient shipping schedules, and with 5G-powered computer vision, these processes can become even more precise and scalable.

Solution spotlight

At this state, securing operations becomes critical — especially when employees are distributed and business is happening via diverse platforms: across the enterprise, in the cloud and through the Internet of Things (IoT). Even the most advanced IT departments may not discover a data breach for months, when the damage is already done. An end-to-end security as a service (SaaS) solution like Managed Detection and Response can identify and alert clients to security threats, and help mitigate against potentially catastrophic damage.

Ready to innovate

This goes beyond operations to deploying value-added, innovative solutions that will drive your business forward.

As their enterprise evolves and as they move along their journey, leadership will be better equipped to determine what their customer values most, and orient their digital transformation around that north star.
 
Increasingly, category leadership will be determined not by how well an organization reacts to customers’ needs, but how well it anticipates and addresses them before they’re even expressed. Without the proper artificial intelligence (AI), data mapping and machine learning, a well-meaning team may create more problems than they solve.

An intelligent chatbot such as Virtual Agent uses natural language processing to better address inquiries and enable consistent, personalized conversations between brand and client. Similarly, tools like Knowledge Assist further use AI to empower contact center agents with accurate, relevant information in real time, while Social Engagement employs trend analysis software to harness the power of social and inform brand strategy. Ultimately, these and other Verizon CX solutions help you deliver an improved digital customer experience without sacrificing a critical human touch.

Solution spotlight

Like few technologies before it, 5G will fundamentally change what is possible in business. Lower latency and faster throughput will give rise to applications and services that turn real-time data into real-time intelligence. From AR and VR to increased mobile connectivity, the power of 5G will not only help companies dream bigger, but will radically improve enterprise business outcomes which will, in turn, create unforgettable customer experiences that will catapulte visionary businesses to the forefront of their industries.
 

Ready to disrupt

Enterprises at this stage will begin to adopt the latest technologies to design truly revolutionary experiences.

For these organizations, feeling ready is a false summit. The objective at this state is to both defend and disrupt.

As 5G paves the way for an all-new era of business, new tools like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) can become more accessible to organizations of all sizes, changing the way they approach everything from forecasting to inventory management. In retail settings, an employee could scan the stockroom without leaving the sales floor, or a customer could call up advanced product information on the fly. Immersive experiences could help blur the lines of physical and digital retail by creating lifelike interactions for home shoppers, whether that’s a personal stylist surveying a closet to make recommendations or a skilled expert assisting with the set-up of a smart appliance.

In other industries, AR and VR may streamline employee training, modernize record keeping and supercharge robotics applications from the manufacturing stage to shipping. Across the board, donning an AR headset could fundamentally change the way you view your operations. 

Customer service will be poised to reach new levels, from uniquely tailored promotions and recommendations to virtual assistants that react to emotions and infer intent. And in a 5G-powered business environment, CX solutions will provide unique client insight, free up employees to engage in higher-touch tasks and empower the organization to evolve and keep pace with the shifting needs of customers like never before.

Solution spotlight

As applications and processing power move to the network edge, the most visionary and disruptive breakthroughs in business are poised to be powered by 5G and multi-access edge computing (MEC). The new frontier of network speed and latency will make technologies and processes such as AR/VR, IoT and AI-enabled fleet tracking live up to their potential, making the promise of near-real-time insight and automated intelligence, captured at scale, viable for the first time in history.
 

Starting your journey

Clearly, digital transformation doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and enterprises who undertake it should not have to go it alone. The work demands the expertise and objectivity of a nimble partner — one who can make a quick, pragmatic assessment of the landscape, apply solutions and, critically, stay on board to see them through.

This work requires data-derived intelligence and deep knowledge of multiple business verticals. Powerful applications must simplify processes, not complicate them. Next-gen networking has to connect an enterprise’s IoT solutions. The traditional security model must be updated to meet tomorrow’s challenges. Enterprises need threat intelligence and industry research to be gathered and presented in a way that puts their organizations on proactive footing.

Ultimately, businesses need a partner that not only knows the network, but that is the network.

Why Verizon to empower your enterprise?

Verizon works relentlessly to understand customers’ needs. We reach across divisions and silos, helping organizations at every step to apply tomorrow’s technology solutions to today’s most pressing challenges.

We live for this — teaming with organizations of all types and sizes to deliver transformative change, and make innovation an integral part of doing business. Working collaboratively with our clients and their teams across functions, we help to efficiently and securely integrate digital into clients’ operations.

At Verizon, our goal is to deliver the promise of the digital world by enabling people, businesses and society to innovate and drive positive change. When our mission aligns with our client’s mission, amazing things happen.

Enterprises choose to partner with Verizon because we possess the right technology and expertise to transform their practices, helping them move from legacy analog organizations to category-leading, digital disruptors.

People think of us as a phone company. Our customers think of us as a technology partner. Let us show you why.

Constellation Research, 2018 Digital Transformation Study.

2 Gartner, “Forecast: Enterprise and Automotive IoT, Worldwide Figure 1-3,” April 2020.

IWG, Global Workspace Survey, 2018.

Strategy Analytics, Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update 2017–2023, 2018.

RightScale, 2019 State of the Cloud Report, by Flexera.

6 Verizon, 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report.

Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer, 2019.

8 Accenture, Gaining Ground on the Cyber Attacker: 2018 State of Cyber Resilience.

Talk with one of our product specialists.

 

Enterprise sales

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