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.
"Treating digital transformation as a continuous journey helps leadership not only drive change within their enterprises, but also across their entire industry."
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.
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.
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.
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.6 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ready to start
Organizations of all sizes identify new initiatives and partners that will put them on the path to transformation. These key questions can help guide your strategy:
- Are you using the right digital technology to give you an edge?
- What gaps or inefficiencies could you tackle digitally?
- How are you outpacing digital security threats?
- How secure are the mobile devices being used by your enterprise for critical data and activities?
- Could you improve customer experiences with new digital tools?
Ready to elevate
Technology can radically enhance business interactions at this stage, both internally and with end-users and customers. And, data captured at scale starts powering decisions that drive better outcomes. 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).
Ready to innovate
This goes beyond operations to deploying value-added, innovative solutions that will drive your business forward. 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.
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.
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.
1 Constellation Research, 2018 Digital Transformation Study.
2 Gartner, “Forecast: Enterprise and Automotive IoT, Worldwide Figure 1-3,” April 2020.
3 IWG, Global Workspace Survey, 2018.
4 Strategy Analytics, Global Mobile Workforce Forecast Update 2017–2023, 2018.
5 RightScale, 2019 State of the Cloud Report, by Flexera.
6 Verizon, 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report.
7 Salesforce, State of the Connected Customer, 2019.
8 Accenture, Gaining Ground on the Cyber Attacker: 2018 State of Cyber Resilience.