Why Digital Transformation is a Must for Organizations in 2018

by December 27, 2017

With innovation cycles getting shortened accompanied by intense competition and globalization related challenges, the analytics-driven transformation has become go-to for almost all businesses. With challenges also come opportunities from which the companies can benefit. HCL’s corporate vice president, Anand Birje says, “Over the past four or five years, enterprises were pushed hard to do anything in the field of analytics, big data and digital transformation. They were being pushed because there was this fear about what their competitors might be doing, so there was this feeling that they had to do something digital.” Digital transformation presents rich opportunities and developing a strategic plan to manage data assets can lead to long-term success.

Customers now have a wide range of providers, thanks to globalization that has made it possible for competitors to emerge from anywhere and with any kind of price range. To maintain a value-driven relationship with customers, companies are expected to operate with a slim margin, balancing both profits and product innovation. According to a Gartner report, almost 32 percent of top leaders in big organizations have confirmed to be undergoing a digital transformation in their processes.

Rather than simply enhancing or supporting traditional methods, the transformation stage of digital signifies new types of innovation using software and computerized technologies strategically. Industry 4.0, also referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, emphasizes the importance of bridging the gap between the physical and digital realms. Technologies like cloud computing, cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things (IoT), cognitive computing together help create what is called as a ‘smart factory’.

One of the major banks was using an agile and scrum method for proof of concepts with a timeframe between 8 to 12 weeks. With numerous product cycles and users not willing to wait for final products, the entire process got confusing. An organization must first develop a business value chain which specifies the objectives and goals clearly and then proceed to build its big data and analytics capabilities.

Large volumes of data can be turned into assets for organizations with proper digital efforts and value chain development. Data related to research and development, product, engineering, supply chain, manufacturing, production keep on piling up. A unified view of the business helps extract data of significance from disparate systems like ERP, SCADA, and CRM. This helps gain useful insights that further helps in the planning and decision making course for a company.

In addition to the big data an organization owns, IoT data in the data cloud adds significant volume to datasets. Effective big data analytical solutions need to be deployed to manage the datasets and generate perishable insights to take actions at the moment. Variances and consequence of any kind of business processes can be linked using predictive analytics tools. For instance, production lines slowing down is a consequence which can be attributed to say a variance in a supplier’s component having a design defect that doesn’t match what is required in the product assembly. Most importantly business processes are time sensitive and big data provides a real-time decision-making opportunity that can strategically improve a company’s performance and take it above other competitors.

As is true for any kind of change, re-architecting the business structure also means changing the way employees work, changing their responsibilities, reporting relationships and overall changing the organizational culture. Training and support of those involved in transformation efforts should be taken care of by the human resources department for a smooth and effective transition to take place.

Now the hype surrounding big data, analytics and digital transformation has reached a dead end. Companies can be sure of success only when they do their homework on sound strategic planning and align project initiatives with a long-term vision and deploy the best available tools and resources in line with absolute strategic clarity.