So, do you have a plan? What are your priorities in your digital transformation?
Digital disruptions continue to weigh heavily on businesses of all sizes and in all sectors, as consumers, customers, employees and partners now expect everything to be accessible on demand, at all times; in short, everyone and everything needs to be fully connected.
Beyond customer experience, we are talking here about the global brand experience, regardless of the user’s identity.
To thrive in the digital economy, businesses need to become more agile. They must also develop and market new products and services more quickly.
If your business is already in tune with the digital age, great!
If on the contrary, your company has incurred a technological debt in the last years, “it’s time to wake up or else”. In this post, we report on a MuleSoft survey of 650 IT decision-makers in companies with more than 1,000 employees from the US, Australia, Germany, England, the Netherlands, Singapore and China.
The state of digital transformation in business
In today’s connected world, businesses are competing with quickness and agility to meet increasingly demanding customer expectations. Only 36% of IT managers say their organization offers a fully connected customer experience.
In the MuleSoft study, the vast majority of organizations (85%) have launched digital transformation initiatives, including technologies such as mobile, cloud and analytics.
But in a market where digital is the threshold for competition, organizations face a new set of challenges to succeed.
What are your priorities in your digital transformation?
There is no doubt that all companies will use digital technologies to better understand their customers through analytics in the very near future. And at the same time, they will also want to create consistent experiences across all channels of their customer ecosystems.
However, they will also want to optimize their Business processes (IT) and generally improve the efficiency of their operations and activities. Finally, and this could be a major competitive advantage, they will also want to work so efficiently (agility, you say …) that process changes and the development of new products can be delivered in real time, as customers demand.
MuleSoft identifies in this order the main objectives of the IT Managers:
- Increasing the efficiency of Information Technologies (83%)
- Improving the quality of the customer experience (71%)
- improvement and increase of operations in the broad sense (70%)
Make a Plan
So, what are your priorities in terms of digital transformation?
It is important to set priorities because you may not be able to accomplish everything as fast or as well as you wish if you had the budget and the green light from senior management.
So, in what order would you rank your digital transformation priorities?
- Integration of IT processes (silos)
- Optimization of IT processes
- Optimization of business processes
- Launching of new products
- Quality of Customer Experience
Have your plan approved
A little bit of advice, get your digital transformation plan approved, the more advocates and banner bearers you’ll get from your plan, and the more flexible the change brought about by the digital transformation.
Human nature being what it is, resistance to change is still present in today’s businesses, and silos are all too often walls impassable to processes.
The approval of senior management or a high-level champion will be essential.
The most common initiatives in digital transformation
To achieve these goals, IT decision makers identified a number of specific initiatives they wanted to achieve. These include:
• modernization of existing systems• integration of SaaS applications• investment in mobile applications
It is an open secret that the modernization of existing systems is the most favoured solution to execute the digital transformation considering the fundamental role of IT today and its impact on both productivity and profitability of companies.
However, it must be remembered that the modernization of IT systems confronts companies to a difficult decision; either to opt for development from the existing systems environment, migration to the cloud, the purchase of commercial software or the development of customized services (Service-oriented Development), in parallel with existing systems or a combination of several of these approaches.
And this decision could have a major impact on the success of your digital transformation and the profitability of your business. In a completely different vein, your digital transformation project could also be the perfect opportunity to not only get you up to speed with the competition and the market in terms of technology, but also to optimize some crucial non-performing processes.
The integration of SaaS applications as well as Service-Oriented Development (and the integration of APIs on which we will return in another post …) are “open” solutions more oriented towards an Agile development mode. In this respect, they are formidable lower-cost digital transformation levers and they usually run in a much shorter time frame.
Investment in mobile applications is not surprising given the current goals of increasing service efficiency and improving the customer experience. We know that there are now more customers and consumers who communicate, navigate and work directly from their mobile phone than from their computers, not to mention the employees and managers who go along as well.
More specifically, the MuleSoft study identifies the following key digital transformation initiatives as priorities for IT decision-makers:
- 36% – modernize legacy systems
- 32% – integrate SaaS applications
- 31% – develop mobile applications
- 30% – Cloud application migration
- 27% – put online an eCommerce platform
- 27% – automate business processes
What obstacles will you face in your digital transformation?
Frankly, companies that have not yet started a full digital transformation will soon begin to lose revenue.
And for many organizations, there are still huge hurdles on the path to a true digital transformation like integration, lack of resources and misalignment between IT and operations and activities.
Knowing how to identify the obstacles to your digital transformation can be just as crucial to the success of your project as defining your objectives and identifying your priorities.
You will not only need to identify obsolete applications and systems, but also non-performing processes.
- 1,020 – average number of different individual applications that IT decision makers surveyed are using in their organization
- 29% – average percentage of applications that IT decision makers companies are currently integrating / connecting
- 22% – average percentage of companies’ IT budget for IT decision-makers dedicated each year to the integration of different technologies
It should be noted that 4 out of 5 IT decision makers in the MuleSoft study believe that the failure of their digital transformation initiatives will have a major negative impact on the future of their business. Even worse, two-thirds of IT decision-makers admitted that they were unable to complete all the projects requested last year; in short, the task will not be easy.
The path to the goal of digital transformation in the sense of “everything and everyone connected, at all times” will not necessarily be without a hitch and the way forward may seem nebulous.
It is not easy to define action priorities; however, there are a few simple ways to chart the right path.
For example, you could build your digital transformation plan based on the following criteria to identify priorities for action:
- the 3 most simple features or services to integrate / develop
- 3 features or services offering the greatest gain
- the 3 simplest processes to optimize
- the riskiest process or system or application for the business
With this information in hand, it will be quite easy for you to reach a consensus on your priorities around the table of your Digital Transformation Project Concertation Group, which you will have of course formed beforehand with the approval of Senior Management.
Good digital transformation …