Technology continues to grow more powerful, and as time goes on, more businesses seek to leverage it to their advantage. This trend–called digital transformation–is one of the major factors that’s rocking the enterprise scene. Whereas just a few years ago digital transformation could be considered nothing but a trend, it has since evolved and grown into a more involved process with proven results and expectations for enterprises.

Although digital transformation takes many forms, the overarching term is any transformation that has to do with your business technology infrastructure. In fact, technology management is so important that it’s estimated that by 2021, according to the IDC, 40 percent of CEOs in Fortune 2000 companies will have been CIOs or technology decision makers for at least five years of their career. Furthermore, organizations that have invested in Internet of Things technology will begin to see a return on their investments, and IT projects will begin the process of monetizing data. Organizations will soon move away from physical entities and instead shift to more flexible digital solutions.

Basically: digital systems will be the next big step for enterprises that want to become industry and thought leaders.

Developing Your Strategy

Prophet Thinking claims that there are five major priorities that should be considered for your enterprise’s digital transformation: customer experience, culture/leadership, content strategy, digital ecosystem, and paid social. The first focuses on improving the customer’s digital experience, as they are the reason that your enterprise exists in the first place. By further emphasizing the importance of leadership in driving company culture, your enterprise can assimilate all employees into your new digital transformation initiatives.

When we talk about content strategy, we don’t just mean content marketing or a website blog–rather, you can consider any type of content or service, be it a customer service portal or a product you produce, to be the content your enterprise provides. Whatever it is you provide, you need to make sure that you provide it well. Digital transformation is a gateway that allows organizations to streamline operations while improving what they provide for their customers.

The Three Operations Influenced Most by Digital Transformation

Above all else, you need to consider an even distribution of digital influence across your operational infrastructure. This includes the following:

  • Marketing: With the Internet and social media becoming prevalent mediums for advertising, digital transformation has already made significant strides in marketing. This includes email, website-based marketing, social media venues, mobile devices, and public relations. It’s possible to streamline so much with the digital transformation of these assets. All of these will provide you valuable analytics that can be used in other parts of your organization.
  • Sales: However, it won’t stop there; Gartner predicts that by 2020, 100 million users will be shopping with virtual reality, and that 20 percent of enterprises will drop support for their mobile apps in favor of other, more innovative solutions. Furthermore, in-house sales systems, including your CRM tools, will need to further be considered top priority for your digital transformation efforts.
  • Service: The services that you provide for your clients, whatever they may be, need to embrace the wonders of technology in order to move forward with digital transformation. This could be anything from automating a help desk solution to ensuring that you’re not missing out on vital patches and security updates through an RMM tool. These changes need to be made enterprise-wide, not just for your customers.

What You Can Do

In order for your enterprise to keep up with digital transformation, consider the following priorities for your technology strategy for 2017:

  • Improve customer experience: Be sure to provide a quality customer experience via digital transformation. This includes streamlining the way that your organization contacts potential clients, as well as improving the way that your enterprise handles customer service.
  • Incorporate new technologies into company culture: Implementing new technologies in-house can be a great way to kickstart your digital transformation processes. Consider what you have, what you want to accomplish, and how you’re going to accomplish it. Keep in mind that it also helps if you have the help of industry professionals like Iron Edge Group at your disposal.
  • Kick innovation into overdrive: One of the main roadblocks for enterprises that want to innovate is that they get stuck on important details and progress can be stymied for any number of reasons. Perhaps the idea has to be run by several departments, or you run into budgeting concerns that need to be addressed. The idea is to start the project on the right foot. Before even attempting to introduce innovative new solutions, involve other departments in the discussion throughout its inception, from idea to implementation.
  • Embrace the Internet of Things: IoT devices are great for staying connected to your data and collecting it from your users, but there are still security concerns that stem from these devices being privy to that data. Therefore, it’s important that you focus priorities on protecting your data, especially in terms of connected mobile devices.
  • Implement augmented/virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and automation: With so much digital transformation going on within your enterprise, it’s critical to consider automating what you can. Not only does this make your job easier, but it also improves operations considerably. Furthermore, your enterprise can benefit greatly by using AR/VR technologies to improve training and support options for your customers.
  • Keep a flexible, proactive plan in the back of your mind: However you decide to approach digital transformation, know that it’s likely that things won’t go your way. Regardless of how much time and effort you invest into your plans for digital transformation, you know better than anyone else that technology can be fickle. You could run into compatibility issues or experience trouble with the onboarding process. You might not even have the time or resources you need to get the project off the ground. In this case, it’s best to have a third-party consultant like Iron Edge Group around that can help you spearhead your digital transformation projects.

What are some of the ways that you plan on pushing your enterprise’s digital transformation forward? Let us know in the comments.

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