Digital Transformation Reality Check

By : |January 24, 2019 0

By Victoria Lonker, Vice President of Network and Security Product Management, Verizon

Companies that invested early in digital transformation (DX) already are seeing a return on their investment. Those with mature digitization strategies will derive at least 45 percent of their revenue from digital-related activities as early as 2019, according to a new report from IDC. In contrast, those with less than 25 percent of revenue from DX-related activities will be at a serious disadvantage.

With these kinds of results, it’s easy to understand why the vast majority of large enterprises in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pacific understand the need and urgency to implement DX strategies, according to the IDC whitepaper. About 92 percent of companies polled have allocated staff and budget for digital transformation strategies, and another seven percent plan to do so within a year.

“The state of digital transformation today is one where organizational awareness, competitive urgency, and resource investment are at an all-time high,” IDC said in the study, “Digital Transformation: Discover the Right Path to Avoid Hype and Disappointment.”

                                 

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The study reaffirms what has been predicted for years about digital transformation – that if executed properly, the process of digitization places a company on a higher plane of productivity and efficiency. Benefits cited by the study included efficiency and productivity gains, customer experience enhancements, and the creation of new business models and go-to-market strategies to increase

Victoria Lonker Vice President of Network and Security Product Management Verizon

Victoria Lonker Vice President of Network and Security Product Management Verizon

Today, India is at the helm of digital transformation. Be it small-medium enterprises, start-ups or the public sector, everyone has undergone or is thinking of digital transformation. Every business, irrespective of scale, size or industry, is adopting a digital business model to improve business efficiency, become competitive and provide a better experience to the tech-savvy end-consumer.

Reliable Network

Successful DX strategies give organizations a competitive edge in dynamic markets. But to get there, they must figure out how to personalize the customer experience, connect their employees and give them easy access to digital resources no matter where they are. Companies need to do this while maintaining security and making the necessary quick adjustments to keep them agile and competitive.

It’s far from an easy task, and none of it is possible without a robust, reliable network, which is a key prerequisite of successful digitization efforts. An underperforming network prone to interruptions is bound to hinder any digitization efforts – and that’s something enterprise decision-makers clearly understand. IDC found that 76 percent of digital leaders consider network planning and digital strategy planning to be part of the same process. In addition, 70 percent of digital leaders believe networking capabilities underpin digital transformation initiatives.

IDC’s study also confirmed that digital leaders are also at the leading edge of network performance and reliability. This shows that digital leaders are more confident with the advanced DX-enabling connectivity and networking technologies than companies that are struggling to implement digitization plans.

Indeed, the need for enterprises to align network and digital strategies has never been greater. Enterprises looking to leverage digital processes cannot do so without investing in network transformation. For instance, you can make your website look pretty, but if the network is overburdened causing website transactions to slow to a crawl, customers are bound to give up and leave.

That’s one of the reasons enterprises must invest in a reliable dynamic infrastructure that expands and contracts based on company needs. The same goes for accelerating go-to-market strategies, boosting innovation, and connecting employees securely across different locations. These all require digital services and applications that increase pressure on the network. Without the proper investment, the return may fall short of the organization’s objectives.

The Indian Government has also given significant impetus to businesses to invest in new technologies and harness the benefits of digital. The Union Budget 2018 was testament to the government’s focus on emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain and more.

Choosing a Partner

While the benefits of digital transformation are understood, implementation requires serious planning. DX is a multi-dimensional endeavour that requires enterprises to make fundamental changes in their processes. Companies have to take into consideration security, expenses, and the complexity of technologies such as software-defined networks (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV).

For the most part, organizations don’t have all the skills in house they need to handle all these aspects of digitization – especially considering DX isn’t a one-time activity. It is a journey that requires companies to continuously re-evaluate their digital stature and make updates as necessary.

But while difficult, digitization efforts aren’t impossible – so long as companies recognize when to ask for help. For many, that means working with a trusted communications service provider (CSP) that has the experience and capability to support enterprise strategies. IDC has found that 83 percent of digital leaders trust their CSPs to help them address implementation challenges.

When choosing a CSP, enterprises should look for a partner that has invested in upgrading its own network to support digital transformation initiatives, as well as emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) and SDN. A trusted partner should not only deliver the expertise necessary to help your business overcome the barriers to digital transformation, but also the “four S’s of digital transformation”:  scale, scope, services, and support, by both accommodating current needs and anticipating future requirements.

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