Digital Future

What It’ll Take To Lead In The Digital Era

The conversation around digital technologies is no longer around the why. Organizations know digitization is a critical imperative for their survival and success, and they also clearly know the digital capabilities they would like to gain. And yet it might be valuable to start that conversation around the why of digital. Because, often there’s this notion that being digital translates, predominantly if not entirely, into delivering digital experiences or applying digital technologies across the customer journey. But the reality is that a truly digital enterprise cannot subsist without a digital core to power it. Years of helping our clients through their digital journey has shown us that the digital-ready enterprise is one that’s continuously investing in reinventing its business from the core: its processes and its systems with as much gusto as its customer touchpoints, journeys, and experiences. In fact, that’s a point well made by the leaders who participated in a recent survey report we published titled How Enterprises are Steering through Digital Disruption – where its amply clear they use digital technologies as commonly for IT management (79%) and business process management (60%) as they do for customer relationship management (62%). And it’s likely what your strongest competitors are doing.

Now, how well you turn digital into sustained value for your business depends on how well you orchestrate the changes needed to deliver differentiated experiences through rapid innovation cycles, while achieving unprecedented levels of productivity. This means bringing in digitally-driven insights, extreme automation, and a certain imagination to the process landscape.

When an enterprise is fully equipped to consume and analyze the data exhaust emanating from its systems, it can feed that right back as insights to business to improve, even reimagine, both its processes and experiences. This is evidenced by organizations (67%) that participated in this study already leveraging big data analytics. The deep learning algorithms of AI, naturally, have a big role to play here, and well over half of these organizations have already made exactly those investments. Thereon, for the organization to respond to these signals, there must begin that journey to organizational modernization and agility, through the extreme automation of processes. In fact, the capability to automate using digital technologies, which is outlined in several of the trends outlined in this report, is clearly having a positive impact on the organizations surveyed. This modernization can be phased, based on carefully chosen business priorities and executed through a combination of core renewals that create the efficiency-led savings that can then be redirected to simultaneously building new digital systems of engagement that deliver for the real-time economy that we live and work in. And there begins that powerful snowball effect that helps to accelerate your ability to innovate and bring new ideas and experiences to life.

For many companies, especially large incumbents, scaling this digitization enterprise-wide, across functions, departments, business units, and geographies is what success really looks like. And a digital mindset, nurtured in a culture of lifelong learning, that’s open to embracing a bold vision, tolerating uncertainty, and working with fail-fast-learn-faster models is vital to accelerate the transformation. This is critical for attracting the right digital talent too. And that by no measure is a trivial task. In fact, access to the right technical and analytical skills is rated, in this study, among the top challenges for organizations getting ready to be more digital.

This report, and our own conversations with our clients – some of the world’s most progressive companies – concur that the way to steer towards a digital future extends from core modernization to customer delight. This requires us to pervasively re-examine, recalibrate and reimagine the path forward. And we all have good reason to look forward to eventful days ahead.