Digital transformation is happening now and it affects everyone - your business, your staff, your competitors and, crucially, your customers. But there is no ‘right way’ to tackle it that works for everyone, nor is it a one-off project – you must continually evolve and embrace the change that aligns to your business needs. That’s one reason we’ve heard, and continue to hear, so much about it.
But why does it seem to come so naturally to some companies? Is it because they started down the digital road earlier? Or it because they’re doing things differently from the companies in their rear-view mirror? To find out, we commissioned a piece of original research: ‘How to Build a Smarter Business’. We interviewed over 1,100 IT and business decision-makers in enterprises across the world.
The research uncovered an interesting subset of high-growth, highly profitable businesses cresting the wave of digital transformation. They’re gaining a greater competitive advantage and successfully reacting to change. We call them ‘smarter businesses’.
The research yielded three smarter business behaviours which we felt deserved a closer look:
1. Smarter businesses focus on identifying and sourcing the right IT skills, particularly in relation to emerging technologies such as IoT or AI. They also place a higher importance on empowering skilled people over adopting new technologies for driving business improvement. And they have their own approach to tackling the IT skills shortage.
2. Smarter businesses embrace cloud across their enterprise to drive competitive advantage. To them, it’s both a natural home for their core IT infrastructure and a platform that allows them to adopt some of the most innovative technologies around. They have a more strategic perspective on what cloud is for and the value it can bring. As a result, they’re getting the most from it – opening in more markets, launching more flagship products and being better prepared to embrace future business technologies.
3. Smarter businesses make innovation an integral part of their corporate culture. Innovation is absolutely central to the way they operate, and they champion it above all else – even with the risks that it entails. For them, innovation is the key to making the most of the technology they already have and the technology still to come.
Think of these insights as guidance to help anyone adopt a smarter business mind-set. There’s no set speed for digital transformation, nor is it a strictly linear process, it’s different for each business. There’s nothing to stop you taking big leaps or a series of smaller ones as needed.
Smarter businesses use cloud as the lynchpin of their digital transformation. Any business doing the same will have a platform for quicker and simpler adoption of new technologies. From there, you can find the right blend to drive your competitive advantage. Make a move like that and you’re already on your way to making your business even smarter.