In 2015, IDC released a report entitled, “IDC FutureScape: Worldside CIO Agenda 2016 Predictions,” where it outlined the most significant predictions in the IT world for the coming years. The report pointed out that it is necessary for IT leadership to center its business needs, capabilities, and strategies around digital transformation.

Digital transformation is slowly becoming the norm. IDC predicts that the number of enterprises adapting digital transformation initiatives will double to almost 50% by 2020. It is seen that the big trifecta – big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things – will propel this movement going forward.

What is Digital Transformation?

The best way to view digital transformation is that it is the process of shifting from a legacy approach towards a process of incorporating digital, mobile, social, and emerging technologies. It involves an increased use of technology to improve and enhance the experience of an organization’s employees, customers, partners, and stakeholders.

The Age of the Customer

It is viewed that new technologies have greatly transformed the expectations of customers. A building block of digital transforming the customer experience is customer understand. Organizations are using social and digital media to promote their brand and connect with their customers more effectively. In addition, many organizations are building and using analytics to study their customers and their respective market segments more in-depth.

Communicating with the customer, or customer service, can be greatly enhanced through digital transformation. For example, customers can quickly respond to customer complaints or questions through social media. Organizations that that multiple channels are under pressure to provide a more integrated experience to their clients.

Transforming the Business Model

Through digital transformation, organizations are turning into global operations. These global operations help promote efficiency and reduce risks, while at the same time, encourage flexibility. Many companies are also realigning their operating model so that customer expectations and requirements inform every activity throughout the buying and selling chain. This means that all business activities have to be integrated and optimized in regards to how activities are managed and tracked.

The digital revolution is here – the question and challenge for businesses alike is how fast and how far can they go on the road to digital transformation.