Digital transformation is changing the way we consume goods and services, digital disruption is becoming mainstream. Out of the top 10 most valued companies (based on market cap) in the world, the top 4 spots are taken by born digital companies or companies that are at the forefront of digital transformation. There is hardly any industry which is not disrupted by the digital wave. The 2019 Gartner CIO Agenda survey reveals that “digital businesses reached a tipping point in 2018” and 49% of CIOs surveyed say they have transformed or are in the process of transforming their business models. Many businesses have started their journeys to unleash new products and services digitally, and they also need to be ready for the next great shifts in technology cycles, competitor actions, and customer requirements. Businesses can no longer afford to waste their time and resources on long product development cycles when customer needs and competitive threats can change so quickly now. Anticipating the next big disruption and preparing for it is one of the best ways for companies to stay relevant to their customers.
How companies are preparing to improve their positions in the ‘Digital Economy’
As organizations look to embrace the benefits of the digital era, we’re hearing some common themes among customers as they focus on enhancing their positions in a Digital Economy:
- Increasing Utilization of Data and Metadata: The idea of using data (such as data within and outside the enterprise, structured and unstructured data, data generated by machines, and online and mobile data) to create business value is not new; nevertheless, the effective utilization of data is becoming the basis of new competitive battlegrounds. Businesses want to better utilize data and metadata to glean rich insights about their customers’ behavior and purchase patterns, so they can outsell competitors by offering more personalized product recommendations and a more “friction-free” buying experience. For example, a telecommunications company is leveraging Ness’ competence in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to help the company predict (and prevent) potential customer churn. The solution not only helps prevent customer churn, but it also improves the customer experience based on the rich insights it derives using AI/ML models
- Sharp Focus on Cloud to Increase Flexibility and Scale: Cloud is now an integral part of any enterprise digital journey because it enables businesses to be nimbler and respond faster to market opportunities. Using the Cloud also enables businesses to offload basic technology infrastructure management to the cloud company, so they can focus more time on what’s core to them. Companies want our help to modernize and move their applications to the Cloud, and we are also seeing greater demand for Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a service (SaaS) offerings. Companies are also looking to the Cloud to experiment with AI/ML technologies in a much more cost-effective manner.
Expansion of Automation: Increased automation across the technology landscape, including development, provisioning, and operations for both on-premise and cloud-based systems, can also help deliver the speed, agility and cost benchmarks companies want to achieve. For example, process automation can help businesses realize the benefits of scalability and speed, while maintaining complete operational control. In the near future, we expect to see Robotic Process Automation (RPA) playing a significant role in digital business. In addition, RPA providers are integrating AI/ML functionality into their product suites to identify, optimize, and automate labor-intensive and repetitive activities that are currently performed by humans. IDC predicts that by 2024, AI-enabled user interfaces and process automation will replace one-third of today’s screen-based apps. By 2022, 30% of enterprises will use conversational speech tech for customer engagement.
- Increasing Adoption of AI and ML: Companies are exploring AI/ML applications not only for customer-facing applications, but also for internal company applications to enable more seamless operations. According to Gartner’s CIO Agenda 2019, 7% of top-performing companies ranked artificial intelligence (AI) as a game-changing technology in 2018. This year, the number will be drastically increased to 40%. What once started as rule-based automation is now capable of mimicking some human actions. This can help employees complete their work with increased productivity.
Translating plans into action
The digital technology landscape offers a plethora of choices. Many companies tell us that deciding which digital transformation platform to invest in is particularly challenging. Ness will often facilitate “Discover and Envision” sessions with clients to help them identify and prioritize their digital transformation initiatives. For example, we helped a traditional media company create a robust OTT platform for rendering premium content to which it has exclusive rights. Ness helped the company reimagine the entire customer experience to develop a differentiated platform right from the beginning. As a strategic partner to our clients, we are always excited for the opportunity to help our clients break through legacy thinking and find future growth opportunities.
The success of any digital transformation strategy lies in making right choices, which include selection of the right digital platforms, tools and technologies; and more importantly, the right services partner who can help execute digital vision into a reality.