Forget the year of the rooster, the year the fashion world goes green, or even the year that Liam Neeson could finally win an Oscar, 2017 is the year digital transformation gets real. The imperative becomes more urgent with each passing NYE; And with more technology innovation at their disposal than ever before thanks to SaaS offerings and the cloud, companies can get one step (or several) closer to checking digital transformation off their list of resolutions this time around the sun.
After all, it’s been an important topic of conversation for many years running: like the commitment to renew that gym membership or a pledge to pack your lunch more, digital transformation is heralded each year as the thing for IT and business alike to get right.
Yet like any resolution, it’s not that simple to apply in practice. With so much to accomplish, it’s easy for the meaning of the term to get lost in semantics: a favorite buzz word, perhaps, but is it a realistic deliverable? What does digital transformation mean to the modern enterprise? Rather than getting lost in translation, companies can begin by understanding how digital transformation has evolved – and what will matter most for digital transformation strategies in 2017.
If you’re writing those resolutions down in permanent marker this year, keep these industry insights in mind to make digital transformation top of the list:
- Focus on user experience. One of Dan Newman’s 10 trends for digital transformation in 2017 highlighted in Forbes was “the growing importance of the user experience.” This “comprehensive process” requires consistency from start to finish, removing friction at points that may deter a person from continued use. Businesses need to be up to the challenge to put their money where positive experience flourishes, making investments in 2017 that show they stand behind the importance of a seamless UX.
- Support better remote work options. In this same article, Newman emphasizes that digital transformation investments “continue to support telecommute capabilities.” And because “young professionals prefer flexibility to compensation,” this is an important priority to attract and retain top talent, paying dividends in the long run by empowering an on-the-go workforce.
- “Shake off the role of IT plumbers.” Well-executed digital transformation makes CIOs relevant and effective, something that will set them apart against their peers. Rather than CIOs focusing on “keeping the lights on through infrastructure and services,” IT leaders need to make sure that they show their competencies to advance digital initiatives this year.
- Reinforce that the C-Suite needs to get real about how digital transformation is experienced at all levels. Quickbase’s Digital Transformation Survey showed that 70 percent of C-Suite respondents thought their digital transformation initiatives were “way ahead”; yet only 30 percent of line-of-business leads agreed. To make digital transformation work, its effects must be felt across the organization, and efforts to successfully support widespread adoption and user satisfaction will be the responsibility of IT leaders.
- Remember these ingredients: cloud, mobility, and analytics. UC brings together this trifecta in the recipe for digital transformation success. When communication and collaboration advance thanks to digital transformation initiatives, more people can see a real impact on their day-to-day reality in the workforce. Whether supporting productivity or keeping operations secure, UC platforms can make the world of difference when showing how digital transformation is bringing change to the modern workplace.
Digital transformation can be a resolution that puzzles even the best IT leaders, but it doesn’t have to be: time isn’t on the side of the enterprise if it wants to use these initiatives as a source of competitive advantage this calendar cycle, and there’s never been a better moment to advance these goals.
What’s holding digital transformation back at your organization? It’s time to replace old with the new for better habits that will sustain through 2017 and beyond.