While some are growing weary of the term “digital transformation,” the reality is, it’s here to stay. Digital transformation isn’t just a buzzword or a transient phenomenon. Enterprises are digitizing themselves as rapidly as they can and automating what can be automated, improving customer experiences, leveraging data for machine learning and improving customer experiences.
These levels of transformation are underway across vertical industries—manufacturing, retail, transportation, health care, telecommunications and government. Research firm IDC, expects worldwide spending on digital transformation products and services to reach $1.8 trillion in 2019, a rise of 18% from 2018. IDC expects that figure to rise to more than $6 trillion over the next four years.
“Strong DX technology investment growth is forecast across all sectors, ranging between 15% and 20%, with the financial sector forecast to be the fastest with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.4% between 2017 and 2022,” said Eileen Smith, program vice president with IDC’s Customer Insights and Analysis group.
The two industries that will invest the most, according to IDC, are expected to be discrete manufacturing, at $222 billion, and process manufacturing, at $125 billion. IDC said the top priority is smart manufacturing, supported by significant investments in autonomic operations, manufacturing operations and quality. Retail will follow closely behind, which in turn will be followed closely by transportation and professional services.
As hard as it may be to believe, the four pillars of transformation—DevOps, cloud, AI and IoT—are still in the nascent stage of deployment. The most popular digital transformation use cases this year, according to IDC, will be freight management ($60 billion), autonomic operations ($54 billion), robotic manufacturing ($46 billion) and intelligent and predictive grid management for electricity, gas and water ($45 billion). Additional use cases that will see investments higher than $20 billion in 2019 include root cause, self-healing assets and automated maintenance, and quality and compliance.
Those organizations that excel in their digital transformation efforts will find that they’ll reap tremendous benefits. However, excellence here isn’t about short-term wins or one-off projects. Excellence in digital transformations is about properly tooling the enterprise for digitization so that the organization is as productive as it can be, cost-efficient and technically agile enough to seize new business opportunities as they arise and successfully endure or even thrive through market, geopolitical or other adversity. It’s about building an iterative, generative, agile digital platform that positions the business for long-term success. This is digital resiliency.
Most enterprises aren’t close; according to the 2018 Global CIO Survey from Deloitte, about 70% of the 1,400 executives they surveyed don’t even have a digital enterprise strategy.
The digitally resilient enterprise has built a business-technology platform that is elastic and agile and can position itself correctly depending on current business demands; it’s reasonably secure from cyberattacks that threaten data. The digitally resilient organization is also continually learning from its data and making adjustments as markets, its workforce and its customers demand. The digitally resilient organization has eliminated the bulk of its technical debt, and it innovates, so competitors don’t disrupt it with a better idea, execution and understanding for what customers want.
In the weeks and months ahead, I’ll be sharing more stories, case studies and insights on how organizations can build the digitally resilient organization that positions them for success over the long term.