Digital transformation is no longer a buzzword that C-level execs can push to the background and essentially ignore any longer. It’s critical for any business that hopes to compete at any level in the digital economy. It doesn’t take a team of experts to realize that those brands that can’t embrace disruption simply won’t make the cut.
We’ve identified the top 5 trends for digital transformation in 2018 and share them with you here.
- Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI). If we can be sure about anything it’s that technology continues to evolve. Companies are taking a fresh look at the computing, networking and storage systems they’ve had in place for so long and considering simpler configurations. A converged and unified platform is a modular approach that lets companies respond with more agility to new digital initiatives.HCI not only leverages IT resources effectively, it speeds up development cycles, cuts costs and simplifies scalability. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 20% of business-critical applications will move from three-tier IT infrastructures to HCI.
- Artificial intelligence (AI). No matter where you stand on the concept of artificial intelligence, it’s not going away and 2018 will see broader initiatives and implementations. AI has gained a usable acceptance rate in the public marketplace with the ongoing appearances of chatbots and other consumer-facing technologies.Businesses will continue to understand the impact AI can have on their internal customer service, marketing and administrative functions. Not only will AI provide smarter automation of functions from email to scheduling, but it will change the workplace by freeing people to be more creative when relieved of mundane tasks.
- The Internet of Things (IoT). 2018 could very well be the year that IoT will come into its own. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), global IoT spending will hit $772.5 billion this year, a 14.6% increase over 2017 spending. The manufacturing, transportation and utilities industries will lead the way with operations, production asset management, freight monitoring and fleet management as well as smart grids for gas, electricity and water. Public sectors will be affected primarily in the area of home automation with security and smart appliances seeing the biggest growth.
- Data Security. With new technology come new security threats and risks. The need for enterprise security will mean the development and implementation of vastly improved security initiatives. According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2018 conducted by PwC, current employees are top source of security incidents.In 2018, security measures will need to evolve to address threat detection capabilities in the areas of IoT devices to reduce vulnerability to cyber breaches. AI and Big Data will be able to support enterprises with business intelligence in the development of new approaches to security.
- C-Level commitment. C-level execs can no longer keep digital transformation at arm’s length. Since any transformation dictates the inclusion of all organizations within an enterprise, it’s imperative that C-level buy-in is authentic and understood fully. Expenditures will need support as budgeting for the new digital enterprise will look different from budgeting exercises of even ten years ago.Culture will transform, too, in digital initiatives of this scope because staid ecosystems will be replaced with new business models. Those who can adapt to the transformation will help facilitate the changes and take on leadership roles within the enterprise. Transformation of any type alters daily life for those within a business and the sooner people adapt to change as a new way of life, the faster the company as a whole will come up to speed. Agility will be the new currency in the new digitally transformed company and strong C-level support will be critical.Top-down support will mean the difference between those companies that successfully make the digital transformation and those that just won’t make the turn. The advancements in new technology solutions are obviously important, but it’s their working in conjunction with new attitudes and cultures that will propel them this year.
2018 is a pivotal point in the arc of digital disruption with new technologies, business vision and customer demands all positioned to catapult both businesses and the public sector into new worlds of experiences. The year is still fresh and it is exciting to see the possibilities and watch how all these elements play out in businesses around the world.