As C-suite executives demand their businesses be “digitally transformed,” CIOs and IT managers are diving under the table. After all, digital transformation, translated, means “making IT responsible for running the business”.
With all the eyes and pressure to produce new ways to excite customers, streamline production, and deliver real-time insights to decision makers, what should a technology manager do? First, understand that this means more than a technological solution. “The widespread availability of a specific set of technological innovations and practices has enabled organizations to transform their business through improved automation and data intelligence to achieve increased business value and growth, write Thomas Erl and Roger Stoffers in their latest works, A practical guide to digital transformation.
In particular, seven key technology areas should be considered in any digital transformation initiative, the authors state. Erl, CEO of Arcitura Education, is one of the most prolific authors in enterprise technology, well known for his work on service design principles and patterns. Stoffers is an Enterprise Architect for Volksbank.
The main technology drivers that should be part of a digital transformation are:
Enriched and diversified data collection. According to Erl and Stoffers. The availability of a wide variety of data sources also helps decision makers “achieve highly sophisticated and intelligent forms of automation that can improve both the quality and efficiency of business automation.” Relevant technologies include big data and analytics, the Internet of Things, and robotic process automation (RPA).
Contemporary Data Science. “Contemporary advancements in data science are what have propelled digital transformation automation in many organizations, as their automation solutions can now be driven by constant streams of intelligent data that delivers real value.” Relevant technologies include big data and analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Sophisticated automation technology. “Bots can be configured to perform a range of practical processing tasks, such as data entry and information routing.” The technology that enables this is RPA.
Autonomous decision making. “This allows the solution to respond quickly to a range of situations that previously may have required more time for the right human decisions to be made.” The technology that enables this is AI.
Centralized, scalable and resilient computing resources. “Cloud-based environments can provide the infrastructure needed to meet the performance demands of digital transformation.” The technology that enables this is cloud computing.
Immutable data storage. “Highly secure storage technology that has emerged from the use of cryptocurrencies has allowed immutable repositories to be positioned alongside enterprise databases.” The technology that enables this is the blockchain.
Ubiquitous multi-experience access. This means opening up access to “a range of business interaction options for channels from which the customer can choose. The state of the customer’s business is always preserved across the different types of access methods” . The technology that enables this is cloud computing.