If businesses fail to make significant progress on digital transformation in the next two years, they could fall so far behind the innovators in their markets that they may never catch up.
Today people access the web on a whole range of devices, from the smallest smartwatch to the largest workstation. Smartphones alone come in a myriad of shapes and sizes, sporting an array of screen dimensions and resolutions. While there’s no doubting the convenience of having a window on the web wherever and whenever you need one, the experience of navigating sites on a device for which they weren’t originally designed can often be fraught – and occasionally impossible.
IT departments used to call their colleagues in other functions ‘end users’. Now they more typically refer to them as ‘customers’ (or sometimes ‘internal customers’, to differentiate them from the organization’s real customers).
Organizations attempting digital transformation typically want to become more efficient, more productive, more agile and less bureaucratic. This generally involves introducing an array of new, online, digital services in a timely and efficient manner while also ensuring they are affordable, effective, reliable, secure, compliant, easy-to-use, meet your business objectives and are willingly taken up by those they’re aimed at. To get that right consistently requires some kind of process, particularly in larger organizations.
The fiercely competitive automotive industry has long been at the forefront of technology innovation. The past decade alone has (among other developments) seen the emergence of hybrid and electric vehicles and self-parking cars, as well as increasingly sophisticated in-car digital services as standard such as sat-navs that connect to the cloud (via your smartphone or an in-car data SIM) and download the latest traffic information so they can route you around any trouble spots in real time.
Advances in new technology have given businesses big dreams of introducing all kinds of innovative new products and services to gain the edge over their competition. But, bogged down with other projects that CIOs consider more critical – such as readying for the avalanche of big data heading their way and ensuring all systems are secure and compliant – many IT departments fear they are being stretched too far and won’t be able to deliver on the wider business objectives of agility and rapid innovation.
Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology behind Bitcoin, is suddenly getting a lot of businesses very excited. Earlier this month, Microsoft opened its inaugural Envision conference in New Orleans with the announcement that it was teaming up with a consortium of over 40 banks to work on the technology. The R3 consortium includes big names such as Barclays, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, RBS, HSBC, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.
Virtual reality (VR), that long-time staple of science fiction, is stepping off the page and out of the research labs. From the low-end Google Cardboard – a fold-it-yourself headset that turns an Android smartphone into a surprisingly competent VR viewer for just a few dollars – to last month’s launch of the long-awaited Oculus Rift VR gaming system, the technology has finally come of age.