Many businesses are at risk of becoming digital prey by 2020 if they don’t undergo a digital transformation today.
If one thing stands out about the current state of technology, it's how fast things are changing. Robots, drones, 3D and 4D printing, the IoT, wearables and more are now a reality. Yes, these technologies will become far more sophisticated and, combined with AI, take on more mind-bending capabilities in the months and years ahead. But the point is: they are already making an impact.
Today, classical computing—essentially using a computing device to interact and transact—is little more than a starting point for navigating a bold new world of business. Organizations, and the CIOs who manage IT systems, must recognize that computing has become a multi-dimensional chess game.
A recent study from Forrester and Alfresco Software, Break Down Content and Information Silos to Accelerate the Flow of Work, points out that the majority of today's organizations are at risk of becoming "digital prey" by 2020. A key finding: a sharp divide between the expressed need of enterprises to undergo digital transformation and their ability to accelerate that transformation.
The study found that while digital transformation is a "high or critical priority" for 70 percent of enterprises—and over 80 percent consider data and content integration "extremely" or "very important"—only 14 percent said their collective content is virtually all-digital today.
In addition, 68 percent of respondents said their companies are engaged in digital transformation efforts and 71 percent have prioritized strategies for emerging technologies through mobile, social, and smart products, but 50 percent are currently behind the maturity curve.
Two-thirds (67 percent) reported that end users must reference external content frequently or every time they complete a process. Yet when asked about executing a process, scattered content (49 percent) and lack of contextual information (47 percent) were cited as major pain points. As firms tackle digital transformation, 81 percent consider the integration of data and content across systems to be extremely important to their organization.
These facts lead to a clear and indisputable conclusion: CIOs must think beyond bolt-on systems and ad hoc methods to enhance IT. Too often, these simply add more parts to the enterprise engine. They allow existing silos to operate inefficiently, faster. At some point, the engine becomes so complex and unwieldy that it actually limits or blocks further progress.
Digital transformation requires agility, flexibility and vision. In many cases, this means blowing up existing systems and silos and revamping business processes so that there's a focus on delivering the best possible customer and employee experience.