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Digital transformation is making several headways across industries and geographies.

With the potential to impact organizational outcomes in profound ways, today, almost every company is on the road to digital transformation – or they risk becoming obsolete.

According to IDC, 85% of enterprise decision-makers say they have a time frame of two years to make significant inroads into digital transformation, or they will fall behind their competitors and suffer financially.

If you too are looking to adopt and integrate disruptive technologies and fundamentally change how your business operates (and how value is delivered to customers), now is the time to transform digitally.

Here are key areas to focus on in your digital transformation journey:
Adopt new tech: The stepping-stone of any digital transformation strategy is the adoption of new technology. Leveraging the myriad benefits modern technologies offer is the best way to improve operational efficiency, enhance customer experience, and fuel innovation. This means getting rid of rigid legacy systems that hamper growth, upgrading/migrating systems to drive more value, making the most of emerging programming languages, and implementing new tools, systems and applications that fuel collaboration and boost efficiency. And just adopting new tech is not enough; you need to constantly train your teams to ensure they are using the technology in the most optimum manner and drive far higher value from your tech investments.

Innovate through data: Another very critical component of successful digital transformation initiatives is the ability to unearth insight from data. With organizations getting crushed under the weight of data about employees, machines, processes, customers, competition, markets, and regulatory frameworks, innovating through data is a great way to drive enterprise-wide transformation. This includes using technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things to glean insight from data, and make intelligent, evidence-based decisions. From customer segmentation to predictive maintenance, enrichment of customer touch-points to better inventory management – AI and IoT will pave the way for data-informed cognitive analytics, and be the reason for competitive advantage. It is no surprise then that the IoT market is expected to grow to 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020.

Break down silos and embrace Agile: Digital transformation also requires you to continuously work in an iterative manner so you can explore new technologies and develop functionalities more rapidly. This means you have to break down silos that hamper efficiency, growth and innovation, so the entire organization is ready for transformation – not just individual business units. It also makes sense to embrace an Agile mindset, so teams can set priorities and design solutions – while constantly focusing on value creation. Driving efforts in building capabilities that empower your teams to develop prototypes and engage with customers is essential to achieve faster to market and be in alignment with the voice of your customers.

Embrace cloud: For many organizations, success (or failure) is directly proportional to the effectiveness of their IT service delivery environment. Cloud is a key driver of digital transformation and can enable you to reach your digital goals faster. By allocating more IT resources (and staff) to the development and continuous improvement of products, you can drive the transformation that improves the overall customer experience. Cloud offers the scale and speed needed to support changing business priorities – with ease. It allows you to consistently manage your existing applications and achieve higher levels of availability, reliability, and security – while helping you develop, deploy, and deliver software faster.

Focus on skill transformation: No digital transformation can be successful if you do not have people with the right tech skillset. With typical technology capabilities quickly transforming into specialized skill sets, you need to focus on skill transformation to accelerate time to value. Keep track of trending skills and see how your organization can benefit from those skill sets. Assess the skills of your existing employees, train them, so they can improve upon their skills. Alternatively, hire candidates with skills across data science, automation, DevOps, and more from the market. You can also cater to this emerging need for specialized skill sets by forging strategic partnerships, driving mergers and acquisitions, and setting up Global Centers of Excellence.

Find the right blend

The digital transformation fever has taken the entire world under its embrace. With spending expected to reach $2 trillion by 2022, organizations need to do everything they can to drive transformation: adopt new tech, innovate through data, break down silos, embrace the cloud, and focus on skill transformation, among others.

As you set towards the journey, remember that digital transformation is neither about a pure technology or a pure business transformation; it is about establishing an organizational structure (and culture) that is a perfect amalgamation of business, technology, and people.

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Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

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