Four Trends Reflect Digital Economy’s Shifting Priorities

CIO Magazine’s November issue touted digital transformation trends that we see as a natural, right-sizing to more pragmatic goals of innovation, including changing the “rhetoric in favor of a more iterative approach to innovation, a shift to product management, and renewed efforts around operational efficiency.”

Digital Transformation Trend #1:

Facing Digital Transformation Fatigue with a More Pragmatic Approach

The first, and perhaps the most important, digital transformation trend deals with digital transformation fatigue. “CIOs are suffering from digital transformation fatigue, but not just because the phrase has been overused to describe nearly any IT modernization effort.” Our business and tech transformation experts have been professing this “trend” for some time now.

To take on any digital maturity project, it requires a shift in technologies, skills, and culture along with a robust, iterative approach that builds upon near-term, mid-term, and longer-term successes.

Sometimes, we have to reign in prospective clients when they want to dream bigger than practicality (and ROI) might merit. We try to stay away from what’s ‘cool’ and what competitors are doing. We have to look at the consumer base our customers serve and the trajectory of value that the organization can create through new visions as a digital business.

Digital Transformation Trend #2:

Digital Transformation and Optimization Key Routes to Differentiated Growth

A Gartner survey of 460 executives discovered that 62 percent said they had a management initiative or transformation program to make their business more digital currently in play. Moreover, that “54 percent said that their digital business objective is transformational, while 46 percent said the objective of the initiative is optimization.”

A recent article in ZDNet highlighted, “On average, most organizations believe that half of their revenue will come from digital channels by 2020.”

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Beyond what some call buzzwords, digital transformation means fundamentally rethinking business models and processes, rather than staying within traditional methods, channels, and models.

We can use whatever term we want, but it’s about staying competitive, meeting modern customer needs and doing it more efficiently. Our focus has always been on following the value chain from our client to their client and building into the stream as much value for the least effort and cost possible.

Digital Transformation Trend #3:

Going Bimodal to Ensure Business as Usual While Transforming

Almost half — 44 percent — of CIOs, according to the Logicalis Global CIO Survey, “believe complex legacy technology is the chief barrier to digital transformation with 51 percent planning to adapt or replace existing infrastructure as a means of accelerating digital transformation.”  

You can’t stop business while you ‘transform’. However, as you look to implement some of these digital transformation trends within your own organization, it’s critical to engineer your transformation with eyes wide open to the technical journey for, both, legacy and modern systems to harness the data needed, as well as interoperate as new business models come online.

Digital Transformation Trend #4:

CEOs Taking up the Digital Transformation Charge 

For years, the CIO, and more recently the CDO role, led the majority of digital transformation initiatives. However, data from research published in the MIT Sloan Management Review this fall shows that CEOs are more often leading these efforts in digitally mature organizations – 41 percent, up from 22 percent. CIOs are leading just 16 percent of initiatives, down from 23 percent. 

We see CEOs leading the charge more than before. It’s clear that to get the board to support the needed shifts in resources, priorities, and talent; it takes the CEO to bring all the roles together towards a shared vision and to tap into the business and technology sides of the enterprise.  

Which of these digital transformation trends is most important to your organization’s success in 2019? Our team covers the entire spectrum of transformation from enterprise agility and business process transformation to human-centered design, digital architecture, application development, and software testing.

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