Digital Transformation: More Than Just a Buzzword

by BJ Johnson | 5/9/16

Conference season is in full swing and the latest buzzword is clearly digital transformation. Other buzzwords and trends like big data, mobile and cloud computing are still around, but their popularity with vendors, bloggers and consultants is fading. They seemed to have been consumed by digital transformation and rightfully so.

We’ve all read or heard the amount of data being created and collected is growing at a staggering rate, about 2.5 quintillion bytes per day. If that number doesn’t put big data into perspective, how about over 205 billion emails sent and received per day, 277,000 tweets every minute or over 100,000 health apps? Collecting and making sense of data and then using that insight to create action plans to improve business processes or create new business models is one component of digital transformation.

In the U.S. we now spend more time on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets than desktops. If you’re not prepared to engage customers, employees and business partners on their device of choice you’ve got a problem. BYOD, or bring your own device, is another buzzword that is now a part of our work culture. Mobile devices have transformed the way we develop technology, communicate and work.

Cloud computing allows organizations to move from building infrastructures to renting them. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) allows anyone with a credit card to purchase enterprise software that might have only been available to large organizations in the past. The cloud has enabled businesses to deploy solutions in days and process information in seconds. There are over 75 billion connected devices that depend on the cloud to collect, process and access information. Digital transformation is enabled by the cloud.

It’s not hard to understand why digital transformation is the buzzword du jour; it encompasses many of the things we have been talking about over the last few years. Big data, mobile and cloud computing are all trends that are here to stay, but investing in the latest shiny thing doesn’t always guarantee success. Digital transformation is all about harnessing technology and data to make strategic decisions that allow organizations to reinvent processes and transform the way they do business. Those companies that get it right will improve the customer experience, be agile enough to respond to new trends and create business models that disrupt the status quo. I’m sure someone will come up with a new buzzword soon but I think the importance of digital transformation is here to stay.

BJ Johnson is Sr. Solutions Specialist at Access Information Management.

BJ provides organizations with temporary and on-demand business transformation and information management services. He has been a senior business leader for over 25 years, developing and implementing go-to-market strategies designed to increase revenue, improve productivity and advance the customer experience. His extensive experience in business process reengineering, compliance and security enables organizations to improve their agility while reducing their risk profiles.