Digital Transformation Crunch Time
Consumer behaviors are changing at speeds never before seen in many industries, which is impacting how businesses operate and bring products to market. In fact, more than a dozen retailers have closed this year as a result of having business and IT systems, and supply chains that are unable to meet the speed requirements of digital consumers. Most companies report they have IT systems in their inventory that are too slow or incapable of supporting real-time digital consumers. That spells trouble. Consumer and competitive changes are forcing enterprises to rethink their strategies in order to speed up in just about all areas: R&D, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and sales.
Enterprises that I speak with today seem to understand that the need for digital transformation is being driven by advances in mobile technologies, automation, cloud computing, sensors, big data analytics and artificial intelligence. They realize they must upgrade their IT systems and business processes to accommodate these changes and increase the speed of their operations. They are also focused on how to improve their agility and flexibility, so they are nimble enough to respond to changing consumer behaviors, tastes and new competitors. Many companies today find themselves in a position where their past investments in IT systems, that once provided competitive advantages, are now anchors preventing them from moving into the future.
Achieving real-time operational speeds is required to support real-time digital interactions and experiences. Supporting these real-time experiences is more than just a technology issue, it requires companies to support real-time analytics, decision-making and business operational tempos. An operational tempo, in the context of this article, is defined as the speed or pace of business operations. Achieving a faster operational tempo is a significant challenge for many. This is why we are seeing more applications of real-time analytics, automation and artificial intelligence.
Changing an enterprise’s operational tempo requires strong leadership that can transform the entire organization. It often requires significant IT updates and upgrades, organizational changes, and reengineering business processes and decision-making matrixes to align with real-time demands.
The biggest challenge for legacy companies today, is how to move to real-time.