09 Aug, 2017

Digital Transformation: Where it Began, and Where it is Heading


Digital transformation is seen in all leading industries, changing the way business operations are carried out.

“Forty percent of businesses in this room, unfortunately, will not exist in a meaningful way in 10 years. 70 percent of companies will attempt to go digital but only 30 percent of those will succeed. If I’m not making you sweat, I should be” – John Chamber, Executive Chairman and former CEO of Cisco

As a business leader, adapting to digital trends should be a priority.

Last week, we discussed on Digital Diary how to get ready for these changes. This week, we are going to take a brief look at how this trend has evolved.

Where It All Began

“[Digital transformation] involves a change in leadership, different thinking, the encouragement of innovation and new business models, incorporating digitisation of assets and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of your organisation’s employees, customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders.” The Agile Elephant reports. 

Digital transformation is the most talked about business trend today. However, digital transformation actually started almost 30 years ago, as we started to computerize business processes and operations.

With the birth of the internet, businesses also started to begin to implement digital tools into their organization. First, businesses created websites to connect their companies to their customers online. Websites remain at the core of digital strategy today.

As companies became more digitally competent, and new innovations emerged on the market, they soon needed to hire whole digital teams to manage the multitude of social and mobile channels that emerged during the late 1990s and into the 2000s.

Social media became a staple of our everyday lives. For business, this offered new ways to communicate with the consumer.

Mobile opened up a whole new world of opportunity. Connecting to customers, stakeholders, suppliers, employees, and more on-the-go became a priority.

Then, What?

As consumers became more digitally-savvy, they were empowered. The internet offered access to an unlimited amount of information.

Competition became fierce. Businesses in all leading industries had no choice but to adapt or fail.

New innovators also entered the market. Uber, Amazon, AirBnb, Dropbox are just a few examples of companies that disrupted entire industries. These companies embraced digital tools in order to deliver on changing customer demands.

Business leaders quickly realized that new technology would need to be implemented in order to keep up with the digital competition.

Once companies started to utilize more technology, the landscape of business operations changed, creating a “digital transformation revolution.”

What Are The Drivers of Digital Transformation?

There are four key drivers of digital business transformation:

CUSTOMER – Customer demands change. Digital transformation can make your business more agile, so in the future, you can identify and adapt faster.

INNOVATION – Novel approaches have always changed the direction of human endeavor, and answered business challenges. Whether it be a medical discovery changing healthcare, or a new technology changing the way we interact, innovation is a huge advocate for change.

TECHNOLOGY – Whether it be new or existing technology, leveraging what our customers, partners or competitors adopt is a leading cause of the disruption.

ECOSYSTEM – Many factors can disrupt your organization’s or your markets’ ecosystem, a dip in the economy, regulatory changes, Trump becoming President.

The Future of Digital Transformation

Technology continues to grow while new, innovative ideas emerge, making the future of digital transformation unpredictable and limitless. What is certain is that digital transformation will ensure businesses can adapt quickly.

“By 2018, the number of IoT devices is expected to double, spurring the development of 200,000 new apps. By 2020, spending on cloud services will be more than $500 billion, three times the current level.” auriga reports. 

Here at Digital Diary, we are keeping a close eye on the following four key areas:

Customer-Centric Experience

The digital dialogue takes the lead in the transformation by not just creating good customer service, but a long-lasting customer experience.

A good customer-centric experience puts the customer at the core of business strategies.

This can be done through integrating different digital tools that make customers feel connected to the brand in order to create a long term relationship in order to drive a repeat of business.

Responding to Behaviour in Real Time

“To make better use of the vast amounts of information, companies started to connect all processes and devices into networks. Seeing potential in connectivity, organizations focused on digital platforms connecting all system players rather than the traditional method of doing business through intermediaries. Companies began to experiment with new digital ways of doing business, trying to leverage data more effectively, create greater agility, and retain talent.” – Auriga

Why is this important?

Responding in real-time requires systems to make decisions automatically, creating agile systems of communication in the workplace as well as team organization.

Digital platforms of communication such as Email and Skype, allow all players to be connected virtually, which moves the workplace toward a digital system.

Smartwatches, Wearables & Internet of Things

Smartwatches and wearables have made a huge impact in the health industry, able to track biometric measurements such as heart rate and blood pressure.

Innovation is moving toward mobility, forcing industries to adapt to the on-the-go customer.

Geofencing, Beacons, Location-based

Mobile contexts and touch points will expand using geofencing, beacons and location-based tools.

Geofencing and beacons use location-based technology that enables software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or exits an area.

This is particularly useful for business professionals in the retail industry, who want to know where their customers are in order to target market offered services.

“You can use things like a high-accuracy GPS, so you can connect to a satellite, get a really high-accuracy lat and long of where that customer is.” Academy reports. 

The future of business is digital. Forrester reports that transformation budgets will increase rapidly, driving executives to completely embrace the potential of technology.


The Millennium Alliance is thrilled to present the second 2017 edition of Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly, put together by the industry, for the industry. Join us November 16-17, for a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.

Digital transformation has made a huge impact on all leading industries. As 2018 approaches and new trends emerge, it is important for business leaders to understand where digital transformation rooted from and where it is going. With new technology, comes new roles in companies. CIOs are needed more than ever to manage the explosion of information that has ignited digital enterprise.

Join leaders in discussing all the trends that surround this transformation during Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly.

This is not just another “Digital IT” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. Apply for Millennium Membership today

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