Ritu Mahandru, VP of Application Delivery at CA Technologies discusses the role of digital transformation in today’s application economy
With the news of TfL’s proposed changes to regulation in order to halt the growth of Uber, it’s clear the UK’s obsession with digital disruption has reached a new high. Digital now penetrates almost every aspect of consumers’ lives and as the Internet becomes more interactive, smart devices become more commonplace and software grows in power, there are a number of imperatives emerging for global enterprises investing in digital transformation.
Digital transformation is all about exploiting modern technology and communications to transform one or more key aspects of an organisation’s business operations and is an initiative that promises high returns.
New research conducted by CA Technologies and Freeform Dynamics showed that companies who achieve high levels of digital transformation see an increase in revenue, are able to act more quickly on business opportunities and see a significant increase in their customer retention. This is especially important in a world where consumer expectations have increased and patience has lessened – especially as apps become a bridge between a company and the customer.
However, whilst the benefits of digital transformation associated with better customer service are clear, UK companies are not embracing the innovations needed to deliver that transformation fast enough. When asked about technologies critical to customer engagement and market development, only 33 percent believed that web-based applications and services are essential, 27 percent saw mobile technology as critical and just 14 percent thought the same of wearable technology. Additionally, 9 percent of UK companies do not believe the Internet of Things will be applicable to their customer engagement.
And while just over half of UK organisations are executing some digital transformation initiatives as a coordinated program, 18 percent still undertake them via separate routes and 16 percent use digital more to enhance rather than transform their businesses.
On the other hand, market leaders in digital transformation, otherwise known as Digital Disrupters, who achieve high returns from digital investment, use these broader technology and customer trends to enhance existing products and services and transform their businesses. This helps them succeed in the fast-paced application economy and stay ahead of the competition. Currently Digital Disrupters allocate over a third of their IT budget to digital investments. They also share several distinctive traits.
Digital Disrupters have a much more acute sense of the need to become a more app-centric, software-driven businesses. They also have a high emphasis on emerging digital channels to the customer. Finally, Digital Disrupters are much more likely to be taking proactive steps to create a more joined up approach within IT, such as implementing cross-functional processes through DevOps and opening up their APIs.
It’s clear that by adopting the same behaviour as digital start-ups and digital pure-play businesses, companies who invest in digital initiatives are the ones that will emerge successfully from the digital turmoil and provide customer service worthy of the digital era.
Ritu Mahandru is VP of application delivery at CA Technologies.
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