By Giovanni Sansalone, Vice President of Product Management
What to consider on your digital transformation journey
In his role at Bell Business Markets, Giovanni Sansalone has experience working with organizations at virtually every stage of digital transformation.
Considerable advancements have converged over the past decade, changing the way we use technology. This affects the way we consume information, how we communicate, how we shop and how we work, and it continues to influence behaviour in all aspects of our lives. No sector or industry can escape these changes. This is the era of digital transformation.
Digital transformation defined
Digital transformation is the integration of technology in all business aspects to fundamentally improve operations, business intelligence, customer experience and more. It’s becoming the new status quo amongst industries – less of a competitive advantage and more of a requirement to remain competitive.
In fact, by the end of 2019, global spending on digital transformation is expected to reach$1.7 trillion1 and will consume more than 40 percent of Canadian companies’ IT budgets.2 This is clear proof that organizations are recognizing the need to stop competitors while reaping the benefits of smarter, more adaptive operations, richer customer interactions and better overall business performance.
So, what are the strategic priorities that are setting the foundation for digital transformation? How are companies fulfilling their digital transformation journeys?
Putting the customer first
Taking a strategic approach often involves a fundamental shift in perspective.
“Organizations that are really far ahead tend to come at digital transformation from the outside in,” Sansalone explains.
“Instead of asking, ‘How do I want to connect with customers and partners?’ their starting point is, ‘How do customers and partners want to interact with me?’”
Customers demand always on, always available experiences. That’s because consumers are increasingly impatient and mobile, and expect to find things, buy things, move money and complete transactions, anywhere, anytime and on any device.
To manage these demands, companies are looking for practical insights from big data analytics so they can create more meaningful, personalized and timely customer experiences.
Many are also aiming to use automation and machine learning to create seamless, fully automated interactions across all channels – not only for customers but partners and suppliers as well.
All of this requires an unprecedented degree of openness and interconnection between internal systems and with the world outside the enterprise. That is why security becomes more important than ever.
Open enough to be agile, secure enough to keep data safe
While massive data breaches grab headlines, distributed denial of service (DDoS) and web application attacks are just as disruptive – and more frequent.
Between the second and third quarters of 2017 alone, DDoS and web application attacks went up by 8 percent and 30 percent, respectively.3
Defending against threats like these is vital to successful digital transformation. One of the tactics enterprises are taking is to shift away from purely reactive security and use advanced new technologies to anticipate and stop potential threats before they reach the business.
Protect and optimize your business with cloud
By providing greater levels of automation, orchestration, provisioning and deployment, cloud computing can help organizations become more nimble, reduce operating costs, improve application performance and better allocate their compute resources.
But cloud computing does not come without its challenges. In particular, organizations with traditional infrastructures may find their networks are not set up to take full advantage of the cloud, and they may suffer from poor application performance or expose themselves to security risks when migrating to the cloud.
The crucial role of the network
Research shows that organizations with strongly aligned network and digital transformation strategies have more than twice the rate of revenue growth, customer retention and profit growth of those that do not.4
Aligning network and digital strategies gives organizations the ability to think about digitally enabling infrastructure services and business applications at the same time.
It facilitates a true 'outside in' approach by enabling the outside world to connect and access services in the way that they want, when they want and where they want - offering one cohesive, secure, flexible and scalable ecosystem.
“A network that is truly digital-ready is a network that can dynamically align with the ever-changing needs of the enterprise, including new business relationships, technology innovations, applications, devices, services, threats, disruptions, regulations, environmental factors and market influence.”5
It is clear that digital transformation has arrived and is a reality for the majority of Canadian businesses. Approaching it from the ‘outside in’ with a secure customer-first methodology, moving workloads to the cloud to gain flexibility and agility, and aligning digital and network transformation strategies are all key to success.
How Bell can help customers on their digital transformation journey
With $3 billion invested every year, Bell is the clear leader in delivering the network that can be the connector of digital transformation strategies for organizations large and small, today and tomorrow.
Bell has the people, technology, expertise and track record to enable digital transformation strategies that help organizations improve business performance and accelerate time-to-market.
Our strategic expertise spans everything from security, customer contact solutions and unified communications to the Internet and private networks, cloud and IoT. Plus, with a 1,200-person professional services team experienced in business process assessment, solution design and deployment, we can easily customize our solutions to meet the needs of your specific industry.
- IDC, November 2017. IDC FutureScape: Worldwide digital transformation 2018 predictions. Doc #US43154617.
- IDC, June 2016. The ROI of digital technologies: Canadian conclusions and insights, June 2016. Doc #CA40621816.
- Akamai Technologies, November 2017. Q3 2017 State of the Internet /Security Report.
- IDC, January 2017. Is your network ready for digital transformation? Doc # US41912917
- IDC, May 2017. IDC Digital Network Readiness Study, 2017.