What is Digital Transformation?

This post was originally published on BMC Blogs

Digital transformation describes the dramatic ways in which businesses are adapting to meet the requirements of today’s digital era—one in which we are facing profound and far-reaching changes in the way digital technology is created, managed, analyzed, and consumed.

The digitalization of business is a paradigm shift happening in concert with the age of “more”—more people, using more technology, from more locations, on more devices, for more of the time.

What is Driving Digital Transformation?

Businesses are at a critical juncture: adopt and adapt technology to meet the 24×7, anytime, anywhere demands of customers, employees, and partners—or risk becoming obsolete. One of the primary shifts in responding to such demands is the creation and delivery of digital services: mobile-first applications that are intuitive and intelligent, bringing contextual information to people based on who they are, where they are, and what they are trying to do. They provide automated self-service, crowd-sourced collaboration, and are continuously refined at high speed.

With new demands on business, more moving parts than before, and the need for speed of delivery without sacrificing quality and security, the old ways of managing technology only get you so far. A new approach is needed—one that’s real-time, intuitive, automated, secure, and open. And more often than not, relies on multi-cloud services to enable it.

To stay competitive, traditional businesses must transform into digital enterprises. A digital enterprise is an organization that has a digital-first mindset for new services, and is actively working to convert and automate both internal and customer-facing services. Read about how Continental AG did it.

The Role of IT in Digital Business Transformation

IT professionals are witnessing the impact of digital transformation from a unique perspective. The proliferation of technology means there’s more complexity to manage, and the elevated role of technology in businesses means the impact and outcome of the services IT provides have never been more visible or more valued. For example:

  • Mobile devices and the apps they run are fueling new expectations from employees
  • Cloud computing has redrawn traditional boundaries with new models of procurement, deployment, support, and management
  • Business infrastructure and machinery, not traditionally considered information technology, are becoming smarter, network enabled, and part of an ever-expanding Internet of Things.

As a result, priorities in IT are shifting and a balance between new methods and traditional approaches needs to be struck to manage the sheer scale of the digital transformation challenge.

Creating a Digital Transformation Strategy

IT is pivotal to the success of an effective digital transformation program. With so much dependence on technology for the future success of the business, IT finds itself in the position of needing to excel in every dimension. Innovative services that give the business a competitive edge also need to be rock-solid, cost-efficient, and secure. They should be simple to audit, provide business insights, and continuously improve to meet business goals.

For many, this introduces a tension between the need to transform the business through innovation, and the less glamorous work of “keeping the lights on” and having an effective operating platform. It’s necessary to define a foundation for digital transformation that allows IT to manage the current and future complexities that digital transformation presents.