Stéphane Kirchacker, vice-president EMEA at Sinequa, identifies the four key digital transformation trends that the chief experience officer (CXO) needs to focus on
The acceleration of digital transformation has seen it go, in a matter of a few years, from an item on the wish list of organisations to something demanded in order to stay competitive and efficient. Research from IDC demonstrates just how high up the priority list it’s become, with change inevitably accelerated by the events of 2020 onwards. This research concluded that 87 per cent of CXOs say that developing a more intelligent enterprise is their number one priority for the next five years. Digital transformation is the vehicle by which this is achieved.
But what are the key trends that are driving these efforts, and why? Where should the CXO be focusing their efforts when it comes to digital transformation? Four factors stand out:
1. Data analytics and activation
At the heart of the drive for DX is a need by industries to maximise the use of their data. The activation of this data is in turn pivotal to the success of digital transformation.
As things stand, most organisations weight their time more towards the preparation of data over the analysing of it; a lot of cooking and very little tasting, and it’s been this way for a very long time. CXOs are looking to turn that on its head, to a point where 80 per cent of time is on the analytics itself, and just 20 per cent on pulling it together.
This is a radical, transformative shift in business analytics, and involves frontloading a large majority of the work. In particular, the effective evaluation of what data is actually needed early in the process, and then ensuring its condition and reliability to allow for data-driven decision making that removes human bias. It’s with a view towards this that demand for artificial intelligence and machine learning continues. But at the heart of that, the data itself needs to be reliable, robust, and agile.
2. Hybrid cloud infrastructure
As much as the world was already heading towards more flexible, hybrid-driven solutions beforehand, inevitably it was the 2020 global pandemic that accelerated the pace of change here. Its ramifications, of course, continue, and the events of the last two years have been a strong reminder that worst case scenarios need to be properly prepared for.
As a consequence, organisations more than ever are pushing to remain flexible and agile, and hybrid cloud infrastructure has afforded a — necessarily — fast way forward. What’s emerged, quicker than expected, is a huge push towards a more flexible way of working. It’s increasingly seeing organisations mixing public and private clouds, along with on-premise data centres. This allows flexibility, control and a streamlined software platform too. It also keeps an organisation optimised, no matter where its employees happen to be working.
3. Working from home
Not unrelated, the new normal for many organisations is a more flexible way of working. That’s something that’s unlikely to ever be fully reversed, and businesses are pushing for solutions that accommodate employees being able to work from wherever they happen to be.
Here’s where digital transformation is going to be crucial too. Many organisations have coped with what they had over the past two years, patching together a mix of technology to get the job done: but there was an element of papering over cracks. DX is pushing towards more suitable, improved working from home devices that prioritise security and a better experience for users too. Nobody wants to be caught out twice.
4. Cyber security
The final main driver for DX underpins it all: a secure way of working, no matter where a user happens to be. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given how haphazardly companies across the world had to adapt, 2020 was regarded as the worst year to date when it comes to the number of records exposed by data breaches. The infrastructure and policies weren’t in place to cope with a sudden shift in working practices
DX is addressing this urgently, and it’s a key priority. As if to double down on just how pressing this is — and factoring in more and more people potentially working remotely going forward — IBM discovered that the cost of breach where remote working was involved was $1m more than when it wasn’t a factor. The onus is thus on a business’ cyber security measures in particular to look to secure home networks, as well as mobile working from home devices. To allow better ownership of the tech, and the practices involved.
These four factors aren’t the only ones driving digital transformation of course, but they’re the quartet very much at the forefront of current trends. They’re also the four that CXOs are strongly advised to prioritise — and what’s more on each of them the clock is already ticking.
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