Digital transformation (DX) is permeating every vertical market, and industries are looking to evolve to better align with their customers’ changing requirements. The result is the development and integration of cutting edge technologies and a change of methodology to improve processes.
DX is radically changing how organisations operate and is shaking up industries at speed. Organisations are increasingly launching initiatives to expand or build digital capabilities to deliver business efficiency or increase top-line revenue growth.
According to the 15 industries surveyed as part of the Gartner 2018 CIO Agenda Industry Insights report, 47 per cent of CEOs are being challenged to make progress in digital business, and 56 per cent of respondents reported that digital improvements have already improved their overall profits. The 2018 edition of the annual key issues study The CIO Agenda: Driving Value from Transformation, found that the use of virtual assistants, chatbots and other cognitive technologies is anticipated to grow at least five-fold in overall adoption rates over the next few years.
These findings show that every industry is either already participating in or ready to join in with digital transformation. This seismic impact prediction calls for immediate action, and many companies have already begun their DX journeys and are automating and streamlining business processes by investing in artificial intelligence (AI), specifically machine learning.
Digital transformation is already having a significant impact on four vertical industries:
- Legal. Traditionally, the pace of digital change within the legal industry has been slow, with the legal profession resisting many of the technological advances over the years. However, the industry is now increasing its uptake of cloud, document storage, automated workflows, schedule assistants and mobility. Current technology such as chatbots and blockchain are not yet widely used, however, the disruptive impact will be felt in every law firm around the globe.
- Finance. From mobile payments and online banking to chatbots, paperless billing and automated invoicing, the world of banking and finance has already adopted many new technologies. However, with the development of blockchain and other automated technology, the disruption is nowhere near complete.
- Education. Students are evolving as is the technology they use. Educational bodies are adapting to this change by increasingly using devices and online platforms for teaching, resources and engagement. The use of 3D printing, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are quickly developing into new teaching methods. DX could well be the disruptive force to change and improve the way future generations are taught.
- Manufacturing. By using technology, manufacturing organisations are moving away from mass-produced goods to customised production via a digital supply network. Incorporating and embracing robots, data, AI, sensors and mobility, the manufacturing industry is already dipping its toe into Industry 4.0.
Successful digitalisation of a business can disrupt the entire industry and rewrite the rules in a way that leaves their competitors playing catch up. The focus must be on what DX can let the organisation and industry accomplish. The important factor is not having the largest collection of the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality, AI and 3D printing technologies, but focusing on agility, innovation and the ability to holistically adapt to change.
Technology will disrupt existing ways of doing things, and those who refuse to become nimble and innovative will get left behind. Rather than merely identifying all the ways in which digitalisation can optimise the organisation in its current form, organisations need to look into the future and absorb DX into their DNA.
Adam O’Neill, Managing Director – Australia and New Zealand, Y Soft