We recently looked at some of the major technology predictions of top market analysts. Based on these reports, we’ve come up with a series of blogs to tackle some essentials that companies need to focus on as they embark on their journey of becoming a digital business. In this first installment, we’ll discuss digital technology platforms and how important they are to laying the groundwork for a digital transformation strategy.

In the past, IDC predicted that most enterprises would have digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategy. True enough, this idea became mainstream, heralding a new era for IT in the years to come. With the dawn of what IDC calls the “DX economy,” new technologies are fundamentally changing many industries. And as we speak, new rules are being written about how jobs are being done.

In their latest report, IDC forecasts that new digital services and product lines will rise in the next 36 months, causing blinding acceleration rates in innovation among all industries. This growth will cause significant changes in supply chains, distribution networks, and customer engagement, presenting a new wave of challenges for businesses today.

Upgraded Challenges

While digital transformation is on everyone’s agenda, studies show that many organizations are not ready to embrace it. Gartner reported that about 59% of the organizations they surveyed admitted they are unprepared for digital business in the next two years.

For most businesses, laying the groundwork for a digital business is no easy task. Furthermore, businesses must now meet a new set of performance standards in the different aspects of their business. Among these are the digitization of new and traditional offerings, operational efficiency, and organizational agility.

Consequently, developing digital capabilities in all aspects of a business can take a substantial amount of time and resources. Because of this, digital initiatives usually end up taking the form of experimental projects and are limited to activities within an individual department, function, or channel.

Catch Up or Die

With the growing demand for digital innovation across all industries, it is not surprising that analysts foresee some companies will fail in their digital transformation efforts. IDC expects “at least one-third of every industry’s top 20 companies will fail to reach these new benchmarks, thereby opening the door to heightened competition and disruption.”

Forrester echoes this prediction, stating that, “Catching up with early movers in business technology will spell the end-of-days for at least one traditional firm.” Therefore, businesses should be more thoughtful when developing and implementing their digital transformation initiatives, if they want to remain relevant in the industry. Without a cohesive digital transformation strategy that is integrated into the overall company strategy, as well as the right set of tools to support it, transformation efforts could end in failure – or worse – the business could end up shutting down.

Digital Technology Platforms

With all the demanding changes and upgraded challenges, how can you drive your business to digital transformation success? For one, you must establish a flexible technology and delivery platform that will allow your organization to quickly adapt and respond to the new opportunities and business models that come with a digital business.

Gartner identified five technology building blocks essential to the enablement of the new capabilities of a digital business:

  • Information system platform – these are the platform, technology, and applications needed to run the internal parts of the organization
  • Customer experience platform – contains the elements for multi-channel interaction and commerce, which should be agile enough to adapt to changing customer needs
  • Analytics and intelligence platform – provides information management and analytical capabilities that help accelerate the pace of the decision-making process of a business
  • IoT platform – provides the sensors that connect to the physical assets for monitoring, optimization, control, and monetization
  • Business ecosystem platform – supports the creation of, and connection to, external ecosystems, marketplaces, and communities

How Low-Code Can Help Your Business

While there are many different elements of technology that goes into the building of these platforms, it does not necessarily require only technologists working on your digital transformation strategy. Tools are now available to help enterprises step up the process of renovating your core business without stopping your current operations, and lessen the risk that goes with the changes that digital transformation entails. One good example is the use of low-code development platforms.

A low-code platform is an easy-to-use solution that simplifies the development process of applications needed for building your digital business. It can be readily utilized by business professionals themselves, empowering them to take an active role in quickly developing and deploying the solutions needed to establish their digital technology platforms.

To learn more about how low-code platforms can help your business, read our article on building apps with a low-code platform.

Read more on our Digital Transformation Strategy Essentials series:
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