Digital transformation is not new. We are constantly moving towards an increasingly digital world. But the pace of business transformation had been lagging. Until 2020 happened.
When Dell surveyed more than 4,000 business leaders from 18 countries for its Digital Transformation Index 2020, it found that 80% of the businesses had fast-tracked their digital transformation programs. The uncertainty of Covid-19 disrupted the sluggish pace of business transformation. It ushered in seismic changes, accelerating processes that were supposed to take years into a span of months. Let’s look at some of the most transformative industry trends and the growing focus on ‘digital infrastructure’ as a result.
Emerging trends in digital business transformation
The shift toward D2C business models
The pandemic allowed businesses to reap the rewards of a digital-first strategy. Buying online was the only way for consumers when lockdowns worldwide forced the closure of brick-and-mortar stores. This meant that many businesses, to stay competitive, had to shift from B2B to B2C/D2C. Companies that were earlier focused only on product creation and then the distribution channel to reach customers now realize the value of creating unique customer experiences in the D2C space
Cloud ecosystem maturity
Cloud has emerged as the single most important enabler of transformation. To capture the real value of embracing a digital-first approach, companies realize they need to focus on building a cloud-ready business model right from the beginning. And establishing the proper governance to manage this new digital infrastructure, including cloud financial management, architecture/configuration consistency, and security compliance, is critical to staying in control.
Notably, we are seeing a shift to a hybrid cloud ecosystem for high-data growth enterprises looking to achieve digital success.
Data overflow and the need for AI-powered analytics
We have seen that as more AI-driven data insights come into play, the technical complexity of transformation has also increased.
Businesses are becoming more SaaS-oriented because of this complexity. This is the future of digital infrastructure, and the AI-powered applications ecosystem will only evolve even more over the next few months.
Modernization for Customer-facing infrastructure
As with the shift to D2C, we are seeing a shift toward building more customer-facing infrastructure. Previously, digital infrastructure was never linked to business outcomes. But what we are seeing now is that businesses understand the importance of how this infrastructure enabled by cloud can and does influence business outcomes. With devices becoming smarter, enterprises are adopting edge computing to bring computing services closer to consumers or data sources.
Why is digital infrastructure critical?
Today, most businesses realize the necessity of becoming digital-first and modernizing their business profile. Technology is no longer an option but a fundamental imperative that must be built into business strategies. The era of technology infrastructure being utilized behind the scenes for cost leverage is behind us.
The success of the digital-native business model and the opportunities created by the ongoing disruption has pushed infrastructure to the front-line influencing business outcomes, revenue impact, and customer experience transformation. This is where ‘digital infrastructure’ comes in. It is not just about migrating to the cloud here and there. It is all-encompassing, transforming every aspect of infrastructure from connectivity, servers, data, cybersecurity, applications, and platforms to become more agile, intelligent, and scalable. It embodies cloud-based transformation across the infrastructure ecosystem powered by AI-driven data analytics.
Challenges on the transformation journey
While businesses must go digital, it is important to understand the challenges before charting the infrastructure transformation roadmap.
Legacy technology debt and associated culture
It’s well known that legacy systems are a barrier to seamless digital transformation. And yes, legacy systems can be unwieldy, cumbersome, and resistant to change. But that’s not all.
What we are also seeing is that culture is also one of the biggest challenges to digital transformation. Technology transformation is tough, but people transformation can be tougher! People change management scaling can often be left out when considering an overhaul of legacy technology debt.
Technology readiness, therefore, becomes so important: you may adopt digital, but if your dependent technology stack is not ready in terms of people, processes, and automation, you may not get the results you were looking for.