Digital Deadlock: Is Your Technology Strategy Running Out of Time?

Paul Kurchina
Paul Kurchina in Digital Transformation April 28, 2018

 Businesses are running on such an infinite loop of evolution that it’s easy to forget that there are things that stand the test of time. Customers may adopt new ways to interact with brands, and employees may embrace the convenience and speed of digital technology in everyday work. But one thing that will never change is the fundamental need for understanding and connecting with customers.

Digital Strategy Slowdowns

According to Bob Parker, group vice president of IDC, many organizations are stuck in a digital transformation deadlock that’s slowing down their ability to translate customer knowledge into value-differentiating products and services. “There have been some gains in digital maturity,” he shared during the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) webcast “Creating the Right Technology Strategy for the Digital Economy. “However, 59 percent of organizations have yet to move beyond digital exploration and digital plays to transform themselves and disrupt their industry.”

In a marketplace where the pressure for constant innovation and relevance never stops, Parker’s observation hits very close to home for many organizations. Is it possible that their digital strategies are not evolving fast enough to keep pace with the constant onslaught of technology innovation and new customer behaviors?

As Digital Transformation Evolves, So Should Digital Strategies

Unprecedented scale in connectivity and massive proliferation of data associated with the extensive digitalization of entire industries are giving businesses a unique opportunity to accomplish their goals. For example, machine learning is addressing top concerns such as identifying fake news, targeting customers with the right ad messages, and rooting out bias in the workplace. Even blockchain is beginning to show promise in helping secure trust in areas such as financial services and contract management.

As Pat Bakey, president of SAP Industries at SAP warned during the event, “This new environment can be scary for businesses that do not have a plan. In reality, the full range of available technology—from high-speed computer processing to machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality--will continue to affect digital maturity over a simultaneous period of time.”

Intelligent Enterprises Running on Real-Time Insights

What companies should consider, Parker and Bakey believe, is becoming an inherently intelligent enterprise. Running on real-time insights from advanced analytics enabled by, for example, machine learning, artificial intelligence, or blockchain can help them overcome digital strategy mistakes that hold back transformation progress. Common missteps include outdated key performance indicators, siloed digital transformation initiatives, short-term tactical plans, limited expertise and digital skills, and disparate innovation.

Hype-Free Digital Strategies

When finding ways to innovate that go beyond a technology-centric view, businesses quickly realize that technology is just a piece of a component of the entire digital strategy.

Bakey revealed, “Businesses have to understand the various layers of the overall transformation. They have to know all existing and redefined business processes and the moment when technology should be inserted into them. And most importantly, they have to know how to bring all of these technologies together to build a complete solution.”

Explore the technologies and best practices you need to power your digital transformation. Listen to our recorded webcast, “Creating the Right Technology Strategy for the Digital Economy,” featuring Bob Parker, group vice president of IDC, and Pat Bakey, president of SAP Industries at SAP.