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Why Business Transformation Should be Ongoing and Laser-Focused

A recent Gartner survey shows that CIOs are turning into business leaders. While IT is still one of the CIO's responsibilities, achieving revenue growth and supporting digital transformation were identified most often as top business priorities for organisations in 2018.

There is a lot of talk about digital transformation, so it has become an industry buzzword. However, digital transformation really refers to business transformation so it's far from just being a buzzword. Transformation is the process of change, which is essential for businesses to remain viable. Those that never change can quickly go out of business as they remain out of touch with their customers and will be unable to deliver what's being demanded. 

There are two key characteristics of businesses that are successfully navigating transformation.

  1. Recognition that change is ongoing
    While many businesses may have begun their transformation journey by digitalizing a few processes, savvy business leaders soon realized that transformation couldn't stop there. Just as technology continues to evolve and improve, companies must also grow and change as they look to leverage new and emerging technologies and compete more effectively with others in the marketplace.

    For example, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are just starting to gain a foothold in businesses. These technologies can automate processes to save businesses time and money, and help them operate more efficiently. As these technologies, and businesses' understanding of how to use them, evolve further, companies can become even more efficient, work in even smarter ways, and focus on how the changes can support their growth plans. 

  2. Focusing on the right things
    Transformation isn't just a matter of adopting new technology, although technology can play a significant role. However, true transformation requires leaders to examine their own business's capabilities and resources versus the demands and opportunities of the market it operates in. Then, they need to consider what steps to take to position the company for growth. This could take the form of a new technology solution, a new approach to processes, or a combination of both.

    For example, manufacturers are finding new ways to bundle services with products, make bespoke products to order, and streamline the fulfilment process, to name just a few. These innovations are transforming businesses by providing new revenue streams and requiring new ways of working. To achieve these innovations, businesses need an industry-specific enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that delivers significant visibility into operations. 

There are also opportunities for businesses to move beyond their core offering. For example, we have seen some aged care organizations expand into catering or developing allied health products and services. This type of expansion is driven by market demand as revealed by data analysis and an understanding of the company's capability based on information from its ERP system.
Most businesses have only begun to explore the very tip of the iceberg of what's possible with new technologies. While they're right to proceed with cautious optimism, businesses that figure out how to make these new technologies work for them sooner can outperform the competition. Ongoing transformation should be a given for today's businesses. Doing so successfully depends on a proactive, visionary approach to technology that maps the business's desired growth trajectory with possible technology solutions. 


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