At the rate that information technology evolves, it is essential for companies to remain current. While 80% of Canadian CEOs believe IT is an essential tool for growth, 64% of them feel that the speed of technological change is a primary business concern. [i]
IT that is not effective in supporting a company's growth threatens the ability for a company to compete and serve its customers well, and greatly hinders productivity. [ii]
Since the advent of IT, companies have gone through two phases. The first, IT craftmanship, was centered on programming and system management and automation was limited. The second, IT industrialisation, was focused on processes and the management of services.
Today we live in the third phase known as Digitalisation, which is characterized by the use of technology to improve the performance of companies and their proximity to their customers, employees and suppliers.
Companies that are still in the industrialisation, or traditional, era face three major challenges that greatly affect their performance:
IT maintenance costs alone monopolises at least 70% of the budget, while less than 30% can be spent on new IT projects.
Technological innovations come at a steady pace and customer expectations are also increasing rapidly. Companies that are outdated struggle to compete. This gap leads them to take risks that undermine their efficiency.
The customer experience is increasingly defining buying habits, so much so that 90% of marketers say that within 2 years, they will be competing almost entirely on that basis. [iii]
Today, companies must make their digital transformation. They must align their IT development with that of their business model.
The challenge is great! For businesses, this entails changing their perception. Instead of simply accepting the performance that IT allows them to achieve, they need to align their IT with the performance they want to achieve.
While 88% of companies say they are undergoing digital transformation, only 25% of them have mapped out their digital journey. [iv]
A complete IT transformation plan should consider three aspects essential to optimising business performance:
Today, companies and their customers must be able to access their data from any location in the world, and at any time.
For example, IBM’s Smarter Planet solutions respond to multiple needs for access to information. In the area of health, hospitals can access patient information in a few clicks, regardless of the town in which the patient is getting treated.
Mobile solutions can lead to substantial savings. For example, think of the Hydro Quebec's smart meters that integrate Smarter Planet technology. They enable the company to automatically collect and record consumption data, in real-time without travel, and anticipate peak demands and reduce blackouts.
Some sectors are more ahead in the implementation of mobile solutions, but eventually all will be affected.
The transition to a model of consumption "as a service" for the deployment of applications, infrastructure and platforms creates, certainly, new savings, but especially a flexibility and agility, unknown in the first two phases of IT.
Cloud computing, by definition, is elastic, offers a self-service use and allows users to pay only for the resources used. The approach of a company to cloud computing will vary depending on the existing IT infrastructure, the needs of applications in terms of workload and the availability of an internal expertise.
That is why more and more companies are adopting hybrid cloud -the integration of private and public cloud - and a mixed approach based on the relevance or not of transfering certain workloads externally.
In the era of Big Data, IT can compile crucial information about the behavior and the satisfaction of consumers. In a world of fierce competition, companies that have already begun their digital transformation stand out with this data that allows them to offer a personalised customer experience.
In addition, the customer experience must take into account the habits of consumers, who are increasingly using mobile technologies. IT should enable companies to reach their customers wherever they are.
In this context where making the right decisions is more crucial than ever for business leaders, Present commissioned an independent study, the results offering solutions to help Canadian businesses use IT as a lever for change and growth.
Present offers to present this independent study (60 minutes) to help in the reflection on your digital transformation and identify the next steps to take.
[i] Source: 8th Annual Global CEO Survey.
[ii] Source: The Deloitte CIO Survey, Deloitte Consulting, 2013;
IT skills gap hurts productivity, Canadian executives say, CBCNews, 2013;
Today’s Talent Shortage Impacts Everyone, Manpower Group, 2014.
[iii] Source: Gartner Chief Marketng Technologists Symbolize Marketing’s Changing Role 2014
[iv] Source : The 2014 State of Digital Transformation (AlFmeter Group)
Photo credit : © vladimirfloyd - Fotolia.com
The right use of technology addresses business challenges and drives business growth in all areas of an enterprise. We hope this blog will offer insight into developing strategies and tactics to enable you to identify those key drivers of growth and keep pace with and anticipate the rapid technology change of today.