Digital transformation describes how companies are using technology to add a digital dimension to customer or partner experiences, change the way employees do their jobs, or add new digital or data-based lines of business. These kinds of experiences are no longer just conveniences. They are becoming the de facto standard, and have created strong impetus for businesses who haven’t done so already to start on the path to digital transformation. These five key trends are making digital transformation an imperative for businesses today.
1. Mobile Changes Everything
Mobile devices have transformed the social and commercial relevance of software, to the extent that mobile software touches nearly all interactions and transactions today. As mobile continues to dominate, we will soon see a future in which people, organizations and everyday objects have a digital identity as unique and relevant as their physical ones. Enterprises must learn to tap into consumers’ new digital extensions of themselves, developing new experiences crafted specifically for mobile devices.
- While mobile device users still make a large proportion of their purchases in stores, 42 percent of them relied exclusively on their smartphones or tablets for pre-purchase research. (Nielsen)
- “One out of every three monthly visitors to the average digital retailer website comes exclusively on mobile platforms. Not only is retail one of the highest penetration activities across all digital media platforms today, but in June  it actually had a higher penetration within smartphones (90 percent) and tablets (91 percent) than on desktop computers (78 percent). Given its relative importance on mobile platforms, retailers should not be surprised then to see an increasingly meaningful percentage of their digital visitors being sourced from smartphones and tablets.” (comScore)
2. Life On the Edge
The shift toward using phones, tablets and wearable devices has contributed to the erosion of the web- and browser-centric model. The critical mass of computing power is moving from the center to the edge -- from air-conditioned server rooms to back pockets. Apps, which are built to deliver a great experience on these devices, live at the edge of the enterprise, but are becoming the center of digital ecosystems.
- Overall mobile app use increased 115 percent year-over-year in 2013 (Flurry Analytics)
- 50 billion people, processes, data and things will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Right now, 99.4 percent of physical objects are still unconnected. (Cisco)
3. High Expectations
Customers increasingly expect to have desired information available instantly at their fingertips, and this presents a great opportunity for companies to burnish their images and strengthen customer relationships. Rather than expecting customers to come to them, enterprises must go where the customer is. This means enabling them to interact seamlessly with their business, regardless of device or method, in a way that feels tailored, immediate and personalized.