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

Paul Kurchina

Businesses are running on such an infinite loop of evolution that it’s easy to forget 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.

However, according to Bob Parker, group vice president of IDC, many organizations are stuck in a digital transformation deadlock, which is 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% 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?

Digital transformation is evolving – and digital strategies should too

Unprecedented scale in connectivity and massive proliferation of data associated with the extensive digitalization of entire industries and value chains are giving businesses a unique opportunity to accomplish their goals better than ever before. 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 securing trust in areas such as financial services and contract management.

However, 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 impact digital maturity over a simultaneous period of time.”

What companies should consider, Parker and Bakey believe, is to become 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.

Digital strategies: Not hype – just a living, breathing foundation to future success

When taking a business perspective, versus a technology-centric view, in finding ways to innovate, businesses quickly realize that technology is just a small piece 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 important, they have to know how to bring all of these technologies together to build a complete solution.”

Facilitate the speed, scale, and scope of your digital transformation with emerging business models. Explore the technologies and best practices you need to get started by listening to the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) Webcast replay “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.

Paul Kurchina

About Paul Kurchina

Paul Kurchina is a community builder and evangelist with the Americas’ SAP Users Group (ASUG), responsible for developing a change management program for ASUG members.