Australia’s conception of digital transformation might just be what is stopping business from fulfilling its potential within the current market.
In practice and in outcome, digital transformation has very little to do with either “digital” or “transformation.” When most business leaders hear the term, they tend to focus on the technology aspect of it. And this focus is to their detriment.
For example: Business leaders know they need a reporting tool, so they buy the best one they can find. They need an ERP, so they invest heavily in a top-of-the-line option. They need resource management, so they pick that up too. This happens without anyone ever stepping back and looking at the bigger picture.
The result is selecting disparate IT tools designed to satisfy immediate needs rather than long-term strategic investments built around overarching business objectives.
So despite recognising the value of data, businesses are creating environments where it’s difficult to draw any meaningful insights from these state-of-the-art – yet siloed – tools.
It’s a situation I’ve termed Australia’s Data Analytics Paradox. As Dan Vesset, IDC Group vice president of analytics and information management said in a recent interview with SAP: “Analytics plays the role of the engine propelling an organisation’s digital transformation efforts with data-driven decision making… Don’t get caught up in the industry lingo and veer from the ultimate role of analytics into a technical quagmire.”
Ultimately, companies are actively looking to overhaul their businesses and use technology as a conduit for progress – but are focusing on the tools they could use rather than the impact they need to derive from them.
It is critically important for businesses to correct this, because without unlocking value from the insights captured by new technologies, they will be left behind. What companies need is a robust system helping them make decisions and engage in workflows.
This requires data analytics.
Data analytics is the next frontier of the digital revolution – and the true enabler of digital transformation.
Rather than using a reporting or a data mining tool in isolation, analytics needs the right level of information and in the right context to have any impact at all.
It is impossible to draw true insights from isolation. Information and processes must capture information from all four corners of a business in order to accurately reflect it. Analytics systems need to be an integrated resource, empowering all employees, from top floor to shop floor, to truly digitally transform a business.
The impact of integrated analytics is staggering. It allows businesses to optimise decision-making through real-time insights and automatic analysis, and the opportunities will expand further as AI and automation become more widely adopted. It means all staff can accurately and nimbly execute on all needs – from customer service, product manufacturing, processing, and sales.
This is the benefit of true digital transformation: allowing businesses to provide better service delivery and consistency across message, content and offering. Wherever and whenever customers engage they must receive the same content and service, regardless of platform or device. It’s the future of business, and it’s powered by truly integrated data analytics.
For more on digital transformation strategies, see Business Intelligence Emboldens Digital Transformation.