Three trends to watch for successful digital transformation

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Technological innovation is integrated throughout the daily operations of most companies, especially industries like the manufacturing, trade, transportation and utilities sectors that constitute large parts of the Grand Rapids economy. According to a recent Accenture report, “future-ready” organizations are twice as efficient and three times as profitable as their peers.

The global pandemic prompted entire industries to rethink their strategies and implement digital innovations to stay connected with customers, employees and facilities. While the future is bright, it also can be blinding. With so much innovation moving so fast, businesses must see clearly enough to create their own digital road maps. A recent Bank of America report offers ways for companies to navigate their digital transformation:

AI, automation and the cloud are more than technological trends; they are key forces to organizations looking to adapt to digital transformation. Cloud computing also makes the Internet of Things (IoT) possible, which is quickly becoming the Internet of Every Thing. A Juniper Research study found the number of global industrial IoT connections will more than double to 36.8 billion in 2025.

Companies should consider a cloud readiness assessment to determine when and how best to adopt cloud computing by making a list of common tasks that could be improved with greater automation or faster connectivity.

In a post-pandemic world where people are reevaluating their digital interactions, the focus on customers should be front and center, and data is the key. We can expect to see a move toward true “loyalty” programs that foster stronger ongoing engagement. Companies should review their marketing mix and determine if customer acquisition and retention are aligned.

Whether large or small, companies should encourage their teams to drive innovation through collaboration. Business leaders can get caught up in concepts that seem innovative but have no real ties to their priorities. The goal of collaboration should be to solve challenges and create real value. Digital transformation is a marathon, not a sprint. As such, these initiatives require input from all relevant sources. McKinsey & Company offered this advice: Look beyond the boundaries of your own company across enterprises to include your channel partners, vendors and suppliers. Chances are they are willing to collaborate and share data and learnings to help ensure everyone thrives.

New technology is exciting, but there will always be new technology — what matters is choosing the right technology to stay competitive and make the digital experience seamless for customers and employees alike.

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