Modern technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), and mixed reality (MR), are powering the fourth Industrial Revolution and driving digital transformation. These technologies are not only transforming the way people work, but also how they live and connect.
For instance, AI and IoT are being used by Australia’s Department of Primary Industry and Resources to identify and analyze species of hundreds of fishes in one of the largest harbors. This helps in finding the right resources for future generations of those fishes.
In 2019, business leaders are optimistic about economic and societal prospects, but many of them are also concerned about the challenges ahead. For example, digital transformation is helping even the new companies to accelerate their processes and stand among the established leaders. This is increasing the competition for many industries and becoming a challenge for CEOs.
Ralph Haupter, President at Microsoft Asia, recently wrote an article to help industry participants in responding to such challenges. According to him, these are the five technology decisions CEOs need to make in 2019 to accelerate digital transformation journey and embrace modern technologies faster.
1. Redefine data strategy
Data is the lifeblood of an organization that drives it growth. Large organizations across Asia Pacific find it challenging to manage the overwhelming growth of data estate.
What CEOs need to do is modernize the entire data strategy of their organization, “from creating a secure platform to managing and harnessing data to creating a corporate culture where the workforce embraces data in their daily work,” wrote Ralph Haupter.
2. Speed up cloud adoption
From “Should we move our data to the cloud?”, CEOs have increasingly started to ask, “Can we afford not to?”
Cloud adoption provides scalability which allows organizations to scale their on-premises infrastructure whenever required. They don’t even need to give access to their data to third-party datacenters. Everything can be done via the public cloud.
Also, some organizations opt for hybrid cloud, which enables them to seamlessly move data and applications between public and private cloud.
3. Workforce reskilling
Organizations are aware of the potential of modern technologies. They know that AI and machine learning can boost productivity, reduce costs, and accelerate innovation. However, they lack skilled workforce that can integrate modern technology solutions into workflow.
In 2019, CEOs will need to focus on reskilling the workforce to prepare them for digital transformation journey. Lack of digital expertise and skills will result in failure of the projects related to AI or other modern technologies.
4. Foster a digital culture
Without changing the culture, the application of new technologies wouldn’t drive true digital transformation. The culture should have an open mindset, and favor experimentation, learning and growth.
For example, when Microsoft started embracing digital transformation, it focused on creating a ‘learn-it-all’ rather than ‘know-it-all’.
5. Earn customer trust
According to Ralph Haupter, trust defines the new digital organization. It can take years for an organization to earn the trust of a customer, but it only takes seconds to lose it.
Cyberthreats are increasing every day, attackers are finding new methods to breach data. Moreover, there are new data privacy regulations like General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which makes it very crucial for an organization to handle customer data securely, and maintain privacy, transparency, compliance, and reliability.
CEOs should ensure that the all the elements of trust are integrated into digital transformation practices of the organization right from the beginning.
Ralph Haupter concluded that 2019 is the year of hyper digital transformation where business leaders will start taking quantum leaps in their response to a new digital economy. By focusing on the above-mentioned technology decisions, CEOs can accelerate adoption of digital transformation.