It's 2018 and your industry competitors are digital transforming their businesses. What changes do you have planned for this year?
Are you thinking "outside the box" in 2018?
A Digital Transformation process includes reviews and updates to Goals, Objectives, Strategy, Process, Metrics and Technology. The basis for all this change is the latest technology that is now affordable and available like never before. The following list of top technologies are being implemented today in other companies to digitally transform the way their employees work and dramatically improve their customer experiences. We included a few comments next to each of these technologies.
How many of these leading technologies are in your plans for this year? Use the list to stimulate ideas during your reviews and discussions.
Top 9 Digital Transformation Technologies for 2018
- Big Data
There are three data issues that businesses need to address over the next few years. One is that most legacy systems are individual silos of information and were never designed to work together. Next, the volume of data will exponentially grow when you upgrade from old legacy applications to new modern technology systems. Business decisions are dramatically speeding up and you need to give your team the key reporting tools that provides instant information to make the best decisions for the company.
- Real-Time Analytics & Reporting
Red Flag: If you're still using old batch reporting for most of your information, you have work to do. With the old legacy technology, your managers just can't compete and quickly make the best decisions. Your managers should have real-time reporting to be successful in today's business environment. Excel spreadsheets will be used for a long time to come. However, they will not usually be the best tools for your management team.
- Cloud Apps and Mobile Solutions
All top application developers are rebuilding and replacing their applications (apps) for the cloud and mobile. How old are your apps and when were they first built? Cloud and Mobile Apps are needed these days for most professionals to be productive. Do you still provide legacy desktop solutions to your Millennial workers?
- Customer Experience (CX) and Social Marketing
Today's customer expects a very fast response to their needs from every company. Millions of customers expect the same experience from your company as they have with Amazon, T-Mobile or Lyft. Have you evaluated your legacy business processes against updated processes using the latest technology? You need to integrate your communications systems, including: social, text, chat, Skype, FaceTime, email, phone and in person meetings so you don't have siloed customer information.
- Cyber Security
Traditional virus software and static system firewalls do not cut it anymore. Every company today has to worry about cyber attacks by hackers from around the world. In addition, you're sometimes targeted by your own disgruntled employees. The latest cyber security systems are proactive and reactive in protecting your company. This should now be a top investment priority each year.
- IOT (Internet of Things) and Wearables
IOT can be used in most offices to save money on energy, improve security and reduce costs. Small and mid-size businesses should see lower energy costs and improved productivity using these new technologies. More and more products you design and manufacture for the office and home will be embedded with computer chips that communicate with your wireless networks and mobile devices to provide a better user experience.
The Healthcare Industry will continue to expand the use of wearable products (for remote patient monitoring) over the next two to three years. Some of the new medical wearable products are finally getting FDA approvals and can be used by health professionals to better monitor and manage patient healthcare.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Look for AI and ML technology investment to accelerate this year. Many of the leading business applications will have these features. Sales and Marketing Apps with this technology will make your people much more productive. Ask about the AI investment, features and implementation timelines for your current application vendors.
- AR (Augmented Reality) will be bigger this year ...and VR (Virtual Reality) will not
The Apple AR Kit is getting another major upgrade this year. Look for a slew of new and upgraded applications in the Apple Store that take advantage of AR features. AR will have a much faster return on investment (ROI) for businesses than VR.
VR or Virtual Reality continues to be very exciting (and expensive) in the high-end gaming industry ...and in some specialty business areas like training, product development, healthcare etc. Short-term, the biggest revenue from VR technology will likely be in the Adult Entertainment industry... I'm just saying :) VR is not a high priority for most businesses this year.
- Voice Personal Assistants or Chatbots
Voice Assistants arrived big in 2018. There was an explosion of Voice Assisted products announced and demonstrated during the 2018 CES Trade Show in Las Vegas. Hundreds of companies are implementing voice personal assistants as productivity tools for your office and at home. Look for voice assistants in TVs, light fixtures, wall outlets, bathroom mirrors, water faucets, toilets, thermostats, smoke alarms, motion detectors, door locks, autos, radios, home appliances, personal robots and speakers, just to name a few products. Watch the Kohler Smart Bathroom video to see some of these new voice products in action.
Amazon Alexa is still hot and the leader. Google made a huge push to catch up to Alexa at the show. You saw their advertising and new products with Google Home or Google Assistant everywhere. There was little excitement about Apple Siri ...and Samsung tried to push their Bixby voice assistant in their own products.
Please contact us if you have any questions or need more help on digitally transforming your business using the latest technology.