Digital Transformation Index 2020 by Dell Technologies highlights the acceleration by businesses to go digital amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Digital transformation has been discussed for years. As technology advances, businesses need to keep up with what is available in order to stay competitive. Many businesses were slowly undertaking digital transformation, moving analog processes to digital. Then, in March of last year, COVID-19 forced businesses to implement remote work, to find new ways to do business safely. The pandemic spurred a giant digital transformation movement, where businesses either started or accelerated their plans. The Digital Transformation Index for 2020, just the third edition of the report, was released by Dell Technologies this month, and the results are impressive.
Businesses and journalistic outlets have indicated for months that digital transformation is rapidly accelerating, and now we have the data to support those claims. The DT Index surveyed 4,300 businesses in 18 countries across 12 industries. Respondents were made up of Director to C-Suite level employees. Based on their responses, 80% of businesses fast-tracked at least some digital transformation programs in 2020, with the top three around pandemic-related needs: Strengthened cybersecurity, empowered remote work capabilities and reinvented digital experiences for customers and employees.
While this data is great, businesses should be doing those things, there are still persistent barriers. In places where digital transformation is not happening, it’s because of barriers. The top three barriers are related to data privacy and security, lack of budget and resources, and being unable to extract valuable insights from data and/or information overload.
These barriers are largely related to one thing: lack of knowledge. It’s not that these businesses don’t want to change, it’s not that they don’t want to go digital, it’s that they really don’t know how it works and why it’s beneficial. A lack of budget in this area is a direct result of a lack of knowledge as well, again, it’s not that business owners don’t want to protect their customers’ information or that they don’t want to have security, they simply do not know how important it is to their business. They do not know they need a budget for this, or they don’t budget enough for security.
The Harvard Business Review indicates that a technology partner (read: an expert) can help midsize businesses accelerate digital transformation. “For a midsize organization, the key to such reinvention may lie in the tools and solutions you apply not just to navigate a massive disruption, but to boost your growth for the long term, after “the new normal” has become simply normal. Teaming up with an experienced technology partner can help you lead your midsize organization past today’s rapids and keep guiding you to your brighter future.”
It’s important for businesses to remember that what we previously knew as normal will never be our normal again. Not for businesses which have learned the value of remote work, not for employees who have learned they can do their job more effectively from home, not for anyone who has been wearing a mask and social distancing for the last year. Our “new normal” isn’t even going to be normal when all is said and done. In thinking about this, many businesses, regardless of size, will benefit from having an established relationship with a technology partner.
Digital transformation isn’t a one-time thing. Well, technically it is, what happens after the initial process is a continuous cycle of modernization. The DT Index indicates that 94% of businesses experience the barriers listed above. That’s a big number. Consider the stat above, that 80% of businesses fast-tracked some portion of their digital transformation process, and that potentially not a single one can maintain that pace.
The Digital Transformation Index is a good indicator that we are going deeper into the technology we have available. As technological innovations continue to be researched and tested, more of what is discovered will be made available for business and public consumption. Don’t fall behind. Connect with an expert who can be your technological business partner, the person or company you can call at 3 a.m. when there’s a fire to put out. Bring someone in who can help maintain your systems, your security, your modernization process, and ensure your business stays in business. After all, that is the ultimate goal.