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The five facets of digital transformation

Zafirah Salim | Feb. 22, 2016
IDC has developed a framework called the Digital Transformation MaturityScape to help business and IT leaders understand and cope with the challenges and opportunities of DX.

Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, Associate Director, Digital Transformation and Big Data Analytics, IDC Asia/Pacific

Digital transformation (DX) has become a huge buzzword in the industry and we hear a lot about the need for companies to digitally transform themselves in order to stay competitive. But what exactly is DX and how does it affect the way we do business?

Despite the 'digital' moniker, there is much more to DX than just technology. Daniel-Zoe Jimenez, Associate Director, Digital Transformation and Big Data Analytics for IDC Asia/Pacific, defines DX as the "transformation of business and operating models by leveraging digital capabilities". These digital capabilities refer to the 3rd Platform technologies (mobile, social, cloud, and big data and analytics) and/or the six innovation accelerators (Internet of Things, robotics, 3D printing, next-generation security, cognitive systems, and augmented and virtual reality).  

"DX is a continuous process in which enterprises adapt to or drive disruptive changes in their customers and markets by leveraging digital competencies to create new business models, products and services. It enables enterprises to seamlessly blend digital and physical business and customer experiences, while improving operational efficiencies and organisational performance," he added.

With all the hype surrounding DX, many tech vendors are trying to pitch a solution for it, noted Jimenez. However, businesses need to realise that there isn't a specific solution that you can simply buy to digitally transform the company; but there are technologies that they can utilise to embark on the DX journey.

"Technology is simply an enabler to digital transformation. It is not an end in itself, but a means to an end," he emphasised.

DX is not a 'passing trend'

According to Jimenez, organisations are starting to realise that DX is not just "another" technology trend. Agility is critical in addressing changing requirements and we need to be flexible to adapt to those changes; as well as be ready to embrace potential new changes in the future.

While change is constant, organisations are seeing these changes happening faster than ever before, and they are now feeling a greater sense of urgency to transform their processes, business models, products and services to stay competitive. CXOs today, more than ever, are under tremendous pressure to address the evolving expectations from a growing number of digital customers and the disruptive competitive environment.

"DX is not an isolated or a passing trend, but a business priority for many organisations in the region for many years ahead. In fact, we predict that by the end of 2017, 60% of the APAC top 1000 (A1000) enterprises will have DX at the centre of their corporate strategy," said Jimenez.

Commenting on the digital maturity landscape in the Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) region, Jimenez said that many organisations are only starting to plan and evaluate solutions that can help solve specific business problems and address critical business challenges. While there is good progress, APeJ organisations still lag behind their global counterparts like US and Europe.


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