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Digital transformation – adjusting to the speed of business change

1/02/2016 by

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IDC has forecast a challenging year ahead for CIOs due to the disruptive nature of digital transformation that will require a constantly evolving and strategic architecture in order to manage successfully. The premier global market intelligence firm has predicted that digital transformation will go mainstream in 2016, and urged large corporations and SMEs to get “moving now” in order to minimise the chances of revenue, profits and market position deterioration during the next 12 months. IDC says that a third of leading companies in every industry will be disrupted by these changes by the end of the decade and has warned that 30% of tech suppliers will “not exist as we know them today” due to the quickening pace of digital innovation.

IDC’s annual digital transformation report differs slightly from the reports published by Forrester and Gartner. Forrester believes firms should focus on organising technology and building a corporate strategy and culture focused on the “age of the consumer,” while Gartner places a greater emphasis on the advances of artificial intelligence and the importance of creating the “most effective autonomous and smart software solutions.”

IDC’s study mirrors Gartner’s conclusion that code will be king, as corporations will have to double the size of their development teams to pursue effective digital transformation strategies. This means both software engineers with web development and cloud skills, and data scientists will be sought after in the foreseeable future. Companies will also have to pursue a more robust Internet of Things (IoT) strategy in order to make sense of the mass of sensor data. IDC claims those without any expertise in this field and lacking a coherent strategy will be “like individuals functioning without most of their five senses.”

In the here and now, CIOs are facing up to the “biggest crisis in leadership” as they will struggle to cope with the speed and needs of business transformation. IDC vice president of research, Mike Rosen, claims firms must forgo a siloed approach and focus on integration and a continuum of actions that will enable them to scale their digital transformation initiatives successfully in the long term. He added: “Leading in a digital transformation requires a third discipline: integrate, which manages the continuous transformation and transition from the old to the new, from experimental to operational. Today, integrate is the biggest challenge and also the biggest opportunity for CIOs. The integrate disciplines will be the next level of differentiation for leaders.”

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