Business processes have been increasingly fueled and managed by digital technologies in the past decade, and there appears to be no limit to the volume or variety of workflows that can be improved through the use of new tools. From transaction automation and accounting to enterprise resource management and beyond, the accuracy, efficiency and timeliness of digital processes tend to be far more preferable than traditional ones.
Virtually all of the trends to have surfaced in enterprise IT in the past few years have in some way fueled even more progressive business process capabilities, and this includes cloud computing, mobility, the Internet of Things, analytics and automation software. Now, it appears as though global organizations are set to pour even more investments into the technologies that can completely modernize their operational frameworks and boost financial performances in the process.
The new age
International Data Corporation recently reported that global investments into digital transformation-related solutions are set to see a compound annual growth rate of 16.8 percent between 2014 and 2019. At the end of that study period, the analysts expect annual spending to reach roughly $2.1 billion, while a large portion of this will be derived from the United States, which is forecast to invest $732 million of that total figure annually by 2019.
"Digital transformation is not just a technology trend, it is at the center of business strategies across all industry segments and markets," said Robert Parker, Group Vice President at IDC. "Enabled by the 3rd Platform, digital transformation represents a critical opportunity for companies to redefine their customers' experience, achieve new levels of enterprise productivity, and create competitive advantage. Enterprise investments in digital transformation will constitute the majority of growth in technology markets over the next five years, making it a priority for technology vendors as well."
As a note, IDC uses "3rd Platform" as a blanket term to describe some of the more modern and futuristic technology trends on the market, including big data, the Internet of Things and cloud computing. Additionally, the researchers broke down spending to evaluate how each industry will be approaching these technologies, and found that manufacturing will likely begin with the biggest share of overall investments, but retail will experience the quickest increases from 2014 to 2019.
Time to get moving
When business leaders are quick to the punch with digital transformation, they will likely be enjoying lower overhead and higher productivity than their competitors that have not yet embraced modern technologies. At the same time, because these implementations will have such a profound impact on operations, diligent and intelligent decision-making from the initial planning and investment stages through long-term optimization are paramount.
If a company is not entirely comfortable with its ability to navigate these somewhat complex matters, the use of a reliable managed service provider is recommended to keep the projects on track and lower risks associated with process and technology overhauls.