With the emergence of the Internet and the development of new technologies, in recent decades companies have had to adapt their processes and even their business models to meet the new demands of their customers and to be competitive with digital native companies.
The digital business transformation is the process of change that companies face in order to exploit digital technologies to meet these demands and to be able to address new business opportunities.
Although it is important to remember that in the digital business transformation it is the strategy, and not the technology, that must lead the process, it is true that at every moment there are technologies that enable new businesses and make possible new ways of doing things in companies in a more efficient way and oriented towards consumer demands.
At present, the main technologies for digital business transformation could be grouped into something that has come to be called the Internet of Everything (IOE), a term that should not be confused with the Internet of Things (IoT).
Differences between IoE and IoT
With Internet of things we refer to the interconnection of physical objects through the Internet to perform very specific actions: traffic lights connected to the Internet to change, sometimes automatically, their schedules, atmospheric sensors that allow reprogramming and send information remotely or even ovens that we can activate from the subway, 10 minutes before arriving home to heat the food.
The Internet of Everything is something different: it refers to the omnipresent connection, the connection of objects, processes, people and the sharing of data between them. We could say that the Internet of Everything includes the Internet of things.
Any of these involve the generation of data, which, in turn, requires greater processing speed and greater storage capacity.
Technologies for digital business transformation
The technologies most frequently associated today and common to most digital transformation processes are part of the Internet of Everything (IoE) and include analytical applications, including Big Data, cloud solutions, social media, mobile applications and also the Internet of Things (IoT).
Analytical tools and applications
As we said before, IO technologies generate a lot of data. The massive existence of data prevents the decisions derived from it from being taken by human beings, both in terms of capacity and time.
We therefore need tools that analyse the data and present it in an understandable way. Data processing can even make decisions in some scenarios.
Analytical tools transform raw data into easily accessible information ready for analysis. These tools save us time and help us improve decision making while minimizing human error.
Social media solutions and applications
Social media encompasses technologies that allow users to create and share content and participate in a network of contacts.
Social media is a better way to communicate with customers than sending them a magazine by mail or a newsletter or any other traditional means. It is better for one reason: the customer can answer the company and talk to other customers.
One of the most important parts of the digital transformation is quick communication with the customer. It is adapting to what the consumer will need and eliminating what he will not appreciate. Social networks, and social media in general, are one of the best tools to know what they want and to know the customer at a level of detail previously impossible.
Social media allows a study of the market and the approach to the customer with much more precision. Automating loyalty programs, facilitating the approach to the customer etc. are things that are already expected from most companies. They are one of the best known and most internalized steps of digital transformation by companies.
Everything from everywhere, anything from anywhere. Smartphones are now almost as numerous as laptops and desktops and are becoming more and more powerful, giving us the possibility of being able to access any service from anywhere we have a connection.
With the capacity to do millions of operations per second and with gigs of RAM and hundreds of gigs of storage, they allow us, while we walk on the street, to do any operation for which we would have needed a computer before.
Part of the digital transformation is to facilitate the mobility of employees and customers. Implementing mobile technology in the company improves employee productivity by allowing them to access the company’s computer network or manage business assets or computerized maintenance management systems while in the car or on the move around the company. It also allows them to update the status of their work in real time.
But it doesn’t just make life easier for the employee. Customers can also benefit from being able to access company services from a mobile device, without having to travel or stand in line.
Cloud solutions are closely related to the previous section: the fact that a company’s information is in the cloud allows it to be accessed from anywhere: from offices, from home, from a plane, etc. And they also allow access using any device.
But the cloud is not only used to remotely access the company’s data. By having the information in the cloud a company can hire, if needed, more hard disk space or more processing capacity, thus making the computing capabilities of a company are unlimited.
With the high availability and increasing speed of broadband, the future of cloud solutions begins to be omnipresent, to the point that companies like Paperspace give us the possibility of having a complete computer, with Windows 10 in the cloud with which we can do very intensive work for the computer, such as 3D design, video editing or playing.
It is possible that, in the near future, we do not have computers at home or at the office and, in return, we have computers without capacity limit in the cloud to do instantly everything we need.
Tools for every need
There are many other tools for more specific needs: intelligent contracts and blockchain to increase the security of our transactions, vision and facial recognition systems to increase the security of the facilities or to make customized offers, etc.
The new tools also create new possibilities that allow the transformation of the company’s objective: the entry of Google in the automotive sector or of Nintendo in the health sector to be able to apply the technology they have developed in these fields are just some examples.