Digital engineering has been evolving over the years. What started with digitising paper reports and optimising operations using software, networking and software-as-a-service, has grown to become a full-fledged new-age digital economy. While business leaders had been investing progressively in new technologies even before 2020, it cannot be denied that the global pandemic accelerated the trend of such investments in an unprecedented way.
That said, if enterprise leaders do not see their digitisation efforts leading to measurable business advantages, something is amiss, and they have not truly transformed. Successful deployment of technologies should typically support creating a digital culture that enables an organization to not just withstand changes but also to metamorphose them into constructive, strategic possibilities. And we will see more of this in the coming two years or so.
These technologies are usually interconnected and, to some extent, interdependent. And to know how they build a paradigm shift for a company, it is vital to understand digitalization’s significance, drivers, and impact.
Why power businesses digitally?
Beyond infrastructure modernisation and an increase in operational efficiencies, building a digital engineering-driven culture involves fostering a mindset of innovation, competitiveness and better stakeholder experience. Leading organisations prioritise investments in the technologies that allow them to –
- Identify growth opportunities in new markets
- Understand changing customer behaviors and preferences
- Improve employee performance and productivity
- Enhance the quality and utility of their products and services
- Keep meeting new benchmarks in industry practices and compliance
- Expedite time to market
- Derive actionable insights for continuous business improvements
Over the next couple of years, we expect CXOs to break through structural and human behavioural barriers and teams working at different levels across business functions communicate fluently about shared needs, address new risks, avoid redundant investments, and optimise their processes at scale.
As digital transformation will become a part of work culture, it will become easier to combine technologies in ways that offer more value than the sum total of their siloed functions. Eventually, this will bring new capabilities for the organization to evolve into the future.
Drivers of digital transformation
We expect that in the next couple of years, the focus will be on developing digital strategies linked to technical realities and workforce implications. In this context, the top drivers of digital transformation can be categorized into:
Experiences – Frequent interactions with customers, employees, and other stakeholders within the business ecosystem will make it easier to choose technologies best suited to meet digitisation goals.
Insights – Data analytics and evaluation of existing operating models will help design relevant business strategies for tech deployment.
Connectivity – It will become critical to maintain links between business platforms, experiences, and insights, while also networking with other organizations and forums to drive strategic digital transformation.
Integrity – The continual efforts to build a digital culture will be supplemented by measures for more robust cybersecurity, business continuity, resilience and ethical use of tech across all internal and customer-facing business processes and systems.
Based on such drivers, we will see increased adoption of tools that can simplify operations, reduce costs, improve speed-to-market, and, most importantly, build better customer experiences. Disruptive technologies that are actively helping organizations meet such goals while also staying future-ready include cloud, AI-ML, IoT, robotic process automation, digital twin, AR-VR, smart wearables, edge computing and quantum computing, among others.
Possibilities with digital transformation and what’s next
No company would want to wait for another predicament like the 2020 chaos to plan for its survival and growth. And even though some have forgotten the lessons learned during the pandemic, none can deny that the digital leaders were able to navigate through the crisis better than the laggards. Amidst an environment endangered by geopolitical and economic events such as the Russia-Ukraine war, impending recession in North America and growing cyber threats, companies need to buttress their digital transformation efforts today. Even though it is challenging to make accurate predictions and the future remains uncertain, organizations that have been making sincere efforts for progress in their growth journey should build their power to shift, adjust and react to changes with greater agility. And that is why they need to nurture their digital engineering practices.
–By Anji Reddy Maram, Founder and CEO, CriticalRiver Technologies