Digital transformation: Everyone’s talking about it, but how many organisations are really acting on it? IDC expects that 75 per cent of enterprises will take until 2027 to digitally transform. That means organisations globally have a lot of work to do.

Think of digital transformation as an evolutionary process. It doesn’t happen overnight. Organisations should think about the future, develop an appropriate business model, and embrace the fact they need to constantly change and move forward, adopt new technology trends, set the right KPIs and train their employees to succeed on this path.

The positive thing is that the conversations among organisations and IT providers are moving away from IT operations and IT costs to what happens next and what is possible with digital transformation. The advancements and benefits are different for each industry. For example, in insurance, digital transformation could enable tracking the driver’s performance in a car and using that behaviour to set rates in the insurance policy. In healthcare, clinicians could observe their patients, share their insights with colleagues and members of the supply chain and healthcare ecosystem, and eventually help provide better care and life outcomes for the patients. Manufacturers are seeing digital transformation as a chance for shop-floor engineers to optimise production in a faster and better way. In commerce, digital transformation results in the real-time shopping experience we all enjoy.

The digital reality is here, and companies that have accepted it are already seeing their businesses moving forward. Just look at platform-based companies that are reducing their level of resources and seeing an increase in the return on capital. These companies are becoming the leaders, the brands people want to be associated with and places where employees enjoy working.

Digital transformation has led to the expansion of ecosystems as companies are motivated to communicate and collaborate more, since such collaboration provides them with more data and helps them understand customers’ preferences even better. The transportation sector, for example, has begun functioning as a whole ecosystem of companies working together to connect all aspects of one traveller’s journey.

Thinking in siloes is a thing of the past, and the focus is more and more on a particular value proposition. For example, Spotify is personalising the delivery of music to individuals, and Amazon has changed the buying experience with the one-stop shopping approach. The interaction with the constituents — whether they are professionals in the business, ecosystem partners, or customers — through this platform-based model is faster, things are getting done instantly and it doesn’t involve extra costs.

Consider your digital transformation journey as a journey of evolution. It’s not just about adopting new technologies and using them for efficiency gains. It’s a true transformation. It’s about adopting a future-based mind-set in every area — the way you operate, the way your business needs to evolve, the customers you want to target and your employees’ capabilities. It’s a continuous journey of learning by doing.

To find out more about which approaches to adopt for your digital transformation journey, check out the “Successful approaches to your digital transformation journey” webinar, an overview of what is happening — and what is really working — in digital transformation today. In this webinar, I discuss with Meredith Whalen, head of global research at IDC, all aspects of the topic. We believe this discussion may be useful in shaping your conversations about digital transformation.