Getting Started with Digital Transformation

Getting Started with Digital Transformation

IoT, 5G, AI, VR. It seems like everyone is throwing around acronyms to describe technology and digital transformation, and it is hard to know what to focus on and what you can ignore. You suspect that your business may be falling behind in how you utilize emerging technologies. Yet, other companies use technology to attract, retain and grow their customer base. You can, too, and we are here to help!

Below I list six major digital transformation trends and explain how they can help your company.

1. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality (VR/AR)

Once thought of as just silly goggles your son might use for his Playstation, virtual and augmented reality are emerging as powerful technologies for enterprise. Many companies use these technologies to help customers “try on” clothing virtually or imagine how new furniture might look in their existing living room. In addition, they can be an invaluable way to train your staff.  VR and AR are game-changers that can shorten the sales cycle and change how you interact with your customers.

2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The idea of artificial intelligence, or creating programs that can think intelligently about data, is both terrifying and thrilling.  AI is already changing the way businesses perform lead qualification and scoring, as well as sales forecasting.  AI chatbots help companies improve and streamline customer service and personalized interactions with customers.  AI allows better data management, enabling data-decision making and predictive modeling applications. These technologies aren’t just for big corporations. Small businesses can use AI for one area of the company and expand it as the business grows.

3. Digital Customer Communities

Private customer communities give customers an opportunity for a two-way dialog with their customers, partners, and distributors.  These communities support the peer-to-peer exchange of information, while “Ask the Expert” events allow customers to answer their questions quickly.  Digital communities can even provide private customer rooms where a customer can meet one-on-one with company execs to discuss, for example, the customer’s sales plan.  Such communities drive customer engagement and satisfaction, offering an effective way to nurture leads and shorten the sales cycle. 

4. Internet of Things (IoT)

Once, the Internet of Things seemed almost like science fiction. A refrigerator that knows when it is running out of milk and can communicate that information? Now that it is here, and we see how it is being implemented, we realize it is even better. Yes, IoT enables predictive equipment maintenance, remote operations of household appliances, and demand-aware warehouses.  But did you know how it can enhance your interaction with customers?  For example, sunscreen lotion can remind beachgoers when it is time to reapply more sunscreen, or sneakers can help runners improve their stride. Smart mirrors in a dressing room can deliver a personalized shopping experience. Could your products benefit from that approach?

5. 5G Technology

How long have we heard about the promise of 5G Internet connectivity for our mobile devices? Well, it is finally on its way; by 2024, 50% of the global population will use 5G networks—which will facilitate the delivery of IoT, AI, and VR/AR.  What makes 5G so attractive?  Faster connectivity, extreme bandwidth density, ultra-low latency, and high levels of security and reliability.  As you formulate your 3-year customer strategy, determine how best to build capabilities into your digital products and services that leverage 5G capabilities. 

6. Low Code

Low code development platforms provide a graphical user interface instead of traditional hand-coded programming. They allow accelerated delivery of business applications, reduce costs, and permit a broader range of people to contribute to an application’s development.  Low code technology consolidates and connects technologies and processes, allowing companies to streamline and simplify the customer experience while also making it easier to evolve business processes.   

Are you interested in exploring how your company might implement some of these digital transformation solutions?  Contact Barton Goldenberg (bgoldenberg@ismguide.com), the president of ISM Inc. (www.ismguide.com), at (301) 656-8448.