Having recently published our Top 20 Global Thought Leaders on Digital Transformation – June 2018, we asked a selection of our Thinkers360 global influencers and thought leaders about their thoughts on digital transformation and what we can expect to see over the next three years.
We were particularly interested in finding out what issues they believe will be top-of-mind for C-level executives over the next three years and where they anticipate enterprises will be in their digital transformation journeys in three years’ time.
On what we can expect to see over the next three years, social impact, sustainable leadership, transformation of business models, go-to-market strategies and cultural transformation, blockchain-based data platforms and cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence, machine learning and things like natural language processing, bots and predictive analytics were all mentioned as prominent goals or enablers integral to the journey. It was also felt that most enterprises will still only be at the beginning of their digital transformation journey three years from now and it clearly should be thought of as a continuous journey as opposed to a destination.
Where do you anticipate enterprises will be in their digital transformation journeys in three years time?
The leaders will be drawing on available tools to maximize the value they are creating – not just in terms of profit, but in social impact and sustainable leadership. Many will be redesigning their working practices and environments, taking advantage of the greater flexibility and connectivity that new tools offer. Some will be experimenting with blockchain-based data platforms and cryptocurrencies to engage their supply chains, stakeholders and customers.
I imagine most will still be working out how to apply new tools, and assessing what real opportunities they provide, beyond the hype. This is not a bad thing: better to take the time to consider how new technologies will serve your purpose in the long run, than to jump at each innovation simply to appear “cutting edge”.
– Anna Simpson, Chief Innovation Coach, Flux Compass & Curator, Futures Centre
This is the big question. Too many leaders see digital transformation as a technology-driven exercise. The first rule is that digital transformation is something that will not be something you finish — at least not for the foreseeable future. Second, the primary context by which leaders should look at digital transformation is in terms of the transformation of business models, go-to-market strategies, and cultural transformation. From this perspective, I believe that most enterprises will only be at the beginning of their digital transformation journey three years from now.
– Charles Araujo, Industry Analyst, Author & Professional Speaker, CharlesAraujo.com
Based on all the conversations I am having with companies around the globe, I’m optimistic that companies large and small will continue to invest in moving up the digital maturity curve. But the real opportunity will be in how companies will use AI, Machine Learning and things like natural language processing, bots and predictive analytics to push their ‘digital transformation’ even further.
– Tiffani Bova, Growth and Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce
Middle and senior management answered this for us in our March digital transformation update. The research is available here for free, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/your-organization-right-side-digital-transformation-michael-gale/ They told us that 35% would be somewhat more and that 33% would be mostly and 32% only digitally transformed in certain areas. We all have a long way to go here so thinking about this as a destination is wrong. Think of this as ongoing journey where there is no finish line versus but a zone where you get to that means you are ready for anything that might happen. Digital transformation isn’t going to stop in three years. Only 6.2% of major corporation’s leaders told us they were completely committed to the ideas around AI, Automation and Social/digital core platforms. We have so long to go here that we need to be learning how to prepare for a constantly evolving digital future; way past three years.
– Michael Gale and Chris Aarons are co-authors of the Wall Street Journal and Amazon best selling book on digital transformation; The Digital Helix.
In three years we should have open platforms that support the back-end delivery of Digital Transformation so that the major focus will be on continuous improvement of the customer experience and customer interface.
– David Sanders, Partner, ClearPrism LLC
EdTech 1.0 has been about digitalizing many of the analog functions of higher education — course administration, distance education, back office functions. EdTech 2.0 will need to remake the process of education itself — the roles and expectations of professors and students will change completely. Higher education will finally make its way into the 21st century.
– John C. Beck, President, North Star Leadership Group
Maybe this sounds like a cop out but, in a nutshell, more digitally mature. For starters, they’ll have to be or they will struggle in the face of disruption. At a minimum, I’d expect enterprises to be more strategic, less tactical, in their approach to digital. More focused on the company-wide issues I talk about in my previous answer, less focused on the fundamentals of technology gears and grinds. In three years’ time, I’d also expect at least some will have learned some lessons and seen some early results (good, bad and otherwise) that will help guide smarter digital decisions.
– Greg Verdino, Digital Transformation Advisor, GregVerdino.com
In three year’s time most organizations will be well underway in their digital transformation. None will have completed that journey, as it is a constant transition, rather than a single destination.
– Tom Raftery, Global VP, Futurist & Innovation Evangelist, SAP
Even more widely dispersed than they are now! Digital transformation is much like wealth distribution, the gap between those who have wealth and those who do not only seems to increase with time. In the case of digital transformation we’ve already seen that with Uber and NYC cabs. At their peak cab medallions were being auctioned off at over $1,000,000. Today, post-Uber, you’re lucky if you can get $200,000. Digital transformation will rapidly alter the landscape of nearly every industry by weeding out those organizations who do not see the imperative of digital transformation or simply take their time reforming their businesses and industries around it.
– Thomas Koulopoulos, President & Founder, Delphi Group
As companies improve on their digital maturity, there will not be any need for special designation for “digital” as whole company will be digital. Enterprises will be struggling with new challenges brought by digital such as data thefts and cybersecurity, so the chief information security officer (CISO) will play an important role.
– Sandeep Raut, VP & Head Digital APAC at NIIT Technologies LTD
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