Thinkers360 2020 Predictions are member-sourced predictions from our opt-in B2B thought leader and influencer community with 15M+ followers on social media combined. The 2020 Predictions for Digital Transformation are part of a series intended to provide actionable insights for business and technology executives.
Having recently published our Top 20 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Digital Transformation, we asked a selection of our Thinkers360 global influencers about their predictions for Digital Transformation in 2020. Here’s what they told us…
What are your predictions for Digital Transformation in 2020?
In 2020 businesses that have transformed their enterprise entirely will distance themselves from the businesses that have implemented partial digital transformation, as the 2nd machine age tsunami starts submerging the latest ones. Disrupted enterprises will be unable to compete with enterprises that are transformed, inspired, well lead, and that are playing all the cords of innovation. Executives must take urgent strategic action now for transforming their whole organization to move at the speed of innovation to be part of the successful digital enterprises.
– Nadia Vincent, MBA, Digital Transformation Executive Advisor, MIT Sloan Certified Executive Strategy & Innovation, CEO Digitrans Management & Leadership Ltd
In 2020, the digital transformation bubble will burst.
While most leaders recognize that their organization must digitize in the coming years, most are already failing. According to recent research by McKinsey & Co, 70% of transformation initiatives fail and only 16% of those that don’t actually deliver improved performance. As reality sinks in, more corporate leaders will pump the brakes on their ‘big bang’ transformation programs. This is actually good news.
The irrational exuberance over wholesale transformation will be replaced by a more measured approach to delivering a steady stream of smaller, successful improvements that – over time – add up to massive change. We will see the emergence of the truly adaptable organization – one that reliably and repeatedly adjusts to ongoing changes in the business environment in order to achieve revolution through evolution.
– Greg Verdino, Co-Creator at The Adapt Manifesto
2020 will bring perfect vision to many executives and they will see why their digital transformations have gone wrong. Applying a model with land and expand consultancy firms does not work. If their vision holds up then they will a) realise they need to analyse markets rather than just serve customers and b) foster the high quality social relationships help people to feel safe enough to innovate at scale scope and speed.
– Haydn Shaughnessy, Founder at Flow Academy
The term digital transformation may trigger thoughts about AI, IoT, and other technological advancements, but it will also become increasingly centered around global interaction, leadership views, and B2B relations. Recognizing that our success is tied to the success of others is essential. Building positive global networks will help to grow business interaction, trade, and improve performance. Global-think and connection is a necessity that can ensure company initiatives are planned and executed in transformative and sustainable ways.
– Moira Alexander, Founder at PMWorld 360 Magazine and Lead-Her-Ship Group
2020 will be the year that the term Digital Transformation dies, but also finally becomes real. The term will, thankfully, lose its marketing potency and tech companies everywhere will flee with increasing speed to newer, fresher terms. At the same time, however, 2020 will also be the year that organizations start moving beyond mere technology projects and begin to drive true, holistic business-level transformation across their organizations, finally moving toward the true essence of digital transformation — even if they don’t call it that.
– Charles Araujo, Industry Analyst, Author & Professional Speaker
The journey continues as it has since 2014 when only 18% of corporations were well and truly on the right pathways. We will for the first time start to see an elevated focus as CEO’s get to see on a day to day basis how major competitors are eating their lunch with radical shifts in performance as their companies become digital platforms. The current rate of conversion to digital platforming success is still only 11.5% a year (measured annually since 2014). The key issue in 2020 will be what turns a CEO’s attention to a greater focus on the power of digital platforming?
– Michael Gate, WSJ best selling author. The host of Forbes Insights “Futures in Focus” podcast and Thinkers360 Top 10 AI Influencer
The phrase “digital transformation” will be replaced by multiple, more specific initiatives as the failure to deliver concrete results eats away at corporate interest and willingness to invest.
Rationale: The promise of digital transformation has been accepted without proper scrutiny. This has made it difficult to set objectives and measure ROI. Rather than being everything to everyone, digital transformation now means nothing at all.
Action: Executives in the middle of a transformational effort should focus on specifics: what technology, what results, what timeline? Companies just starting a digital journey should learn from others and demand clarity and specificity before moving forward.
– Kelly Barner, Owner, Managing Director, Buyers Meeting Point, LLC (Editor’s Note: See our recent Thought Leader Q&A with Kelly Barner for more details)
As complexity and connectivity will continue to increase, Cyber Security will become the New Frontier in Digital Transformation.
Digital Transformation is driven by the focus on customer inclusion and experience, and the optimization of processes. High pace and flexibility of demand and delivery are served through Agile and DevOps implementations and rollouts. Cyber Security on the other hand needs a holistic “big picture” approach and those who are able to balance the big picture of cyber security with the high paced transitions will be the winners in Digital Transformation in 2020 and beyond.
– Johannes Drooghaag, Founder & CEO at Spearhead Management
In 2020, organizations will shift their transformation focus inwards and look to answer a number of questions that will drive growth and efficiency in years to come. They will review how agile practices can drive culture change, where to cleanse data to enable analytics and machine learning, and what partnerships can address skill and technology gaps.
– Isaac Sacolick, President of StarCIO and author of “Driving Digital”
In 2020, digital transformation will start to become synonymous with business modernization and innovation. Companies are still investing in the “digital” side of digital transformation, i.e. cloud-enabled platforms. In 2020, we will see the expansion of internal stakeholders beyond CIOs to include cross-functional business leaders such as CFOs, CDOs and CEOs. This will accelerate and diversify digital initiatives across the organization aimed at internal and external growth and innovation. IT-driven business improvement will modernize internal services, processes, operations and capabilities. It will create a more agile and scalable infrastructure to support more dynamic work. Business process automation will start to create new opportunities for human creativity as well as open the doors to new expertise. Digital is also going to power business innovation (internal and external facing initiatives). On the inside, we will see EX (employee experience) become an increasing priority. Externally, CX (customer experience) and competing for the customer of the future become mission critical. Companies will also prioritize digital innovation to develop digitally-native products and services to expand market opportunities.
– Brian Solis, Principal Analyst, Digital Anthropologist at BrianSolis.com
The digital-divide will disappear. Historically, one of the biggest barriers to digital transformation has been the “digital divide.” Some people “get it” and others “don’t.” But the relentless digitization of consumer experiences for all of us advances, from order groceries on Alexa to paying for parking spots with an app, nobody will be left out, everyone with understand what digital makes possible. The next barrier will be the divide between those who embrace change and those who long for the past.
– Kaihan Krippendorff, Founder, CEO at Outthinker Strategy Network
Innovative companies stay ahead of the curve through digital transformation. Majority of businesses are investing in voice technology and are planning to increase investments in 2020. AI and machine learning will provide most value in improving customer experience. 8 in 10 customers will pay more for a better customer experience.
Majority of businesses believe AI will cause the greatest disruption. Organizations should focus on improving their operations, revenue, customer experience and competitive position. Edge computing will continue to be a key to meeting digital transformation needs. Companies must adopt a mobile-first mentality to grow and monetize apps, apps account for trillions of dollars in revenue across the globe. Also business models are listed as the leading driver of digital transformation. Majority of companies will increase their revenues because of big data and analytics. It’s imperative to deliver personalized content and create consistent engagement across brand’s digital channels. Big data and business analytics market will reach $200 billion by 2020. Blockchain, cloud, AR and VR will also help the new initiatives.
– Vladimer Botsvadze, CEO, Botsvadze Marketing Solutions
I believe that Digital Transformation is reaching a state of maturity where companies now understand the critical nature of modernizing IT to support the required evolution of their business models. In 2020, we will see enterprises continuing to make substantial investments in technology like AI, Multi-Cloud, Intelligent Automation and 5G that accelerate customer intelligence and connectivity. However, I believe the companies that will achieve the greatest returns on their Digital Transformation efforts will always be led by a relentless desire to utilize technology to improve the culture of their organizations. People centered digital transformation will not go out of style no matter how much technology is introduced. When companies combine the power of tech and people, digital transformation is accelerated faster and yields better results.
– Daniel Newman, Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research
Digital Transformation: A 2020 Manifesto
A spectre is haunting Enterprises – the spectre of digital Darwinism. The imperative is categorical: digitally transform or fall by the wayside. Let’s forget the buzzwords and cut out the noise to focus on the big picture. We will realize that there is a fundamental shift underway in our expectations, preferences, attitudes, and even values at both individual and societal levels. The phenomenon is not confined to any single state or country, but all across the world…
For the full article, please see “Digital Transformation: A 2020 Manifesto”
– Kashyap Kompella, CEO and Chief Analyst at rpa2ai Research
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