Digital transformation: has yours started?

OPINION / 1st June 2017

The Digital Revolution is permeating every business, and every industry. Adopting technology and adapting business strategies to accommodate the new ways of working have been cited as the top priorities for CEOs across the globe, according to recent surveys of C-Suite executives by IBM and PwC.

Businesses can no longer distinguish between what is their “e-commerce” and straight “commerce”, because the two are intertwined and integral to each other. Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize winning economist, from Columbia University, has said that it's very hard to measure the growth, the shape or the size of the digital part of the economy, because every business and every sector is becoming digitized.

Consumer facing businesses, such as the likes of Amazon or Netflix, are now using data, social, and technology to create omnichannel strategies to meet their customers, wherever they are, on any device, at any time.  The B2B industries however, are lagging behind. Many are rapidly trying to play catch-up, grappling with how to harness data, how best to use analytics, as well as investigating which tech options will deliver them cost efficiencies.

But, they need to act quickly, as our infographic shows, digital is now touching every area of business. It is changing the way we communicate, how we market and pay for goods and services, and even how we make the products we sell. Business leaders hoping that digital will disappear, or not be part of their business’ future, need to look at what happened to the fallen giants of Nokia, Blockbuster and Kodak, and take heed.  

Whether you’re curious to find out what the likes of artificial intelligence, biotech, and machine learning are, or want to know more about how to implement an omnichannel strategy, or how to get the best out of your data, come and talk to us to see how we can help you. We have digitally transformed many leading brands in financial services, transport and travel, and retail sectors.

In the meantime, if you are unsure of the meanings to some of the terms we’ve mentioned in our infographic, take a look at our digital transformation glossary below.

Digital Transformation Glossary

A

Analytics: A systematic computational analysis of data or statistics.

Artificial Intelligence: Technology that appears to emulate human performance by learning, it enhances human cognitive performance.

Autonomous Machinery: Machines that replace humans in some aspect, currently being used in agriculture in Japan.

B

Big Data Analytics: A process of examining large & varied data sets.

Biotechnology: Harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve systems.

Blockchain: A way of recording & storing digital data, such as banking transactions, across thousands of computers; it can’t be altered or tampered with and everyone in a network can have instant access to it.

C

Carbon Nanotubes Electronics: A new material that’s incredibly light and strong. Used in electronics, such as manufacturing computers or supplying lightweight batteries.

Cloud Computing: A network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data.

Connected Homes: Devices are interconnected to external services & apps to automate common tasks in the home.

Conversational User Interfaces: Any UI that mimics chatting with a real human.

D

Digital Currency: An internet-based form of currency that allows instantaneous transactions and borderless transfer-of-ownership, such as BitCoin.

Drones: Remotely piloted aircraft, traditionally used by the military, now being adopted in business. Amazon launched its first drone delivery service in 2016.

G

Geospatial Information Systems: Data attached to a set of geographic coordinates—which can be gathered, manipulated, and displayed in real time.

Gesture Controlled Devices: The ability for machines to recognise and interpret movements of the human body without direct physical contact.

I

Internet of Things: Inter-networking of physical devices & items, embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that collect and exchange data.

M

Machine Learning: Algorithms composed of many technologies (such as deep learning, neural networks and natural-language processing) that operate by lessons from existing information.

Messaging Apps/Chatbots: Instant messaging or mobile messaging typically built around social networking platforms.

Mixed Reality: Merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualisations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

Mobile: A strategy aimed at reaching a target audience on their smartphones, tablets, and/or other mobile devices, via websites, email, SMS and MMS, social media & apps.

N

Nanotechnology: The science and technology of small things in particular things that are less than 100nm in size, used to make materials stronger.

Natural Language Processing: A way of programming computers to understand human language, used in machine learning and AI.

P

Personalisation: Using data to create one-to-one marketing to deliver individual messages, content & promotions.

Person to Machine: Computers that understand natural language & can respond.

Printing: 3D Printing - digital 3D models are made into solid objects by building up in layers. General Electric uses 3D printing to make fuel nozzles for its new Leap jet engines. 4D printing - a process for printing customizable smart materials.

Q

Quantum computing: Energy-efficient computing that uses subatomic particles, or 'qubits' to store a huge amount of information using less energy than a classical computer.

R

Real time/Anytime 24/7: Acting on real-time data to make decisions.

Robotic Process Automation: Software robots or artificially intelligent workers.

Robots as a Service (RaaS): Robots perform tasks based on information accessed in the cloud controlled by an operator that manages, monitors and controls them.

S

Sharing Economy Platforms: Open-sourced market places which Uber, Airbnb use to do business.

Smart Dust: Tiny microelectromechanical systems that can detect light, temperature, vibration, magnetism, or chemicals.

Smart Machines: Learn on their own. They adapt their behaviour based on experience & are not totally dependent on instructions.

Social: Computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.

T

Telematics: Long-distance transmission of computerized information.

V

Virtual Personal Assistant: A conversational, computer-generated character that simulates a conversation to deliver voice or text-based information to a user via a Web or mobile interface.

Virtual Reality: A computer-generated simulation of a 3D image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment.

Voice Computing Interface (VUI): The interface to any speech application. It makes human interaction with computers possible through a voice/speech platform.

Volumetric Displays: Visual representations of objects in 3D, where the image changes as the viewer moves around. Used in Mixed Reality.

W

Wearables: Tiny computers that users can wear on their bodies, on clothes, on glasses that link to the web via a mobile device via Bluetooth.

Amy Creeden Amy Creeden Marketing Manager Amy Creeden