Digital Acceleration vs. Digital Transformation and Knowing Where to Start

When it comes to embracing a digital future, business leaders are either fatigued with the prospect of how to adapt or, in some cases, intentionally reluctant to it. The fatigued part is understandable. Digital transformation and innovation, as they get trumpeted relentlessly, often come across as buzzword-laced concepts rather than clearly articulated solutions. That in part explains why digital adoption continues to lag among companies that could benefit from it. It remains a foreign practice to those who don’t know how to apply it to their daily work.

What’s lacking to help business leaders make smart, informed decisions isn’t more noise about getting on board with digital and cloud-based technologies. What’s needed is a roadmap forward, a platform for helping businesses work in new ways, reduce unnecessary risk, and provide a pathway to accelerate the way they compete in a growing digital economy.

With a roadmap and the right assets in hand, transformation can happen.

But ask any c-suite leader what they really want, and transformation won’t be at the top of the list. They want growth, in the short and long term, and a return on their investment. They want to meet the expectations of all their stakeholders. And they wouldn’t mind being seen as innovative in the process, helping to attract more business and solidify their role as a desired workplace to attract top talent.

Everyone wants a clearer way forward – including leaders in your business

So we created a smarter and more practical digital pathway to help achieve those desired outcomes.

Auris: a faster path to a customized digital solution

Auris is a package of pre-built hardware and software assets that you can leverage and customize for specific IoT needs. Auris allows you to realize the digital future you desire – and on terms you can more easily embrace.

Specifically, Auris empowers you to lean into digital acceleration with confidence by:

  • Getting to market faster. By reducing development timelines and eliminating the need to reinvent the wheel with each new development, initiatives can be accelerated by up to 40 percent faster.
  • Reducing risk. Embedded hardware and software modules, including AI processing capabilities (Edge), cloud integration, and security are already built in and ready to go. With this proven foundation in place, Auris eliminates the pitfalls businesses experience when building IOT projects from scratch.
  • Customizing any solution. Businesses can expand on the Auris foundation to create a solution that is unique to your business challenges and specific to your  customer’s exact needs.
  • Scaling devices economically. The assets created within Auris become yours to own. This affords control of the development of hardware, software, cloud, and cellular connectivity costs.

While vague and debatable ideas around what digital transformation is or can do, Auris provides a solutions-based approach. It is rooted in accessing and accepting a current state of digital readiness  of any business, and then  moving quickly to a desired state of digital performance.

We call this digital acceleration – because any business can accelerate when working with optimized digital strategies and tools.

How urgent is digital acceleration?

The pushback to adopting digital technologies is less about its business merit; it’s the urgency and pressure to respond immediately to something many businesses don’t know how to do well – at least yet.

But we’re also at a point where digital adaptation is no longer the forward-thinking play it once was. It is quickly becoming an essential business strategy in order to remain relevant and competitive now – and into the future.

John Chambers, the former executive chairman of Cisco Systems, grabbed headlines in 2015 when he said that “at least 40 percent of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.” And that, he said, was a conservative estimate.

We’ve crossed the halfway point since Chambers offered his bold prediction. And digital adaption now has a full head of steam going into the next five years. The issue for many is not if digital is a thing or the next big thing. Instead, it’s about digital acceleration – how do we as a business move forward, get there faster, and not lose any more ground to competitors?

One example of a company choosing to accelerate a digital technology strategy is Kmart Australia.

Michael Fagan, CTO of Kmart Australia, believes that “most retailers will be looking to deliver great products at a great price, and technology will enable that.” But to enable the technology involves accelerating the adoption and understanding of the technology that enables growth. By becoming more efficient as a company through cloud technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, affords the company to pass on cost savings and deliver ongoing value to their customers. This has prompted Kmart to pursue an ambitious goal of being the first company in the world to have 100 percent of its technology team certified in cloud technologies. For Fagan, this level of cloud competency means his team is equipped to actively invent and innovate on behalf of their customers. It also means delivering scalable, innovative solutions for the business by way of empowered working.

Kmart Australia isn’t waiting for a signal on how urgent the digital need is before deciding to take action.

For companies that are yet to embrace digital, there is still time. But waiting for outside validation to enact strategic initiatives with internal and external impact isn’t a sound strategy and leaves companies at risk if they wait until it’s too late.

The bigger issue to avoid is getting caught up in the debate and definitions of digital transformation and many of its far-reaching promises. The pragmatic thing to do is to approach digital with the same resolve as any other business challenge: Accept that the issue isn’t going away. Lean into it. Start small. Accelerate and scale. Keeping learning and growing. Your business – and your customers – will be better for it.

Twisthink is a professional services firm that partners with companies to develop digital strategies and solutions that create impact.

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