IPC offers consulting services to help organizations better leverage technology to meet their objectives and enhance the customer experience.

Organizations are moving forward aggressively with digital transformation initiatives. In a recent web-based survey conducted by research firm IDC, 97 percent of respondents reported that their organization was already under way with some level of digital transformation. 

Digital transformation initiatives are efforts to change organizational processes, workflows, strategies, competencies, and products or services in a way that takes full advantage of modern technology. However, digital transformation is about more than simply implementing technology — it’s about enabling unprecedented levels of productivity, driving innovation and meeting changing demands. It’s also about enhancing customer interactions through improved communications.

“The term ‘digital transformation’ refers to the accelerating pace of technology change, and the competitive advantages that can be gained through the adoption of emerging technologies,” said Eric Bowling, CEO and Chief Customer Officer, IPC. “The cloud, collaboration and mobility are at the heart of digital transformation because they enable organizations to deliver applications, services and data to virtually any device in any location. They also allow geographically dispersed teams to communicate and share information, dramatically improving business processes and customer engagement.”

If digital transformation were easy, however, every business would already be transformed. A recent 451 Research study found that few executives have a cohesive plan for taking their organizations into the future.

“IPC recognizes the challenges associated with developing and implementing a digital transformation plan,” Bowling said. “Our consulting services help organizations fully leverage unified communications and collaboration solutions to enable digital transformation.”

Business and IT Challenges

In the 451 Research report, “Enterprise Digital Transformation Trends in North America: Catalyst for Change,” 33 percent of organizations said their industry had experienced significant disruption in the preceding three years due to the adoption of mobile apps, the Internet of Things (IoT) and other advanced technologies. Furthermore, these organizations anticipate the level of disruption will continue to increase over the next three-year period.

“Digital transformation has become necessary for survival in some industry sectors,” said Bowling. “Unfortunately, only 51 percent of organizations have a formal digital transformation strategy, according to the 451 Research study. While 23 percent are working on siloed projects, 19 percent are still in the planning stages and 7 percent have no strategy at all.”

According to the study, organizations commonly identify four key pillars of competitive differentiation to target with digital transformation initiatives: improving business agility (53 percent), better managing risk (49 percent), improving operational efficiency (41 percent) and improving the customer experience (41 percent). However, significant IT and business challenges are impeding their efforts.

The primary barrier is inflexible IT systems, cited by 35 percent of survey respondents. Organizations are also struggling with operational silos and legacy practices (33 percent), and lack of available funding, capital or budget (30 percent). Additionally, the majority of enterprises realize full digital transformation will take time to implement, with more than 40 percent of respondents estimating this will take three to five years.  

“The right unified communications platform can help to reduce complexity, eliminate silos and enable effective collaboration,” Bowling said. “IPC also helps organizations integrate UC with the IoT and other digital technologies, providing rich sources of data that can be used to guide business decisions.”

Security Risks

In the rush to digital transformation, however, organizations are putting sensitive data at risk. The IDC study found that the most sophisticated organizations are more likely to indicate that they have experienced a data security breach. This trend is consistent no matter how the sophistication of the organization is defined: those who are spending more on IT security, those for whom data security is a larger portion of their security budget, or those who are further along in their digital transformation journey.

As companies move to the cloud or multi-cloud environments as part of their digital transformation journey, protecting their sensitive data becomes increasingly complex. Nine out of 10 respondents are using, or will be using, some type of cloud environment, and 44 percent rated complexity of that environment as a perceived barrier to implementing proper data security measures. In fact, this complexity is ahead of staff needs, budget restraints and securing organizational buy-in.

That’s why data security should be “baked” into every digital transformation initiative. Organizations need to take a fresh look at how they implement a data security strategy as they adopt transformational technologies and continue their journey to the cloud.

“There’s no question that digital transformation is increasing IT complexity, but luckily help is at hand,” Bowling said. “Whatever the future holds for your business, IPC can help you implement the right communications and collaboration solutions along with the robust IT infrastructure needed to support your goals and objectives.”