January 24, 2017
It’s perhaps the most frequently cited IT trend and buzzword of the past two decades. But what’s the “digital transformation” really about?
For the deluge of Millennials washing through our workplaces, and for Generation Z following close behind, the term probably seems like nonsense. For them, all this business information and how we use it has been digital from the outset, right?
But a little history can give valuable perspective and cast light on a few important digitization innovations that are still emerging as part of the trend.When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth Writing Stuff on Paper
There really was a time when financial accounts and transactions, medical records, student records, inventory data, images, purchase orders, product designs, interoffice communications and even pizza orders were written on paper.
There were certain benefits to this approach. Paper makes a physical record that can be kept in perpetuity (if appropriately protected). It is not easy to alter in most cases, so it represents a true record of a transaction or other piece of data important to the business.
The digitization trend has been about taking these records and data and converting them from analog records to digital “ones and zeroes.” These virtualized records and data are then transferred into applications and databases residing in data centers or the Cloud or other IT facilities.
Potential cost reductions and environmental impacts aside, the benefits to business processes and overall operational efficiency are frequently cited as a main justification for digitization projects, according to CIO Magazine.
Digitization can have a massive impact on virtually any aspect of operations or business processes. Certainly many forms of commerce, sales, customer and supply chain interaction have been vastly and permanently changed by digitization.
But the impact on how we communicate and interact with these applications and each other has been equally transformed by digitization.
Digital Transformation and Enterprise Communications
Digitization drove much innovation in the field of data networking. In turn, advancements in data networking naturally encouraged and accelerated further digitization.
As the 1990s progressed, data networks eventually achieved the performance and service quality needed to converge a host of previously separate communications application networks onto them. Voice, video and data began using shared digital network infrastructure, a trend that continues today with the widespread adoption of Unified Communications.
At the same time, an explosion of smart devices has streamlined how we use these networks and networked applications. The Blackberry has driven a revolution in business user mobility and communications. And this year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Apple’s iPhone. Enterprises are still grappling of the impact of these devices on IT environments and the business overall. The Internet of Things, the next phase of this evolution, is getting lots of attention today as well.
This revolution in enterprise communication end-points has been the direct result of digitization. Plus, like the networking trend before it, the smart device trend is further accelerating digitization.
The only certainty about the future of enterprise digitization is that it promises to be as transformational as the past couple of decades.
That said, we see several clear-cut digitization trends that enterprises are engaged in right now, mainly around achieving simpler and more effective integration between enterprise communications and other parts of the digitized enterprise. These include:
- Workflow-driven mobile communications: Enterprise business processes and workflows have been transformed by digitization. The latest phase is to synchronize enterprise communications with the workflow. For example, workflow-driven mobile communications enables a sales person’s phone call to a customer prospect to be automatically captured and logged by the CRM system.
- Policy compliant communications: Many companies must comply with strict regulatory requirements pertaining to phone call logging, recording, security and similar mandates. User mobility and digitization can make this compliance very challenging. But a new approach to integrating mobilized enterprise communications with enterprise systems is making it possible to enforce communications policies on any mobile device, even personal smartphones.
Tango Networks is working with a wide range of enterprises around the world to adopt true mobility for enterprise communications that achieve these goals and more. Contact us today for a demonstration of our mobilized enterprise communications solutions.