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Comcast Business 2019 Predictions: The Year of Digital Transformation 2.0

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Jeff Lewis, Vice President of Product Management, Comcast Business

2019: The Year of Digital Transformation 2.0

In this ever-changing world, speed is currency. To survive and thrive, companies need to act fast. Those that don't -- or can't -- will quickly become extinct. That's why a growing number of companies are realizing the importance that digital transformation (DX) plays in their future. 

Today, DX is undergoing a transformation of its own, driven by megatrends such as AI, machine learning and virtual reality. In the new year, we'll see more companies progressing on their journey to DX 2.0. This next phase of DX focuses on empowering workers with high-speed access to apps and data that allows them to be more productive -- all while enhancing the customer experience. 

According to a survey of 800 C-level executives and IT decision-makers by IDG, nearly half (45 percent) have started the journey to becoming a digital business. Now, as we enter 2019, more companies will be coming along.

The Digital Journey Index further explores why companies should consider DX 2.0 and how to move along the path of transformation. Based on this research, here are three key steps companies can take towards their DX 2.0 journey in 2019.

Step 1: Create a Holistic Digital Strategy

The first step to achieving DX 2.0 is to take a holistic view of where your company stands in the digital journey. As businesses become more digital, it is becoming abundantly clear that organizations need a strategy for the digital era rather than a digital strategy. In the first phase of digital transformation (DX 1.0), the technology focus was on mobility, big data, social media, and internet ubiquity. DX 2.0 is about embracing the next wave of technologies, including machine learning, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), predictive analytics and robotics, and making them a central part of the company's strategy.

A vital part of this journey to DX 2.0 is the buildout of an advanced network based on software-defined networking (SDN) principles -- a network that is agile and flexible enough to allow an enterprise to host its apps and data across multiple clouds at the lowest cost and with superior performance. Building such a network is also the first step toward building a self-configuring, automated network that can react to network stimuli and reconfigure itself for optimal business outcomes.

Step 2: Empower the Edge

An empowered edge worker is more productive in meeting customer needs, which leads to improved customer satisfaction and, in turn, drives revenue growth. Empowering the edge worker with a new networking paradigm improves enterprise efficiency and enables success at meeting new customer demand. According to the IDC survey, companies using advanced data networks to embrace DX 2.0 gain measurable business advantages, including:

  • 38% improvement in customer satisfaction
  • 28% increase in revenue
  • 26% increase in employee productivity

However, a successful edge strategy depends on a comprehensive transformation of the enterprise network architecture that aligns all organization resources, including key assets at the edge, to deliver a richer experience to the customer and significantly higher economic rewards to the enterprise.

Step 3: Invest in Internet That's Fast and Reliable

As a business' network edge continues to grow, so does the need for a supportive, high-speed internet connection. Having quality, high-speed internet is critical to business performance and customer experience, and will empower employees at the frontlines of business. Accessing files or apps and managing cloud data can be affected by slow, unreliable internet, which can ultimately hurt employee productivity. Investing in reliable internet is one component  that not only supports DX 2.0 but ensures employee productivity and business success.

DX 2.0: How to Get There

To reach DX 2.0, companies need an infrastructure designed to help them work smarter, faster and more efficiently. That includes technologies that streamline processes, improve productivity and enhance the customer experience -- all designed to create a more efficient, customer-focused organization that moves beyond fast. Now - on your mark, get set, go!

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About the Author

Jeff Lewis 

Jeff Lewis, Vice President of Product Management, Comcast Business

Jeff Lewis is Vice President of Product Management for Comcast Business, overseeing the company's evolution of next generation networking, cloud, data center, Wi-Fi and internet solutions for business. His team is responsible for delivering smart connectivity solutions to effectively connect multiple locations, systems, employees, partners and customers across a distributed enterprise.

A 25-year industry veteran, Jeff has played a key role developing some of the first hosted voice over IP (VoIP), session internet protocol (SIP) trunking, layer 3 virtual private network (VPN) and Metro Ethernet business solutions.

Jeff has held positions with increasingly responsibility for the past nine years at Comcast Business. Prior to joining the company, he spent more than 12 years at AT&T and BellSouth. Jeff also launched new business initiatives and multinational programs for BellSouth International, where he travelled on assignment to Sao Paulo, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Jeff earned an MBA from Babson College, as well as both an MS and BS in Engineering from Boston University.
Published Thursday, January 17, 2019 7:41 AM by David Marshall
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