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Plutoshift 2021 Predictions: Implementing Digital Transformation

 vmblog 2021 prediction series 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2021.  Read them in this 13th annual series exclusive.

Implementing Digital Transformation

By Prateek Joshi, founder and CEO of Plutoshift

The team at Plutoshift commissioned a report last fall surveying 500 individuals across various industrial sectors to investigate digital transformation methods. Our goal was to understand what was working, what wasn't, and what professionals wanted to accomplish with their digital transformation strategies. We found that the traditional top-to-bottom method of digital transformation passed down by the C-suite through the organization is often not the ideal approach.

In 2020, we saw how important it was to be able to pivot workflows and processes to meet changing priorities. But the traditional top-down approach to digital transformation isn't agile enough to meet those demands. So how do we improve digital transformation in 2021?

A growing number of industrial professionals are looking to address digital transformation using a more targeted approach. They are finding specific tasks, departments, and workflows in their organizations that need targeted digitization. We're calling this Operation-Specific (Op-Specific) Digital Transformation. Instead of automating all aspects, they're automating one workflow at a time with the right program.

The Errors of the Status Quo

Our report found that very few hold the legacy practice in high faith. While 94% said their digital transformation strategy spanned most of their company, only 25% of the respondents said digitizing their entire company at once was the right approach.

It starts with a call-to-action from the C-suite. It requires extensive coordination, planning, time, and budget. Every aspect of the business is expected to help carry the burden of change, with little consideration for how it influences their specific departments and workflows. But what happens after that?

Many found they were biting off more than they could chew. More than three-quarters (78%) of respondents said that as they began to implement their digital transformation efforts, it uncovered underlying issues in the process. Those issues were not only time-intensive but costly, sometimes requiring new equipment or software to solve.

Reality Falls Short of Expectations

Successful digital transformation is a lofty promise. It is much more than just installing a program or device. Only  29% of respondents said their digital transformation efforts have been successful. A whopping  94% said that they'd like to be able to do more. The response to the traditional methods is lukewarm at best.

This low-barrier of entry paves the way for Op-Specific Digital Transformation. With many companies and CIOs largely underwhelmed with their digital transformation efforts, 2021's planning meetings are ripe for change. More than half of the respondents could identify a specific task they'd like to digitize, and many are already beginning to explore this option with early signs of success.

The Future: One Program for One Problem

In 2021, companies will begin to focus their digital transformation efforts on specific workflows that are most critical to their business goals and objectives using Op-Specific Digital Transformation. According to our new report, 58% of industrial professionals have already explored this path. I expect this number to increase in 2021, especially with 68% of industrial professionals saying that there are specific workflows they would like to improve. It shows that people are already embracing the op-specific approach.


About the Author

Prateek Joshi 

Prateek Joshi is the founder and CEO of Plutoshift. He is a published author of 13 books on Artificial Intelligence, and his tech blog has more than 7,500 followers. Apart from Artificial Intelligence, some of his passions are number theory, cryptography, and quantum computing. His greater goal is to make Artificial Intelligence accessible to everyone so that it can impact billions of people around the world. He is a film and music aficionado and is based in northern California.

Published Friday, January 29, 2021 7:27 AM by David Marshall
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