I recently attended an event with more than 1,300 delegates from mostly asset-intensive industries and when they were asked how many were involved in digital transformation projects, more than 80% of the room raised their hands. Digital transformation is a key strategic initiative for many organizations, as this Gartner survey highlights. Executives at these organizations realize that digitalization is not an option, but the way to survive and thrive in the years to come. The same Gartner survey explains, "CIOs across most industries are struggling to move from experimentation to scaling their digital business initiatives." I often find that business leaders I talk to are confused about the difference between digitizing and transforming business and processes.
It's time to start harnessing the power of digitalization to build a clean, equitable, and prosperous future. Digital technology has great potential to address many challenges facing the world, but its effects on society are being experienced at such breakneck speed that there has been little time to consider how its diffusion can serve society's higher goals. In a series of articles over the coming months, we will explore the question of how digitalization can be done "on purpose" -- that is, how we can ensure that digitalization will be a force for good, a force to transform economies so that they foster greater equity, environmental integrity, and shared global prosperity. This article sets out to define the terms digitization, digitalization, and digital transformation so that they can serve as a framework for understanding how the digital revolution can also become a revolution for sustainable development. It represents a first step in helping leaders purposefully guide their organizations toward a better digital future.
Today, global innovation company Hitachi has announced its next-generation digital transformation solutions will run on Microsoft. The two companies have signed a strategic agreement to advance AI, Robotics, and IoT capabilities across logistics and manufacturing industries based in South Asia and Japan. The digital solutions would also be made available to the North American market. Each industry is unique in the way it adopts digital tools to transform its core operations. Logistics, manufacturing and supply industries are the most potent markets for digitalization.
If you've noticed more digital transformation initiatives at your company, you're not alone. Digitalization efforts, especially the automation of IT and business processes, continues to grow among companies of all sizes, industries and geographic locations. According to a 2018 survey by ZDNet's sister site, Tech Pro Research, 70 percent of survey respondents said that their companies either have a digital transformation strategy in place or are working on one. IT digital transformation budgets increased from 2016 to 2017 for 53 percent of survey respondents. SEE: Digital transformation: A CXO's guide (ZDNet special report) Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic) Reimagining business for the digital age is the number-one priority for many of today's top executives.