• Barry Brunsman, Leadership |

While there is no let-up in the level of disruption we all face — from rising costs and economic uncertainties to geopolitical turmoil — companies of all sizes are meeting the challenge by embracing equally disruptive technologies, new and old. How these technologies are driving change is highlighted in the recent KPMG global tech report 2022.

Just as technological innovation helped sustain businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the global tech leaders surveyed, along with industry professionals, are equally enthusiastic about the power of digital transformation to move their business forward. 

But there are challenges, from a shortage of skills needed for this brave new world to increasing cyber security threats. So, how can businesses in these uncertain times make good the promise of digital transformation? Here are some steps that I believe can help you advance your digital maturity.

1. Make customer value your primary driver for digital innovation

IT investments should be focused on what truly enhances the customer experience. This is virtually synonymous with digital transformation. When tech strategies are anchored to the creation of a loyalty-winning experience you safeguard income and encourage high levels of repeat revenue from customers.

2. Overcome limitations in your transformation progress

Changing times require a changing workforce, with different skills. Although there is a shortage of talent with the key skills required, it shouldn’t stall your transformation journey. You can free staff from working on costly, time-consuming tasks by increasing automation of simple workflows. Then by redeploying these people to work on high-priority activities and upskilling them you can make better use of limited resources and build a skilled workforce for the future. 

3. Align everyone on the power of the cloud

Cloud adoption is the logical evolution of IT – it’s no longer an innovation — allowing you to enhance the way you work and capitalize on efficiency and cost benefits. In the survey, nearly nine out of ten businesses (88%) say they are well advanced in their adoption of the cloud. But there is one major factor that I believe is holding back the success of cloud transformation programs. That is a misalignment between IT’s vision of cloud capabilities and the very different priorities of other business units. The result is a very disjointed cloud implementation where teams often become siloed and disconnected from the work of other departments. 

By contrast, advanced organizations have a strong understanding of the needs of the business and IT departments, with a unified strategic vision that can maximize the value of the cloud for all stakeholders. 

4. Integrate tech stacks

With the constant evolution of tech there’s a pressing demand not to be tied to legacy systems. This means being able to move comfortably between platforms and tearing down silos that separate employees and departments. It’s only by integrating front, middle and back office that’s it possible to deliver a consistent, ‘smooth’ experience over any channel that customers choose. It’s not just a technological change. It’s also a cultural one. Every business should aim to ensure that everyone is aligned to deliver on its brand promise and customer expectations.

5. Widen responsibility for cyber-resilience

Cyber security teams are under pressure to keep up with evolving threats. As the global research report shows, some 40% say their efforts to meet critical cyber security goals are undermined by a lack of key skills. 

But it’s not just security leaders and their teams who should be driving cyber resilience — this is a broader business issue. To navigate the shortage of cyber security skills and widen accountability, multidisciplinary teams need to be set-up to support security across the enterprise.

6. Deploy the emerging technologies that your customers trust

A good customer experience is reliant on customers trusting the technologies used. So IT should involve business stakeholders and cybersecurity teams as early as possible, This cross-collaboration will make sure that strategies for emerging technologies are customer-centric and meet business objectives, while also maintaining security standards.
These steps can help you sustain your digital evolution and join the leading businesses that are using technology to outsmart the competition in an increasingly volatile economic climate.

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