Unified Communications Featured Article

Ensuring Digital Transformation Drives Business Success

July 13, 2018
By Special Guest
Patrick Harper, Chief Technology Officer, PGi -

Digital transformation means different things to different people, yet ultimately it’s about ensuring that businesses and their employees are effectively leveraging the power of technology to drive business success. True digital transformation means breaking down organizational barriers, enabling smarter working and more effective communication.

IDC defines digital transformation as “the continuous process by which enterprises adapt to or drive disruptive changes in their customers and markets, by leveraging digital competencies to create new business models, products and services. Digital transformation enables enterprises to seamlessly blend digital and physical business and customer experiences while improving operational efficiencies and organizational performance.”

Digital Transformation and the Cloud

“Digital transformation” and “cloud migration” are often used interchangeably. While embracing cloud-based technology is undeniably a part of digital transformation, it’s not the only element. While today you would be hard-pressed to find a conversation about digital transformation that doesn’t include the cloud, it is the advent of greater communication and collaboration within the enterprise that is also shaping digital transformation. Digital transformation is not sustainable without communication. When communication in an enterprise fails, everything comes to a halt. Communication and collaboration tools are mission-critical to driving organizational success, and will play an even bigger role in the future, advancing productivity and efficiency as digital transformation accelerates.

Enterprises must embrace new technology to reach their goals and remain competitive. However, the ever-present question is about which technology to adopt, and how to implement it effectively. Digital transformation should help companies realize new and more sophisticated business models that further increase revenue and drive business success.

Why Digital Transformation?

Competitive pressures, as well as increased user demand is making digital transformation a priority for many companies. Technology predictions highlight a further emphasis on mobility, including remote working, cloud technology and big data analytics as well as the need to find a way to manage the convergence of technologies such as artificial intelligence and IoT. Companies of all sizes and industry segments will be disrupted by their more agile competitors, and enterprises need to transform and embrace change now, or they’ll inevitably decline or perish.

Obstacles and Trends

Increasingly companies of all sizes are recognizing that a move to the cloud is the way forward despite the challenges involved in ensuring a smooth transition from a legacy on-premise system to a cloud-based model. The greatest obstacles to digital transformation are integration and security as well as company cultures that are unwilling to change.  However, according to a recent report by IDC, enterprise spending on cloud services and infrastructure will be more than $530 billion, and over 90 percent of enterprises will use multiple cloud services and platforms by 2021.   

Another obstacle of digital transformation is end-user hesitation and reluctance to change.  While many employees are reluctant to embrace change, it is essential that IT and HR teams incorporate training, onboarding and employee engagement into their digital implementation strategies to ensure that users embrace and master the latest technology while concurrently optimizing the investment. Anything that is considered as ‘too difficult’ will not be used consistently. Digital transformation brings a host of opportunities to an enterprise with effective training, onboarding and employee engagement to realize the power of the technology.

An Enabler for Digital Transformation

Unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) is quickly becoming one of the most attractive options for enterprises implementing digital transformation across the business. Gartner predicts that UCaaS end-user spending will nearly double from $11.9 billion on cloud-based services in 2016 to approximately $20.6 billion in 2020. However, the IDC report, “FutureScape: Worldwide CIO Agenda 2016 Predictions” claims that by 2018, “70 percent of siloed digital transformation initiatives will fail because of insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing or project management."

As the modern workforce becomes more mobile and disjointed, and the means of communicating becomes more complex, businesses require a solid UCaaS strategy to overcome communications challenges. UCaaS represents a means of achieving digital transformation for enterprises looking to empower their global, mobile workforce with cost-effective, secure solutions that benefit both employers and employees.

UCaaS can be cost-effective and secure for businesses looking for flexibility and a seamless deployment while removing the impact of system management from the IT department. UCaaS provides businesses an easier way to employ multiple devices and allow them to communicate seamlessly with their partners, vendors and customers across different devices, anywhere, anytime.  The right UCaaS approach enables the simple integration into existing systems and consolidates existing platforms, easing the burden on IT. 

Additionally, open architecture makes UCaaS even more appealing. With open APIs allowing for interoperability and integration with existing software makes the transition to UCaaS as seamless as possible without inconveniencing end users or overwhelming IT.

The future of the enterprise requires digital transformation to drive business success, and UCaaS is a logical first step in the journey. As more and more enterprises make the switch to the cloud and define their UCaaS strategy, being an early adopter of UCaaS will give companies a much-needed competitive edge in today’s fast-moving, always-on world. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle