5 Digital Transformation Trends for 2019
By John Newton, Founder and CTO, Alfresco
From petroleum and banking to retail and health care, market cap and shareholder value leaders share an important common characteristic. Today’s top global companies have become digital enterprises, re-imagining themselves to better serve customers in an era when the digital world has truly eclipsed the physical world. 2019 promises to be another year of tumult and rapid change, and companies that fail to embrace transformation will find themselves falling behind and replaced by existing competitors which continuously evolve and adapt or by new digital-native challengers that don’t bear the cost or inertia of legacy technology infrastructures. Either way, this new era of business represents an existential threat to old-guard companies that refuse to change.
Consulting firm McKinsey characterizes digital transformation as the process of taking corporate capabilities and transforming them into a platform of services, and, in 2019, “platform thinking” and viewing the company “as an API” will be the strategy and the mechanism that connect business ecosystems and build the world’s first trillion-dollar companies. A new generation of business leaders will be empowered by open data and APIs, as well as open standards and architectures, to rapidly build and implement digital solutions and deliver new services to customers and trading partners.
Five key trends will rule 2019’s digital business world: process will lead digital operations; push-button deployment will help scale digital operations; a DevOps approach will drive the building of digital solutions; artificial intelligence will help automate digital operations; and “a la carte” apps will reduce digital operations cost.
1. Process Will Lead Digital Operations
Digital business initiatives will morph from “content-first” to “process-first” in 2019. Digital initiatives designed to create or re-imagine business processes will be viewed through a “digital lens.” This digital lens into process will illustrate how to best apply technology and better serve users – because without process, digital initiatives cannot even get started.
The new “process-first digital operations” is an approach that revolves around a loosely coupled systems architecture, designed for scale and performance by leveraging asynchronous communications and container-based deployment. Technologies like Kubernetes will enable IT independence, as well as the ability to rapidly scale, whether software runs on-premise or in commercially available cloud environments. Cloud-native tools will enable organizations to scale almost instantly, while delivering any needed capabilities to serve the digital business.
Process automation will also evolve as cloud-native process engines for BPM will be reduced to small, individual parts that can be updated and scaled up independently to create microservice architectures that operate as containers in the cloud. Digital operations will also be affected by new abilities for creation of common data around all activities in digital operations, enabling understanding and common insights from that data, not just analytics on any one particular point. This deeper understanding of business processes within the enterprise and how information is used will facilitate better-informed decisions that support business agility and competitiveness.
2. Push-Button Apps Will Drive Digital Operations
Global scaling of digital operations will evolve as system architectures become capable of scaling up and down with minimal involvement from IT. An emerging “click-and-deploy” model will help tomorrow’s trillion-dollar companies accelerate implementation of solutions that support digital transformation. Cloud migration and containerization will be central to achieving …