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The Drive to Digitization and the Impact on Your Business and Customers

February 18, 2016 - 0 Comments

One of the hottest new buzzwords is today’s business is “Digitization.” Most companies are scrambling to become more digitized and make the necessary workplace transformations. So what exactly is digitization? According to, digitization refers to the “conversion of analog information in any form (text, photographs, voice, etc.) to digital form with suitable electronic devices (such as a scanner or specialized computer chips) so that the information can be processed, stored, and transmitted through digital circuits, equipment, and networks.”

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Here at Cisco, we often refer to digitization as “the connection of people, process, data and things to provide intelligence and actionable insights enabling business outcomes.”

Digitization has been happening all around us for years and we’ve really become quite spoiled. We just expect to have the information we want at our finger tips and have become accustomed to companies making personalized recommendations for us and understanding our online behavior. This personalization is BIG business and is often referred to as “The Internet of Me.”  According to Accenture, 60 percent of the 2000 organizations they surveyed indicate they are seeing a positive ROI on their investments in personalization technologies (Accenture, 2015) As a result, 81 percent place the personalized customer experience in their top three priorities for their organization for 2016.

But the simpler something appears to be on the front end, the more complex the logic and operations are on the back end. The sheer volumes of data required to make meaningful insights are truly remarkable. This data must be stored somewhere and business processes must be modified to make way for constantly evolving customer needs.

When you start looking at all the requirements necessary to fully digitize a business, you can understand how overwhelming the pressures must be for business leaders who not only have to remain profitable but also move their company into these new digitization waters. And the rate of required change is accelerating quickly. Cisco is predicting that as many as 40 percent of fortune 500 businesses will not survive this massive transition over coming years.  And as these big companies fall away, nimble tech-savoy start-ups will take their place. This magnitude of market upheaval hasn’t occurred since the advent of the internet.

As a trusted business partner to your customers, YOU can help ensure your customer is a member of the digitization survivor’s club. Make sure you share the following insights with your prospects:

  1. There are three primary forces driving Digitization:
    • Consumer pull: Consumers, and particularly Generation C (the generation of young people who, by 2020, will have always lived in a primarily digital world) are already fully adapted to the digital environment. They naturally expect to always be connected, are willing to share personal data, and trust referrals from their closest friends more than from well-known brands.
    • Technology push: The increasing affordability of broadband is expanding the reach of technology to billions of consumers. In parallel, low-cost smart devices are being deployed in every industry. Cloud computing and the vast information-processing machinery it requires, is developing rapidly.
    • Economic benefits: The economic benefits to be captured through digitization are quantifiable. A surge of capital has poured into the new digitization technologies and companies, and the public markets reward early movers with unprecedented valuations
  1. Customers must complete a brutally honest self-assessment to understand their digitization readiness. The primary motivation for becoming digitized is to meet customers’ steadily increasing high expectations. This requires more than simply automating existing processes. It requires reinventing the entire business process. MIT Sloan’s Center for Information Systems Research as developed a quick online questionnaire that executives can take to determine digitization readiness and vulnerability. Click here to access the survey. As your prospects determine their readiness, you can provide the necessary technology guidance.
  2. Security is a top driver of IT Spend and will become increasingly important in proportion to the amount of digitation. According to Forrester, over 60 percent of enterprises were expected to experience a security breach in 2015 and security spending to increase, as much as double in some sectors. (Forbes, 2014). Security vulnerabilities can cost a business millions of dollars in liability so security for every business must be prioritized.
  3. It’s not a matter of WHETHER a business becomes digitized, it’s a matter of WHEN. In order to survive long-term, all businesses will need to adapt and transform. And although the digitization pay-off may occur immediately for some industries, for others, the wait is much longer. The healthcare industry is one such sector. According to Forrester, “In the years from 2020 to 2030, look for the vast array of innovation to be made globally operational as some of these significant investments start to affect the way in which most humans receive care” (Forbes, 2014).  Regardless of the timing of the return, digitization investments are necessary and the sooner a company starts, the better.

So make sure you know the facts about the drive to digitization and share the information with your prospects. Opportunities abound for sales experts who can offer guidance and become a trusted advisor to customers around the digitization transformation. Even in tight markets, these investments will be necessary. Cisco Partners can learn more about Digitization and the Internet of Everything by visiting Cisco Sales Connect (log-in required).

Also, if you are not attending the upcoming Cisco Marketing Velocity and Partner Summit 2016 event in San Diego, be sure register for Virtual Partner Summit (VPS) to see what our leaders have to say about digital transformation and Cisco’s strategy today.

Register Now for Cisco VPS 2016

What kinds of interesting opportunities have YOU uncovered with your customers around digitization? What are your biggest challenges? Let me know in the comments below.

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