“Digital transformation” is one of those terms that sounds impressive, but its meaning is a bit fuzzy for most people. It essentially refers to the application of technologies such as cloud, mobile, imaging, and workflow automation to change the way companies operate. It includes large doses of automation and data analysis and accessibility.
Dealers need to be aware of the digital transformation trend because it provides internal opportunities to improve the way they do business, and their customers will be adopting digital transformation concepts soon if they haven’t already. That could change the way dealers sell and provide services to their client base.
This month, CompTIA released a report that sheds some light on the impact of digital transformation. The IT industry associated surveyed both business and IT professionals at 350 companies to understand where companies are with their plans and attitudes toward digital transformation. In a separate report, CompTIA conducted in-depth interviews with 10 individuals to drill down on the survey data.
Below are some of the key points that are relevant to the dealer community:
- The biggest strategic goal for the companies surveyed is to improve efficiency (48 percent). Innovation was second at 46 percent. This means companies should be open to conversations about improving workflow or document management. On the IT services side, the opportunities are larger.
- There is a gap in confidence level in the preparedness for the digital era between business and IT management. Thirty-four percent of IT professionals said they are “extremely confident,” while only 24 percent of business function employees and 17 percent of executives feel that way. Take-away: A lot of education and hand-holding is required before you get a commitment on projects that disrupt business processes.
- Businesses are willing to spend more on IT. Mid-sized businesses are leading the way with 60 percent of their IT groups and 56 percent of their business units saying they will increase their technology budget. Small businesses report those numbers at 40 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
- Infrastructure is the biggest area where that spend will occur (35 percent), followed by innovation (25 percent), integration (20 percent), and intelligence (19 percent).
- CompTIA sees opportunities for third-party IT service providers in its data. The survey shows that many of the key initiatives including security (50 percent), back-end systems (41 percent), and data (44 percent) are perceived as having a high degree of difficulty, which could challenge in-house IT teams.
- Two areas that businesses see as IT-centric are security and seeking out new technologies. The typical dealer client has little or no internal IT support, so this represents an opportunity for the dealer to fill a void in these areas.