Digital technology touches pretty much everything we do these days. It's on your smartphone when you check emails or when you tap your credit card to pay for coffee. It's there during Skype meetings with overseas colleagues or WhatsApp calls with family. When you transfer funds to a friend to pay for concert tickets, buy a new pair of sneakers or tweet about your favourite television show.
While some people may fear the digitalization of our world, most of us love it and its growing presence in our lives. There is little doubt it makes our daily grind easier, while allowing us to create and experience things that were never before possible.
This digital transformation is taking place in our everyday lives, but also across industries on a global level. Businesses, large and small, all around the world, are starting to realise how essential it is to factor digitalisation into crafting new or existing business models, or risk being left way behind.
Forbes has noted that 67% of CEOs in the world's top 2000 companies plan to target "Digital Transition" as their company core strategy by 2018.
In fact, the digitalisation of the business world is so important right now to the global economy that it's the central focus at this year's CeBIT, the world's largest and most influential technology expo, held in Hanover, Germany.
The official theme of CeBIT 2016 is "d!conomy: join - create - succeed", and its goal is to examine ways in which companies can assess and modify their business models to remain competitive and relevant in a technological age.
"In striving to lead their companies towards a successful future, people are the decisive factor; they need to choose wisely among the many choices presented by the digital transformation," said Deutsche Messe's Oliver Frese, who is in charge of this year's CeBIT event. "Companies in all sectors of the economy need to act right now and lay the right groundwork by digitalising their production and supply chains."
It's an incredibly important topic, as executives at Yahoo know from experience. A decade ago the US-based technology company was at the top of its industry and owned a solid 21% of the online advertising market. But by underestimating its own value as a search player, and outsourcing its search engine to Microsoft Bing, Yahoo has allowed its competitors - Google, Facebook and Microsoft - to become dominant in the industry, and to push it down to a struggling 4th place in the market.
Underestimating the future growth of digital transformation and backing out of potentially strategic acquisitions (of Google in 2002 and Facebook in 2006) was a massive oversight for Yahoo. But this has been remarkably common across a variety of industries with many big companies similarly misjudging the disruptive power of digitisation.
At the other end of the spectrum, those that have embraced the digital age have reaped rich rewards, particularly social media companies such as Facebook and Instagram that structured their business models around the unique opportunities offered by digitalisation - and are consequently thriving.
To exist successfully and operate seamlessly within this new digital world, businesses are finding they need to rely on a new business and production model where IT and CT technologies fully converge to offer large-scale communication, storage and processing capabilities. Only then can a business remain flexible, agile and adaptable to ever-changing business goals, system environments and industry demands.
Amongst those spearheading this technological revolution is leading ICT company Huawei. Huawei has had enormous success helping businesses change their business model and adopt a fully digital strategy, and this has resulted in strong cost saving output and efficiencies whilst also stimulating innovation, GDP growth and employment.
This approach is being welcomed with open arms by companies across a range of industries, who are partnering with Huawei and using its innovative hardware and software solutions (including cloud computing, big data, IOT and SDN) to drive digitalisation in their business.
A prime example, unveiled at CeBIT this month, is Deutsche Telekom company which has worked with Huawei to develop Open Telekom Cloud, a transformational public-cloud solution based on German data and privacy protection laws. Huawei provided Deutsch Telekom innovative hardware and software including servers, storage, networking and Cloud OS solutions. The new platform offers European companies on-demand, pay-as-you-go and secure cloud services capable of responding quickly to changes in market conditions. Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Höttges commented "for our business customers in Europe this is an important new service to support their digitization, and a critical milestone for us in our ambition to be the leading provider of cloud services."
Also revealed this week was Huawei's new partnership with Kuka (the global leaders in robot technology) that focuses primarily on research and development, and works towards developing the field of smart manufacturing through the use of cloud computing, big data, mobile technology and industrial robots.
By embracing ICT, these companies, along with many others, are making it clear that they're determined to take an active role in the digital world, to adapt their business models and to be responsive to growth and change.
"As new ICT - including cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), and software-defined networking - matures, a new cloud-pipe-device integrated ICT architecture is emerging to help enterprises accelerate digital transformation," says Yan Lida, President of the Enterprise Business Group at Huawei Technologies.
"Based on technology innovation, Huawei aspires to build a sustainable and win-win ecosystem by developing an open, flexible and elastic platform. In line with our Business Driven ICT Infrastructure (BDII) guiding principle and strategy of 'Focus' and 'Being Integrated', Huawei is committed to innovating jointly with partners to create value for governments and enterprises across industry sectors, helping them lead the new ICT age. Together we build a better connected world."
Source : CNN