Roll the clocks back ten years and you have a vastly different world: a young, slick Illinois senator in the White House, a game-changing device from Apple in their first iPhone, and an IT industry focused on data mining, virtual collaboration, and search technology.

A decade ago, companies didn’t really have a digital strategy per se, and no real mobile presence that would bring their customers into their spheres in any meaningful way (“Hey, here’s a cool story” doesn’t count as engagement). As for employee collaboration, forget it. Organizations hadn’t yet started leveraging — truly leveraging — social media platforms in pursuit of their core business objectives.

From service to driver
Now come back to 2017. What does the word “digital” mean to you now? Probably a lot more than it meant 10 years ago, when it was tied closely to “IT.” It may have been merely a service in the past, but digital has in recent years become crucially important to companies, to the point where companies’ digital strategy drives every department across the enterprise, from HR to marketing to sales.

“Digital” has evolved, and with it, the enterprise itself. While this might lead you to believe that organizations have a higher digital IQ in 2017 than they had in 2007, this is not necessarily true. One recent European study reveals that less than a quarter of business leaders in the UK was confident in the ability of their organization to leverage digital technology to drive changes in business models. Swedish, Dutch, and German participants in the same study were only marginally more confident.

Upskill needed
Recent research indicates that little more half of professional digital marketers feel they are highly proficient in digital marketing. Over 80 per cent of them say they learn their skills on the job. There appears to be considerable uncertainty about what works and how to leverage digital’s strengths. Clearly an upskill is needed. Businesses must think critically (or more critically) about their digital initiatives, and specifically how these initiatives can, should, and will affect the experience of employees and customers.

Continuing the conversation
Starting at 1 pm ET on October 24, 2017, IT World Canada CIO Jim Love and special guests Adeel Omer (Director of Marketing, Dell EMC) and Mark Bryant (CIO, PCL) present the second of four webinars in an important series on digital transformation.

Find out how to build a solid foundation for data-driven decision-making and, in the process, gain a deeper, more intelligent understanding of what drives and inspires your customers.

Register today to attend “A Roadmap for Digital Transformation.”



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