Why connectivity matters for digital transformation – it’s a journey, not a destination
If digital transformation is keeping you awake at night, you’re not alone.
We’re all aware of the phrase and the cautionary tales of what happens if you miss the boat. According to research firm Ovum’s 2017 digital maturity index, only 8% of enterprises surveyed on their digital transformation journey considered themselves to have achieved it – this is only 504 of the 6,300 companies surveyed. What’s interesting to me though, is that the concept of ‘achieving digital transformation’ seems slightly paradoxical, because it remains to be seen if it is, in fact, a process that is open and closed.
The complexity of what constitutes digital transformation, along with the technologies tipped to drive it – right from the cloud, big data and artificial intelligence to 5G, M2M and IoT were all discussed at the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) conference, which recently took place in Hawaii.
At the event, I also participated in a panel session where we discussed the varying stages of transformation, businesses across a range of sectors find themselves in.
During the panel session, the aforementioned Ovum study brought some good news for the Telco industry. It showed that when it comes to digital maturity, the sector is the most advanced out of all the industries surveyed, with its index score currently sitting at 43.9%. This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone in the industry, because it’s a basic requirement for networks to be technologically advanced to enable such transformations.
Organisations need connectivity specialists to help with their transformation journeys, so if we weren’t further progressed along the path ourselves, what kind of partner would we be? That said, the Telco industry, Colt included, still has a long way to go with regards to digital transformation. Eventually, we may well drop the word ‘digital’, because it’s business transformation that does not have an end point. Rather it’s a moving target or a continuous state of change organisations find themselves in.
According to Gartner’s Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and Beyond: Pace Yourself, for Sanity’s Sake, “by 2020, five out of the top seven digital giants will wilfully ‘self-disrupt’ to create their next leadership opportunity.” 1 To Colt, this means that the likes of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are still poised to disrupt their own business models. So if the key players in the digital revolution are still evolving, how can anyone say they’ve reached an end point? There is no room for complacency. Like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos often says, you have to treat every day as ‘Day One’.
So, I believe, a lot of the complexity surrounding the notion of digital transformation is due to the nature of the overarching theme and the language used to talk about it, making it seem like an insurmountable challenge.
As part of our own digital transformation, Colt has committed to be a key enabler for businesses looking to extend their footprint in Europe and Asia. It’s for this reason that Colt recently revealed that it’s aggressively expanding in the US market, establishing points of presence in 13 major telecoms and cloud aggregation points in North America. This ensures that the Colt IQ Network will soon become accessible globally. It follows our recent announcement that Colt is increasing its On Demand services in Asia to Hong Kong and Singapore in Q2 2018. This means better connectivity between the US, Europe and Asia.
For Colt, our overarching connectivity goal, much like digital transformation, is a moving target. There’s a lot more we want to do, so we can make sure that we will be the optimal partner and provide the backbone network to support transformation journeys for years to come. Because as cliché as the word ‘journey’ can sound – that’s truly what digital transformation is. It’s not a destination, not for Colt, not for anyone. It’s a constant state of change of the business landscape, and it’s a journey that’s best undertaken with the right partner. Especially one that’s better connected.
1Source: Gartner, “Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and Beyond: Pace Yourself, for Sanity’s Sake,” Daryl C. Plummer, 29 September 2017.