Digital Technologies are changing the face of business. We all know this, but what is Digital Transformation exactly? It's one of those terms that when you ask 10 people what it is, you get 11 different answers, in 12 different languages.
When we boil it all down, we start to see the evolution of a new generation of customers. They are enabled, ambitious, and demanding. I like to call them digital customers.
To break down this complicated topic into bite size pieces, here are 2 trends that I anticipate will be on the forefront of Digital Transformation in 2017:
1) In 2017 API's (Application Program Interfaces) will be embraced by the masses. In layman's terms, an API is a set of requirements that govern how one application can talk to another. For example, think about how Yelp displays nearby restaurants on a Google Map in its app. In a nutshell, API's are the secret sauce for grasping digital technology. Uber and PayPal, are two companies that have embraced this technology, and by doing so they are able to control a large amount of transactions.
2) In 2017, I thoroughly believe the Internet of Things (IoT) will emerge as one of the hottest trends in Digital Transformation. IoT in very basic terms, represents a vision in which the Internet extends into the real world, embracing everyday objects. Reports suggest there will be around 25 billion internet-connected devices by 2020. Reread that, 25 billion internet connected devices, that's a staggering figure. An interesting example would be: in the not too distant future, we could very well see a "talking" refrigerator, where a consumer can look inside their fridge at anytime with the help of cameras embedded in the fridge itself. The consumer can then use the fridge to do online shopping, manage recipes, and compile and compare shopping lists. This sort of technology is right around the corner, if not already in plain view.
In conclusion, these two technologies and trends will be at the center of Digital Transformation going forward. This transformation is continuous. It's not a project that will ever stop. With technology there is a start, but it doesn't have an end.