The term ‘digital transformation’ has different connotations for different people. For some, digital transformation is about using artificial intelligence to improve customer experience while for others, it could be about using cloud technology and analytics software to optimise their logistics processes. In a nutshell, digital transformation represents how businesses innovate their processes through technology.
Interest surrounding this subject has increased rapidly in recent years. Google trends data shows a steady rise in UK searches for ‘digital transformation’ since 2014, indicating that technological innovation has increasingly become a priority for business owners to consider.
This graph reflects recent reports of investment in digital transformation being on the rise. A recent report by Deloitte found that the average budget for medium-sized businesses to invest in digital transformation increased by 25% in the last year alone. Likewise, a report ‘The State of Digital Transformation’ found that growth opportunities (51%) and increased competitive pressure (41%) are the primary reasons for businesses investing in digital transformation.
Despite this growing enthusiasm, there still remains a level of uncertainty, especially among smaller businesses. Last year’s implementation of GDPR legislation now means that businesses are required to map their data flows, assess the risks in their data processing activities and identify where controls must be implemented. Innovation therefore now carries a greater risk of sensitive data becoming lost, or even worse, stolen. With the maximum fine for non-compliance standing at €20 million or 4% of annual turnover, the consequences of making mistakes are too great to be ignored.
When the specific requirements of GDPR were originally announced and Privacy by Design was, for the first time, to be made a legal requirement for IT projects, it was feared that hundreds of digital transformation projects – many of which had been scoped and designed months, if not years previously – would become derailed.