5 Trends Driving the Need for Digital Transformation Now

Everyone is talking about digital transformation, but why now—what’s driving the urgency?

The global market place is rapidly changing. Not long ago we were using faxes and pagers to communicate. Those days are long gone: we now have the power of a computer, right in the palm of our hand or on our wrists or in our cars.

Adapting to change is nothing new, but it’s the unprecedented pace of change, colliding trends and redefined customer experience that is driving the need for digital transformation.

Digital transformation is no longer an option—it’s a must to survive in the digital world.

These are the top 5 trends driving digital transformation in 2018.


1. The Internet of Things is growing exponentially, and businesses must be ready to grow with it.

Back in 2014, the number of devices surpassed the number of people on Earth. Fast forward to 2021, and the Internet of Things will support a staggering 46 billion connected devices.

According to Constellation Research, nearly 50 percent of businesses have an established strategy with production IoT apps, or are piloting IoT projects. These businesses realize they must revamp their traditional business strategy to a digital business strategy. The amount of data connected devices and services generate, and the different systems on which they operate means old, legacy systems must be changed to digital enablement platforms with native cloud capabilities and microservices. This will enable them to keep up with the demand of seamless customer experience and big data vastness.


2. The need to create digital partner ecosystems.

In an ultra-competitive market, partnering with companies that augment your platforms, networks, services and customer experience will be key.

International Data Corporation predicts that by this year, over 50 percent of large enterprises, and 80 percent of enterprises with advanced digital transformation strategies will design or partner with industry platforms, developers and service providers.


3. Rapid cloud adoption – businesses are doubling down on cloud adoption.

Being competitive in the new digital world isn’t about upgrading or modernizing—it’s about changing and changing now. Enhancing legacy systems is not enough. The demands on operations and integration are evolving so rapidly they will break legacy systems. A complete re-architecture that takes advantage of cloud native capabilities and micro services is now essential.

Half of telecommunications companies rely on a hybrid cloud, where they own their own data centers but can fall back on the public cloud for additional capacity and bandwidth. Look for hybrid clouds to increase in popularity in 2018—hybrid cloud adoption tripled from 2016 to 2017.


4. Big data analytics will be worth more than gold.

People are consuming over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day—that’s the capacity of about 2.4 trillion iPhone Xs. The data from our texts, tweets and web browsing is created on different systems, so there needs to be a common way to make sense of it all. Businesses are investing in big data analytics, spending up to $203 billion by 2020.

It’s not just about the explosion of data—it’s the way in which we analyze and use this data to enhance what we do across all areas of society that makes it so powerful. It’s the way we combine data and intelligence to power innovative and transformational smart services with data exchange models and business model innovation. It’s clear that big data analysis, the cloud and other related technologies will enable this move from data to knowledge to outcome.


5. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the next competitive advantage.

AI can and will “think ahead.” According to MIT Sloan Management Review, nearly 85 percent of businesses think AI will give their companies a competitive advantage, and 41 percent expect large effects from AI within five years. We are still at the tip of the iceberg and 2018 is expected to be a year of exploration in AI.

Digital business models that hinge on AI and IoT such as “as-a-service” and “mass personalization at scale” require large amounts of data and computing power to execute. In addition, the connections for IoT are in the cloud and AI processing will increasingly rely on cloud-based services to function. These trends will continue to drive investment in SaaS/cloud and big data technologies.

Keep an eye on these top five trends in 2018 and use them to shape how you are thinking about and building your digital transformation strategy. 

CSG understands the urgency. That’s why we’re working on digital transformation and IoT strategies and cloud-first solutions with our customers now. Our advantage is that we are experts on both sides of the equation—we know how to optimize and get the best out of legacy systems to drive down costs and free up funding, and we have the technology and the innovation to enable a true digital business transformation. For more information, visit csgi.com.

Boren, Zachary Davies. “There are officially more mobile devices than people in the world.” The Independent. 7 October 2014.
“‘Internet of Things’ connected devices to triple by 2021, reaching over 46 billion units.” Juniper Research. 13 December 2016.
“IDC Predicts the Emergence of “the DX Economy.”” BusinessWire. 4 November 2015.
Columbus, Louis. “2017 State Of Cloud Adoption And Security.” Forbes. 23 April 2017.
Ferguson, Scott. “Big Data, Analytics Market To Hit $203 Billion In 2020.” InformationWeek. 4 October 2016.
Acker, Olaf et al. “Benefiting from big data: a new approach for the telecom industry.” Strategy&. 2013.
Ransbotham, Sam et al. “Reshaping Business with Artificial Intelligence: Closing the Gap Between Ambition and Action.” MIT Sloan Management Review. 6 September 2017.
Constellation Research 2017 Digital Transformation Study
Lewis, Jeff. “Digital Transformation: Internet Of Things Is A Primary Driver of Digitization Strategies.” Forbes. 5 October 2017.