The term ‘digital transformation’ has been used to describe everything from creating a new mobile application to developing a social media strategy, but in reality, it covers much more than that.

It is the process of transforming an organisation, using digital technologies, in order to create a fundamental change to the way it operates, its processes and the way it deals with its customers. Digital transformation is impacting all aspects of organisations across society – both in the public and private sector, in every industry.

For a successful transformation, the programme needs to be led by or have significant buy-in from the top of the organisation.  It also needs a clear roadmap of where the organisation wants to be in the future and has to be delivered in a staged approach, allowing feedback and changes along the way.  It should involve a mix staff from across the organisation and external stakeholders.

Myths and realities of digital transformation

Digital transformation has become a buzzword in the industry and many people are underestimating its potential, so we wanted to bust a few myths.

Myth Reality
Digital transformation is only about customer experience Huge opportunities exist for efficiency and productivity improvements internally
It matters only to technology or B2C companies Opportunities exist in all industries, without exception, and the companies that embrace it are more likely to succeed than those that don’t
If we let everyone come up with initiatives in their own department, we will get there Transformation needs to have a unified strategy, a vision for where you are trying to go, and the process can empower departments to find creative digital solutions to problems
We can wait and see how others are doing it first Digital transformation can achieve big return on investment and leaves organisations who do not embrace it trailing behind competitors


What digital transformation trends do we expect for 2018?

Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to be implemented everywhere around us.  There are more than 8.4 billion things connected to the internet – that is more than the number of people on the planet and 30% more than last year. Mobile network providers pushing towards 5G networks will supply enough pipeline for the data produced by IoT to be carried around. The manufacturing sector is a great example of an industry making IoT work for them.  A growing trend is machine providers partnering up with IoT solutions to offer a service above the core product. The customer is getting the same product but they are now also getting the ability to easily optimise and monitor the health and efficiency of each tool, which adds value. ¹

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be even more mainstream. With more companies investing in AI in everything; from customer services and robotics, to analytics and marketing. Internal processes and activities will be more streamlined and efficient and decision making will be supported with more background information for less risk taking.

Mixed Reality applications will be used by companies to better train, pitch and envision new products, without the cost of having to physically produce the product. Last year, our team was at the Microsoft Ignite conference to have closer look at Ford making use of Microsoft Hololens in their design phase of new cars.

Cloud First policies are becoming the norm.  Organisations are recognising that the cloud is here to stay. 2018 will see an increasing number of organisations embracing cloud for more than just their infrastructure, and moving to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions. As more and more products become cloud based, the providers are starting to build connectors to connect all your online systems together.  We expect this trend to continue as one view of all your data becomes more important. Moving away from your on-premises hosting solutions can bring both short and long-term benefits as our Head of Infrastructure explained in this previous post.

Data and Privacy will be big in 2018, the year of GDPR (See our GDPR hub). Where you keep data, what data you hold and how you use that data has never been more important. There have also been a number of high profile breaches of data in 2017 which will mean data is at the forefront of many organisations minds.  We think there will be increased scrutiny on organisations to look after their data in a secure way.  Having the processes and infrastructure to secure the data you have will have a big impact on organisations and showing you have this covered could become a factor in securing future business relationships. This trend is also about empowering your organisation, as you will likely be creating more data than ever before.  Finding a way to manage this and interpret this will be a key enabler.


2018 will be the year that many companies realise digital transformation is not a fad, nice to have, or something just for big tech companies. It is imperative in today’s business landscape to drive competitive advantage. Disruption across industries is going to continue and will threaten traditional business models. 53% of UK business and IT leaders expect their industry to be significantly disrupted in the next two years according to a recent survey by Microsoft (click here).

Here at Incremental we have worked across the private and public sectors to help them organisations achieve their strategic goals. If you’re looking to explore digital transformation options for your organisation and want expert advice, contact us today to start your journey.