Rapid advances in digital technology are redefining the world as we know it. What is Digital Transformation? The idea is that modern technologies can drastically change the way we approach issues across multiple aspects of business, providing unparalleled opportunities, as well as a major source of risk.

The world has gone digital, and there is no going back.

While this may sound great, it also presents some unique challenges for various businesses. They are often difficult and slow to change, and many of the evolutions that come quickly through our digital world do not come easy. While it is clear that digitalization will transform most industries, there are a number of difficulties that need to be faced.

The systems, culture, processes, and even the capabilities of each industry will have to transform in the blink of an eye and all we can do is adapt, quickly.

In this report, we want to explore key difficulties for digital managers in the coming year. Combined opinions expressed by the commercial leaders as well as the academic gurus can provide a path forward for those who are lost in a digitalized, fast-evolving world. Looking forward, 2020 will be a year of reckoning for technology transformation initiatives.
Here is what else to watch for in the year ahead, digital pioneers.

To make the room for innovations you need to change the way you think about the company. Work patterns cluttered for years, often dominated by extensive procedures and complicated tools, are less and less effective in times when customers expect an individual approach and professional service – here and now. Agility, people, cooperation, technologies – on these four pillars are built today modern organizations that are able to keep pace with the dynamics of a changing world. The key to success is to create an organizational culture that favors non-schematic thinking, promotes decision-making courage, and maintains openness to initiatives submitted by employees. This must be a culture in which there is also room for making mistakes. Close to this management philosophy is the Lean methodology, which we are currently implementing, and which is supposed to help us to better organize processes and eliminate activities that from the patient's perspective do not bring additional value.

The vision for LUX MED development is reflected in the Connected Health strategy, which aims to provide healthcare regardless of time and place. We want to involve patients in the treatment process and go beyond stationary medical centers wherever possible. Modern technologies are at your fingertips today – that's a fact. In all this, however, it should be noted that simply introducing innovative solutions to the market is not enough, because you still need to be able to effectively build them into the patient's path.

I strongly believe in the upcoming decade we will continue to observe an almost logarithmic growth of digital transformation in the b2b space. Being part of the marketplace community I notice that all the time. More new b2b marketplaces are popping out every year each solving issues of more narrow sectors. Many of them combine a marketplace with a platform model. From the first one, they obtain a competitive advantage of being an asset-light company with a strong network effect. With the second model, they solve complicated often meaningful tasks, which give them huge cuts in operating expenditures.

Our company (Packhelp) is a great example of such a model. I believe large enterprises (especially in the industrial space) should learn from the mistakes of the last decade and prepare for the impact of the old-economy disruptors. For obvious reasons automation including AI and machine learning will play a huge part in this revolution, disrupting all business processes. Of course, marketplaces are just one example. We can expect that the usage of SaaS software will increase severely in the upcoming years. Enterprise customers will continue to ditch traditional software and start using more modern and often more flexible alternatives. This will severely increase the speed of innovation.

The biggest challenge for digital transformation in 2020 will be the slow pace of regulatory and legislative changes. New technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Vehicles, and Blockchain are developing fast, even though the regulations for those industries are vague. It is increasingly important for governments to set up some rules that will create clear boundaries but won’t slow down the development of these technologies.

Nevertheless, it is not an easy job to do. For example, in Diagnostyka we have developed an algorithm for histopathology (healthcare) that is able to detect cancer with 90% accuracy. Doctors are able to detect the pathogen with an average of 80% accuracy. Even though the algorithm has greater effectiveness, it is rarely used in detecting the tumor. There are no regulations in the healthcare space that include AI in the process of detecting illnesses. Because of that, doctors cannot use the full potential of technology while treating patients. It is a challenge worth overcoming, as it matters to all people on the Earth that will sooner or later have some health issues and they would need a greater accuracy of both detecting and treating illnesses.

Through our most recent Digital Transformation Conference series it’s apparent that one of the biggest sticking points with those transforming their business capabilities is that of people and culture. It’s clear that many organizations have invested heavily in enterprise technology and the tools for a coherent digital workplace but often neglected the need to bring the workforce up to speed and build a culture of innovation and free-thinking. Businesses need to realize and realize quickly, that in order to make effective use of new investments within digital technologies leaders need to clearly communicate change and educate frontline staff on the merits of adopting such tech.

Many a talking point over the last year is that of agile transformation, love it or loathe it, it's a hot topic! Like new technology the adoption of agile thinking needs to be rolled out carefully and with much planning and strategy behind it; hiring an agile coach or guru for a week’s training does not suffice and like digital transformation, it’s something that takes time and has no real endpoint, rather a journey where a certain mindset and culture is slowly adopted and constantly evolves. In summary, it’s important to put people first as people are the drivers of a business with the technology coming second as the vehicle to enable such change, don’t be short-sighted and think technology investment is finished as soon as it’s in place.

The adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) introduces much more significant changes in business models, operations models, and product management than did traditional digital and big data programs. AI-powered products enable organizations to be much more responsive to their customer's needs and desires. Will companies leverage AI-powered products? Will firms change and boost the massive customization which AI can bring? It is, in my opinion, the next twenty years' challenge in the global business world.

Arek Skuza is a go-to-market strategy for AI-based products experts. Speaker. Author. Arek writes about go-to-market strategy, AI-powered products launch, and product management at arekskuza.com