The increased importance of digital technology has driven monumental change across a surprisingly diverse set of industries. In a recent survey we conducted of more than 9,000 IT professionals across the globe, 47 percent of respondents said their organization’s revenue is driven primarily by digital solutions.

In the near future, all purchase and consumption models will be inextricably tied to digital experience – whether it’s drones delivering Domino’s pizza, or the sensors on a self-driving vehicle. In speaking with IT leaders, the challenge for modern organizations is to build a digital platform that goes beyond an online store and generates revenue in this new, hyper-competitive landscape.

Whether they know it or not, every company is becoming a technology company. While the past generation of business transformation was driven largely by a greater focus on mobile, social and web, modern innovation is dependent on the creation and implementation of new business models that integrate emerging, cloud-era technologies into everyday operations.  

Data volume has grown rapidly alongside these digital improvements. As the world’s most innovative organizations become increasingly digital, the amount of data generated has expanded exponentially. Simultaneously, infrastructure roadblocks that existed for years have begun to come down as organizations increase focus on breaking them down. Storage used to be one of those roadblocks – no longer. Companies invest now in data platforms to gain speed in decision making as they overcome performance bottlenecks. Which means the potential value of that data has grown almost as rapidly as the pool of data itself.  

Data is the new oil. Smart organizations have begun to realize the need to gain actionable insights from their data as a tool to drive the next wave of innovation and consumer interaction – but the value of data goes beyond intelligence. Data drives new operational models that are literally transforming the way organizations do business. Demand for data scientists and business intelligence tools has grown, with an increased appetite for systems integration at the heart. In the era of ridesharing apps like Lyft, revamped travel via AirBnB, and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, our economy has moved irreversibly toward experience and personalization. Customers want their needs met and their wants predicted. Expectations have changed, and business must change alongside.

So what is the first step in this journey?

Somewhere down the line, your team is going to need real-time analysis to make a key business decision. Face it – that means you’re a technology company now! In the next installment of this series, we’ll discuss how to improve customer experience with a thoughtful, modernized cloud strategy that makes full use of this emerging advantage.