To understand the relationships between business and information technologies, TechnoVision, from its inception in 2007 to recently, always looked first at business drivers and second at the technology building blocks needed to implement them.

Starting with this 2014 edition of TechnoVision, we look at technology first, and business second.

Why this kind of Copernican revolution? In the last couple of years, many of the drastic changes that TechnoVision helped understand and anticipate, have indeed happened. The most important of these changes is that people are now technology fit – in their private lives, in their public lives, in their professional lives. As a result, businesses must from the start factor technology into their thinking, strategies and drivers; without this integration of technology from the outset, businesses would craft useless designs and plans – dead on arrival, unfit for their technolog-fit customers, clients, partners and employees.

This is also why Chief Information Officers – offering technology services to implement business plans – are becoming Chief Digital Officers (or getting one as a peer). They bring technology thinking – and then services – to help craft – and then implement – digital business change.
This revolution is making classical business transformation – where technology is at best one of the implementation streams – obsolete.

Ahead of anybody else, Capgemini Consulting anticipated this consequence and created, three years back, the concept of Digital Transformation. It differs from classical transformation in three essential ways:

– Information and communication technologies are the compelling reason to transform the enterprise.

– These same technologies are the dominant driver of transformation.

– The ‘to be’ of transformation is the Digital Enterprise.
As the studies undertaken by Capgemini Consulting in collaboration with MIT demonstrate, many enterprises are racing to become digital, and the ones doing it well – coupling transformation mastery and digital mastery – are gaining substantial competitive advantage.

Much of the focus is now on customer experience, where the objective is to offer customers, independent of the channel used, a consistently engaging acquisition and service story. The employee experience has to follow to match customers’ raised expectations. Demand-driven supply chains are developed to precisely deliver the precisely understood wishes of customers and clients. And new business models take advantage of our new ways of working, relating, and living.

In the past, the to be of transformation, the transformed enterprise, had a life expectancy of a few years. Today, the Digital Enterprise is a moving target – moving at the speed of technology change. Today, the customer is the starting point of many aspects of Digital Transformation. But already, the Internet of Things is becoming reality, and it will trigger a new swell of transformation. Products and services of the enterprise will be its sensors into the world – constantly feeding back information on their working, their condition, the mood of their users, their movements. The enterprise will have to gear itself to respond and react in real time, orders of magnitude faster than today.  
Modern technology is so pervasive that everybody nowadays experiences mobility, reaches into the clouds, behaves socially and can even spell analytics. But familiarity does not mean understanding. TechnoVision 2014’s ambition is to promote the understanding of current technologies, and to make it easier to grasp their business potential. It is therefore conceived as a tool for Digital Transformation – providing clarity with the technology clusters as a stable taxonomy of key technologies; understanding through design principles and trends; and directions thanks to building-block descriptions that make business sense.

With such an ambition, TechnoVision 2014 cannot be carved in stone, it will remain a Work In Constant Progress. Just like Digital Transformation.

This contribution by Pierre Hessler  

Part of Capgemini’s TechnoVision 2014 update series. See the overview here.