Digital innovation, customer experience, data integration, digital cultures, digital innovation, composable enterprises, automation, and microservices and service mesh are all in our top 7 tech trends for 2021. The acceleration of digital transformation during 2020 to address situations caused by the pandemic is directly responsible for these trends. Some businesses were able to adjust quickly because they were already firmly on the path of becoming digital and ready to add more online capabilities, others not so much. Of the latter, some still pivoted rapidly by jumpstarting digitalization.
For those still trying to find their way, it’s not too late. Embracing the 7 tech trends yields positive business outcomes for those not yet on the path, as well as those who are already humming along. And there is one simple rule that can make all your digitalization dreams come true: modernize your IT on a modern cloud infrastructure that supports business agility and innovation. In our series of blogs on how modernization addresses the seven trends, we have covered customer experience (CX), data integration, and digital culture. This article is about the fourth trend—digital innovation.
Digital innovation refers to the application of digital technology to existing and often analog business problems that changes the trajectory of a company in some way. In Brad Paisley’s number one hit called “Online,” he describes how a young man who has a sad life becomes a totally new person—"a whole ‘nother me”—by going online. Digital innovation offers that opportunity, only it’s real instead of being in someone’s imagination. In fact, digital innovation takes what’s in your imagination, gives it shape and form, and then puts it out there for your customers, employees, and others.
Digital innovation rewrites the rulebook for business and delivers competitive advantage. There are poster children for digital innovation like Uber, Airbnb, Carvana, Doordash, and Instacart. But traditional companies are often just as successful at it, if not more so. Consider Domino’s, for example. It launched its first website in 1996 and made it part of its company culture. 11 years later, it offered web and mobile online ordering, and introduced its revolutionary Domino’s tracker in 2008. This was a full year before digital innovator Uber was founded and two years before Uber launched its app. Since 2008, Domino’s revenue has increased $5.6 billion to $9.6 billion in 2019.
Digital innovation is the way for your company to go from 5’3” to 6’5” as described in Paisley’s song. It is an inside-to-outside process. It involves automating internal operations, finding new ways to engage users, and offering new products and services to customers or users. At the heart of it all is the delivery of modern applications that make it easier for customers to interact with your business and purchase your products and services.
Digital innovation is best delivered with a platform and infrastructure that enables your business units and IT to brainstorm and be creative. The last thing you need is for your IT resources to be bogged down by maintaining legacy apps or going around Robinhood’s barn to access data. Those are the kind of tasks where digitally innovative dreams go to die. So, if you’re serious about remaking, reimagining, or even starting a new digitally innovative business, your first step is shedding what is likely holding you back.
The cloud is where digital innovation happens. Therefore, you need a modern cloud infrastructure to create the strong foundation you need to deliver on your innovation ideas. Creating this modern infrastructure starts with moving existing applications to a cloud-based environment with no reformatting, code changes or user impact. You gain the agility, reliability and scalability of an open, modern system on the cloud and the cost savings are substantial. This leaves more resources for building innovative digital solutions.
After your migration is complete or even simultaneously, you can take the next big step—moving mainframe data to the cloud and implementing an RDBMS with the architecture for a reliable, high-performance database. Your data resides in an isolated database tier that supports industry-standard SQL databases and a database management system that delivers data that digital innovation projects need while enabling agility and flexibility.
Two TmaxSoft products, OpenFrame and Tibero, can provide the legacy modernization platform and RDBMS that enable your innovation to go from a black-and-white dream to a technicolor reality. Learn more about how you can be much cooler online by reading our eBook on modernizing your infrastructure.