How To Escape The Weight of Legacy Dragging Down Businesses During COVID-19
The global pandemic has hit almost every business hard, but those stuck under the Weight of Legacy will have an especially difficult time recovering.
By Johnny Rosa
Consumer expectations have shifted rapidly over the past few years. The rise of social media and other technological innovations have changed how everyone operates in our new digital world. Despite the speed with which consumers have adapted, many businesses haven’t kept pace. With the outbreak of COVID-19, the need to change is as dire as ever. The time for change is now. Four key challenges stand in the way of digital transformation — which we call the “The Weight of Legacy.”
“With the outbreak of COVID-19, the need to change is as dire as ever. The time for change is now.”
Corporations struggle to adapt and change because of four distinct challenges:
- a web of old tech
- slow-moving projects
- different levels of digitization/automation
- data overload
If businesses want to survive the pressures of COVID-19 and lead in the modern marketplace these four hurdles must be identified and properly managed. Each comes with its own challenges making digital transformation more difficult.
Many corporate technology ecosystems exist as a web of overlapping layers. Complex additions have been added one at a time over the years and grown into a network of disparate patches and layers of disjointed solutions. These years of improvements and small changes have made connecting new platforms a hefty undertaking.
Executives know shifting away from these complex webs is critical for digital transformation. Upgrading old infrastructure is the goal of 64% of IT budget increases. They’re not the only ones — consumers are buying in too. 42% of US adults (86.5 million people) have used on-demand services. The future of digital automation must go through open APIs and easily connected networks.
When innovation doesn’t come easily, responding to shifting business goals becomes a difficult battle for businesses. In a digital world where technology advances rapidly and customer expectations change just as quickly, slow-moving corporations often struggle to adapt. Almost 50% of projects take longer than planned (and that’s before the complications of the current pandemic).
Business leaders looking to onboard new solutions to grow and adapt to the modern market should focus on vendors and technology with short launch windows. Solutions delivered as SaaS or via a subscription model tend to facilitate faster projects than alternatives.
Automation and digital innovation stand to provide impressive improvements for corporations. The majority of businesses haven’t felt that impact yet, however. 94% of corporations today have trouble implementing AI.
Businesses must choose the right automation according to their specific business needs. With many types of automation available and connections to legacy systems difficult navigating what level of automation is best can be difficult. Limited budgets can make Robotic Process Automation (RPA) bots more appealing than full Artificial Intelligence (AI) projects. Every improvement integrates smoother when a full IT team isn’t needed to monitor every step of the process as well. Modern innovations might seem out of reach, but scaling back from a complex, expensive AI project to more applicable RPA might be the perfect solution for businesses today.
Over the last 2 years, 90% of the world’s data was created. Between social media interactions, purchase tracking, geolocation data, and more, an exponential amount of information is being created every day. This growing tsunami of data is becoming increasingly unwieldy.
Corporations can see the benefit to data-driven decision-making, but with the incredible diversity of data available, it’s difficult to decide which data should be in the driver’s seat. The key to unlocking the potential of this ocean of data is the implementation of actionable insights. When businesses can untangle their complicated technology infrastructure and properly integrate automation, AI and other modern innovations can begin to sort through and present the right data to business leaders.
In an ideal world, every new technology solution would be fully future-proof and designed to adapt and integrate with growing needs as companies develop. Consumers have made the shift to fast, digital solutions; in the face of a rapidly digitizing market, it’s more important than ever for businesses to shift as well.
Today’s customers expect brands to offer automated solutions and leverage data to create personalized interactions. By focusing on these four hurdles driving many business complications, corporations can step into our emerging digital world with confidence.
Only when all four weights are lifted will corporations fully join the digital era and meet the impressive expectations of today’s consumers.