erwin Expert Blog

Digital Transformation Examples: Three Industries Dominating Digital Transformation

Digital transformation examples can be found almost anywhere, in almost any industry. Its past successes – and future potential – are well documented, chronicled in the billion-dollar valuations of the frontrunners in the practice.

Amazon began as a disruptor to brick-and-mortar bookstores, eventually becoming one of the most obvious digital transformation examples as it went on to revolutionize online shopping.

Netflix’s origins were similar – annihilating its former rival Blockbuster and the entire DVD rental market to become a dominant streaming platform and media publisher.

Disruption is the common theme. Netflix decimated the DVD rental market while Amazon continues to play a role in “high-street” shopping’s decline.

As technology continues to disrupt markets, digital transformation is do or die.

According to IDC’s digital transformation predictions report for 2019, these types of initiatives are going to flood the enterprise during the next five years.

The following three examples highlight the extent to which digital transformation is reshaping the nature of business and government and how we – as a society – interact with the world.

Digital Transformation in Retail

The inherently competitive nature of retail has made the sector a leader in adopting data-driven strategy.

From loyalty cards to targeted online ads, retail has always had to adapt to stay relevant.

Four main areas in retail demonstrate digital transformation, with a healthy data governance initiative driving them all.

Digital transformation examples

With accurate, relevant and accessible data, organizations can address the following:

  • Customer experience: If your data shows a lot of abandoned carts from mobile app users, then that’s an area to investigate, and good data will identify it.
  • Competitive differentiation: Are personalized offers increasing sales and creating customer loyalty? This is an important data point for marketing strategy.
  • Supply chain:Can a problem with quality be related to items shipping from a certain warehouse? Data will zero in on the location of the problem.
  • Partnerships:Are your partnerships helping grow other parts of your business and creating new customers? Or are your existing customers using partners in place of visiting your store? Data can tell you.

This article further explores digital transformation and data governance in retail.

Digital Transformation in Hospitality

Hospitality is another industry awash in digital transformation examples. Brick-and-mortar travel agencies are ceding ground to mobile-first (and mobile-only) businesses.

Their offerings range from purchasing vacation packages to the ability to check in and order room service via mobile devices.

With augmented and virtual reality, it even may be possible to one day “test drive” holiday plans from the comfort of the sofa – say before swimming with sharks or going on safari.

The extent of digitization now possible in the hospitality industry means these businesses have to account for and manage an abundance of data types and sources to glean insights to fuel the best customer experiences.

Unsurprisingly, this is yet another area where a healthy data governance initiative can be the difference between industry-disrupting success and abject failure.

This piece further discusses how data is transforming the hospitality industry and the role of data governance in it.

Digital Transformation in Municipal Government

Historically, municipal government isn’t seen as an area at the forefront of adopting emerging technology.

But the emergence of “smart cities” is a prominent example of digital transformation.

Even the concept of a smart city is a response to existing digital transformation in the private sector, as governments have been coerced into updating infrastructure to reflect the modern world.

Today, municipal governments around the world are using digital transformation to improve residents’ quality of life, from improving transportation and public safety to making it convenient to pay bills or request services online.

Of course, when going “smart,” municipal governments will need an understanding of data governance best practices.

This article analyzes how municipal governments can be “smart” about their transformation efforts.

Mitigating Digital Transformation Risks

Risks come with any investment. But in the context of digital transformation, taking risks is both a necessity and an inevitability.

Organizations also will need to consult their data to ensure they transform themselves the right way – and not just for transformation’s sake.

A recent PwC study found that successful digital transformation risk-takers “find the right fit for emerging technologies.”

Doing so points to the need for both effective data governance to find, understand and socialize the most relevant data assets and healthy enterprise architecture to learn what systems and applications create, store and use those data assets.

With application portfolio management and impact analysis, organizations can identify immediate opportunities for digital transformation and areas where more consideration and planning may be necessary before making changes.

As the data governance company, we provide data governance as well as enterprise architecture software, plus tools for business process and data modeling, data cataloging and data literacy. As an integrated software platform, organizations ensure IT and business collaboration to drive risk management, innovation and transformation efforts.

If you’d like to learn more about digital transformation and other use cases for data governance technologies, stay up to date with the erwin Experts here.

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erwin Expert Blog Enterprise Architecture

How Agile Enterprise Architecture is Helping to Build Smart Cities

Having an agile enterprise architecture is essential to enabling a smart city.

One of the challenges when creating a smart city is how to represent all the moving parts. From my perspective as KnowNowCities designs new smart places the best approach is to use agile enterprise architecture techniques to describe how the technology is applied in a place.

What is a Smart City

Firstly though, let’s start by explaining what a smart city is. The elements of a smart city can be boiled down into 5 interwoven and parallel components.

These are:

  1. Apply standards – such as Privacy by Design and PAS181 – Smart City Framework
  2. Are Open Data Centric – see the Open Data Institute
  3. Are Interoperable – so data and services from one place can interact with another place
  4. Have good governance and leadership (both hard and soft)
  5. Are Outcomes Centric and put Citizens first. Citizens make cities what they are

In short these become the overriding Smart City principles. So a key role of any enterprise architecture is to demonstrate how the technology designed meets these principles.

agile enterprise architecture smart city

Smart City Enterprise Architecture

The role of an EA in a smart city is multiple. Typically when building a new place the overriding concern is maintaining the promised return on investment. The developer needs a place that will attract customers (good rental or freehold returns); be compelling and competitive so the new place has its own ‘unique selling points’; yet, not break the bank! The EA can aid the developer in what I term is a “plan for tomorrow, but build for today” approach.

What does this mean? Planning for tomorrow is about making sure where it is going to be expensive to retrofit in the future mitigate that expense by deploying sufficient capacity for the future where it makes sense.

Simply put, this is about the reservation and allocation of space and capacity where technology may well end up being deployed. But not necessarily deploying that technology.

An example would be deploying conduit underground during the civil engineering phase of a build, but not deploying the cable through the conduit. Provide the access rights and access points to deploy any technology upgrades (be it for technology refresh or for capacity gains).

Another key aspect when designing a smart city is to recognize that technology is now part of the urban design. Yet traditional architecture of buildings and the public realm does not easily address the adoption of technology. The key here is to be embedded in the architecture and construction team from day one. As I tell my clients… technology engineers for a smart city should be considered similarly to the water engineers.

With Water you have three types (blue – potable, grey – rain/surface run off & black – waste) that each require their own special attention. When you think water… now also think technology!

Integrate with the RIBA Plan of Work

Luckily from a technology perspective having a plan of work that goes through distinct phases also fits nicely with an Enterprise Architecture centric method too. The RIBA Plan of Work method can be applied to the technology aspects of a smart city as much as it can the construction of the buildings and public realm too. So at concept stage, the technology concept architecture can sit in that phase too.

Roadmaps are the icing on the cake however. Referring back to the principle of design for tomorrow but deliver for today. It is possible to show when a particular technology component is required, how it flows from previous technology deployed/enabled and how this then supports future technology growth/deployments.

Additionally, because the EA at a concept level is exactly that, a certain amount of stability can be expected. Let us not forget that technology has a lifespan often measured in months, whereas a structure’s lifespan is measured in decades. So the EA becomes a living organic entity. Constantly evolving and changing based on need and technological capability.

Yet it is the specified and physical designs that are likely to change here. Again, the EA approach allows for this transfer of different types of technology, yet still keeping a cohesive overall architecture that can still represent the principles and concept architecture the first design delivered.

How Does erwin Evolve help?

The beauty of using erwin Evolve is that the tool provides all the outputs that are required in a smart city engagement.

Firstly, it is great way of capturing the requirements and then matching those to principles, owners and then attributing this to architected components.

Secondly, the tool can manage capacity plans, and what if scenario planning.

Thirdly, using the roadmaps and Kanban views the tool can help a client prioritize and plan the work to be undertaken.

Finally, because of erwin Evolve’s collaborative features I get to share a common view with all project stakeholders.

enterprise architecture business process