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Digital Transformation Driving Walmart, GE and Ford Strategy

The trend of digital transformation is not only reshaping the business, but also IT organizations within industrial icons and brick & mortar behemoths in major ways. Are you ready for the challenges the trend will have on your IT organization?

The push for digital transformation is rapidly shifting the business landscape for companies of all kind. From upstarts born in the new technology boom such as Uber and Airbnb, to some very old "traditional" giants. This trend is having a massive impact on not only how IT is organized, but who will be leading these teams as they rush to remove the old superficial walls once separating "the business" and the IT organization.  Of course, while this reshaping of business technology is occurring, existing IT teams will need to find a way to balance the new digital transformation imperative while managing the demands of current systems.

 

Walmart - The Amazon Effect

As weakness continues to show in brick and mortar retail and online shopping continues to gobble up shares, Walmart is furthering it's pivot into the online space and lessening Amazon's competitive edge in e-commerce. In 2015 Walmart spent a staggering $10.5 Billion on IT and is currently in talks to purchase online retailer, Jet.com, for $3 Billion; a move which will expand Walmart.com well past the current 11 million products they offer online (note: Amazon.com presently offers 260 Million online products).  Additionally, they announced earlier this year that they are combining their currently separated e-commerce and corporate IT groups into one unit called Walmart Technology Group.

These digital transformations are expected to help Walmart:

  • focus IT on business growth
  • gain greater synergy between their physical stores and e-commerce
  • keep up with Amazon

 

GE - Wants to be a Top 10 Software Company

GE formed GE Digital last year with the goal of becoming a top 10 software company by 2020. Bill Ruh, Chief Digital Officer heads the business already with $6 Billion in revenue to compete against IBM in the Internet of Things arena. In an interview with Forbes he said “We’re taking a lesson from the consumer side of the internet — the Googles, Facebooks and the Amazons, These businesses figured out how to manage large volumes of information and utilize it to provide new kinds of services.”

These digital transformations are expected to help GE:

  • Focus IT on business growth
  • Drive the IoT/Big Data trend into all they do
  • Keep up with IBM

 

Ford - A Smartphone on Wheels

Software companies are becoming automakers and automakers are becoming software companies. Some big changes are happening within the most iconic of industries. Ford is one of the leaders with their Blueprint for Mobility. This blueprint is shaped around four mega-trends they feel are on the horizon:

  • The world is becoming more urban with greater numbers of people concentrated in cities.
  • The global middle class is growing with greater number of people with aspirations for mobility.
  • Air pollution and health quality as both the above contribute to more health related concerns.
  • Consumer priorities are changing especially for those born after the 1980's.

As a result Ford sees connectivity and technology as the primary enablers to meet the challenges brought about by these trends. Sensors, cameras, software, hardware all communicating together to solve traffic problems, avoid traffic accidents and sharing rides whether with drivers or fully autonomous.

These digital transformations are expected to help Ford:

  • Focusing IT on business growth (increasing car connectivity)
  • Innovate technology in hardware, software, sensors, cameras, etc.
  • Keep up with Tesla, Google and Uber

 


 

Summary

For these three giants, along with most modern companies around the world, IT's ability to deliver on digital transformation will be paramount for:

  • Business growth
  • Product/service innovation
  • Gaining competitive advantage

While these change initiatives will provide greater opportunities for IT leadership and their teams to impact business strategy on the frontlines, it also means all eyes will be on the IT organization as it attempts the challenge of implementing these new digital transformation expectations while juggling existing service and system demands.

Are you ready for the challenge? 


 

Download our ebook, 4 Trends Today's IT Leaders Must Masterand stay on top of the trends shaping the New IT. 

http://info.allari.com/download-free-ebook-trends-it-managers-must-master