These days you can't have a conversation with someone in technology without talking about "digital transformation." We're guilty of throwing the phrase around at Okta, but what does it actually mean? Why does it matter? Today, "digital transformation" refers to how companies are reinventing themselves for the digital world. Businesses have always had to disrupt themselves, but now, in order to revolutionize their industries, they must infuse their business with technology -- essentially becoming technology companies themselves.
We encounter companies looking to make this transformation everyday. Some are established players trying to keep up with fast moving competitors; others are early digital leaders who see technology as a way to create new revenue streams, improve customer experience, and increase operational efficiencies. We see young companies determined to take down slow, 200-year-old companies, and we see traditional companies building new products and applications that disrupt their industries, all while maintaining the highest levels of security. Here are six examples of companies -- all of which we're honored to work with -- that can teach us a thing or two about digital transformation.
1) Flex and the "Intelligence of Things": After a few years of playing around the edges of our lives, the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a reality. Connected, intelligent objects are all around -- on our wrists, in our cars, around our homes and offices, and in our factories. Flex, the "sketch-to-scale" solutions provider, and the largest electronics manufacturer in the United States, is at the epicenter of this proliferation. The company is now not only building, but also designing, innovating and scaling the connected world that we live in, and in the process aptly dubbed IoT the "Intelligence of Things." Today, with best-of-breed cloud technology, they are building the next generation supply chain to more seamlessly connect thousands suppliers globally -- a move others should emulate in order to improve the experience for suppliers, and ultimately increase productivity.
2) Pitney Bowes Builds the Commerce Cloud: Almost 100 years ago, Arthur Pitney invented the postage meter, introducing the concept of metered mail to the world and smoothing the path of commerce for the foreseeable future. Nowadays, shipping is just one aspect of the Pitney Bowes brand. Since building the Pitney Bowes Commerce Cloud, the company has become one of the largest software companies in the world, with customers relying on it for everything from location intelligence to global e-commerce and customer information management solutions. In order to evolve your business like Pitney Bowes has, you have to take advantage of your greatest asset: data.
3) News Corp Transforms as Media Does: As a global media organization, News Corp is a poster child for digital innovation. A few years ago, News Corp separated into two distinct organizations: 21st Century Fox became a separate world-class entertainment company, while the new News Corp focused on the expansion of its global publishing assets, and moved further into real estate, digital ad tech, and marketing solutions. It's now leveraging best-of-breed solutions to enable better collaboration and rapid growth across its 25,000 employees, while at the same time, enabling subscribers around the world to consume media in entirely new ways. Every organization can learn from News Corp's success, adopting best-of-breed technology to better connect their employees and customers.
4) 20th Century Fox Connects to its Hundreds of Partners: On the other side of the split (under 21st Century Fox) is 20th Century Fox, which leads an industry going through another dramatic evolution. The distribution of a major theatrical release can involve a team of hundreds of business partners -- and today entertainment companies rely on digital technologies for not only this distribution, but content creation as well. Fox's Media Cloud has been critical to its digital transformation. In an industry that continually reinvents itself, Fox is using cloud technologies such as Box, Salesforce and Okta to collaborate with partners to create and distribute award-winning movies. In order to lead a centuries-old industry like 20th Century Fox's, you need to be able to rapidly stand up infrastructure that enables collaboration across different business units and partners.
5) Experian Better Understands Its Customers: Transforming an established enterprise into a fast-moving, agile organization isn't always easy. But Experian, the largest consumer credit reporting agency in the world, is successfully doing just that. Today, Experian helps business customers prevent fraud, offer on-the-spot credit to consumers and make data-driven marketing decisions. "Experian, to a large extent, really is a technology company. Gone are the days where our responsibility was to keep the lights on and keep financial systems operating," CIO Barry Libenson recently shared. Experian has successfully navigated its transformation by morphing into a strategic partner to the business. In order to follow suite, you should help your organization's leaders understand how customers want to access information, and decide what type of products should be built based on that understanding.
6) ENGIE Takes On Digital and Energy Transformation: Climate change is forcing the energy industry to make dramatic changes. And ENGIE, an international purveyor of power, natural gas, and energy services, is leading the transition to a more sustainable, de-carbonized world. CEO Isabelle Kocher has called climate change "a fundamental and general invitation to every one of us... to invent something completely different." She believes energy and digital are "inextricably linked," and because of that connection, ENGIE is developing renewable energy solutions and taking advantage of IoT to help customers streamline and optimize energy consumption. Not only can the latest technology help you boost revenue and revolutionize your products, but it may be able to help you build a better, more sustainable world.