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Digital transformation has taken hold of nearly every industry, urging manufacturers, retailers, and beyond to seek out software that can drastically increase efficiency or improve the customer experience. To offer some fresh approaches and real-life examples of companies making this transformation right now, here are a few articles we’ve been reading.

1) Digital Transformation: An Imperative for Industrial Manufacturing in 2017

“Recent research suggests that, by 2018, only 30 percent of manufacturers investing in digital transformation will be able to maximize the outcome. The remaining 70 percent are hindered by outdated business models and technology. And far too many companies struggle to adopt, implement, and optimize new technologies, running the potential risk of being left behind. The key – and challenge – with a digital transformation is that it involves more than an investment in a new technology, that investment must be part of an overall cultural shift within a company.”

This piece, by Scott Stone at Cisco-Eagle, focuses on 4 reasons why digital transformation is an imperative in 2017 for industrial manufacturers.


2) Great Expectations: Digital Transformation and the Path to Unified Enterprise Monitoring

“Digital transformation starts with an expectation that whatever an organization does in the real world is supported by — and expands through — its digital presence. As the process continues, digital transformation should drive innovative ways to engage customers, get the most from resources, and differentiate its way into completely new markets.”

Brought to you by Trevor Ealy, of Dynatrace, this article focuses on the bigger picture. Technology alone won’t transform a company on its own. Digital businesses need to look at the whole end-user experience along with how much revenue comes through digital channels, and they need to act on this information and measure the outcomes of those actions.


3) Southwest Airlines Digital Transformation Takes Off

Love Field, Southwest’s Airlines home turf and corporate headquarters – serving 8 million fliers each year – are at the center of an amazingly complicated project: Southwest’s effort to digitize massive swaths of the airline experience and migrate employees – who are used to working with ancient tools like logbooks, radio, pneumatic tubes, and whiteboards – to 21st century-style digital communications.

Neal Ungerleider brings us an in-depth look at Southwest, which prides itself on low consumer costs and therefore is hesitant to overspend on operations, and the company’s current initiative to innovate and remain competitive by moving to a web-based app package that handles many of the tasks that ensure travelers make it safely from destination A to destination B.


4) McDonald’s In-Store Evolution

Let’s face it, eating in McDonald’s isn’t exactly high on the list for most professionals when thinking of where one wants to spend valuable downtime. Stepping inside and looking around, all I could say was wow, how it’s changed! I found myself marveling at how different the customer experience was, and how high-tech it all felt, as it was positively brimming over with technological innovation that would have made a Game store jealous.

Bright Masih offers a candid look at the ways that McDonald’s is differentiating the fast food experience by injecting a hefty dose of digital.

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