As Bob Dylan once said: “times, they are a-changin.'"
Following last week’s presidential election in the US, it’s reasonable to assume that many industries are about to undergo fairly significant and sudden changes. Throw in other waves of global discontent and the rapid pace of technological change that’s already been marinating for several years and it’s clear that every industry is fair game for change.
No industry will remain unfazed by these sweeping and global changes, but several are likely be impacted even more than others because global and/or technological forces are about to throw them into disarray. Here are six in particular that should be prepared to handle the risks and opportunities associated with digital transformation:
- Manufacturing and distribution. Donald Trump’s recent election to the presidency of the United States and a growing wave of nationalism across the globe make it quite likely that manufacturing and distribution companies are about to face an array of trade policies that will transform global supply chains and international markets. For example, US manufacturers are likely to face less accommodating trade policies as it relates to where their products and components are assembled. This potential transformation of supply chains to focus less on offshoring and more on onshoring means that companies within this broad industry vertical need to be prepared to ensure their ERP systems and other digital initiatives are changing to move these evolving business needs.
2. Healthcare. The US’s pivot toward a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) likely means more changes on the horizon for companies operating within the healthcare segment. Health insurance providers are likely to experience more out-of-state opportunities and competition, hospitals are likely to see its primary sources of revenue shift, and pharmaceutical companies are likely to see new markets open up. Just as the case with manufacturing and distribution companies, companies impacted by these changes should be prepared to ensure that their internal processes and systems are built to roll with the changes.
3. Construction, aerospace and defense, and government contractors. Trump’s intent to devote $1 trillion on US infrastructure spending will translate to big opportunities for construction companies and government contractors. In addition, a recommitment to military spending will most likely equate to booms in aerospace and defense. These changes and opportunities have the potential to be quite dramatic and relatively swift, so it is important that companies in this space have solid foundations for potential business process reengineering and enterprise software.
4. Financial services. Banks and other financial institutions appear headed toward deregulation and potential additional growth opportunities. Trump’s intent to roll back Dodd-Frank and remove regulatory burdens on these companies will likely translate to changes to internal processes and opportunities to capture additional market share. Unfortunately, the various internal processes that were recently changed to accommodate Dodd-Frank and other financial regulations now must be changed again to fully capitalize on a more deregulated environment.
5. Retail. This transformation was well underway before the election, and it will only accelerate over time. Our retail clients across the globe are grappling with how to compete with the likes of Amazon and changing consumer behaviors. In addition, soft consumer spending in many countries means that retailers need to identify more innovative ways to appeal to customers, along with opportunities to improve efficiency, better manage inventory and have better visibility into changing trends via business intelligence software and analytics.
6. Energy, oil and gas. With a renewed focus on energy independence and deregulation in the energy industry, it’s quite likely that energy, oil and gas companies – along with companies selling to these organizations – are likely to see major changes and growth as well. Companies focused on exploration and distribution of oil, gas, energy, coal, nuclear energy and solar energy are likely to see changes that will test the limitations of their current business and technological infrastructure.
If your industry is on this list, you’re most likely playing catch up to ensure that your enterprise technology and business processes are aligned to capitalize on these trends. It’s also quite likely that these industries will experience fairly significant growth, which will potentially topple your organization if you don’t have a scalable business technology infrastructure to support it.
If your industry is not in this list, it’s highly likely that your industry is still going through some sort of transformation – or is about to. Change may not be quite as immediate, but it probably isn’t far behind.
Defining a clear digital transformation strategy is the best way to make sure that your organization is ready for these changes.