The importance, impact, and potential benefits associated with digital transformation cannot be overstated, as organizations worldwide are updating their business models and software applications to take advantage of low-price data collection, fast networks and cloud-based processing for their applications. What’s more, advancements in technologies, such as IoT, AI, big data, cloud, industrial automation, have created the need for a unified approach for establishing a framework that can leverage these technologies to work together in order to drive new business models across a wide range of vertical markets.
From Technological Innovation to Societal Shift
The IEEE Digital Transformation Working Group’s new, approved standards project—IEEE P2023™—Standard for Digital Transformation Architecture and Framework—aims to take digital transformation to the next level. And, while it’s understood that there are many benefits for enterprises embracing digital transformation, it reaches far beyond just the associated technologies, representing a digitally enabled cultural shift that will transform and reimagine commerce, government, and society in general.
A good example of a societal shift, albeit brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, is the digitally-enabled education programs enacted for virtual learning environments worldwide. In fact, for those institutions and students able to leverage digital technologies, many are finding the virtual nature of online education to be a broader and more rewarding experience than that of the traditional classroom environment, allowing them to connect with peers around the world and to explore a more vibrant overall curriculum.
IEEE P2023 covers a wide range of technologies and technology standards under the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) umbrella. The project will also study how different industry segments will be transformed, as well as address how work is being conducted, bringing in things like Agile and the disruption of hierarchies, helping to redefine the fundamental nature of how people interact, communicate and make decisions. In effect, digital transformation is totally changing the whole idea of control and communication. The result being a better enabled and informed workforce in real time that can pursue new approaches to business models and innovate in ways previously not possible.
Providing Architecture and Framework for Digital Transformation
The goal of IEEE P2023 is to provide an architecture and framework for digital transformation development, usage, implementation and interfaces for applications. The architecture and framework addresses scalability, systems and interfaces, security and privacy challenges for digital transformation applications. The resulting standard will allow companies and organizations to provide better support across a much wider base of operation and locations for more people. It will further provide integration between software and hardware such that different industries and systems applications can exchange data and provide the basis for new growth.
The architecture of the IEEE P2023 standard will be based upon the digital technologies that are associated with Digital Transformation:
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
- Big Data
- Digital Twins
- Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality/Mixed Reality/Extended Reality
Additional technologies will be included as development of the standard progresses. Likely areas for additional technology would include networking, communication, and security.
Based on industry assessments of the impact of digital transformation on industry dynamics, the standard framework will be built upon Standard Industry Classification (SIC) codes and will reference applicable industry standards:
- Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
- Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas and Sanitary service
- Wholesale Trade
- Retail Trade
- Finance, Insurance and Real Estate
- Public Administration
Get Involved in Advancing Digital Transformation Ecosystem
The digital transformation market, projected to reach $1009.8 billion by 2025, finds IEEE in a unique position to work on standards development defining how data is collected and processed. IEEE P2023 represents a starting point for digital transformation activities that will foster increased integration and utilization of advanced computer technology.
It’s become clear that we are moving to a new and expanding era of digital transformation. While digital transformation is a top priority for businesses, becoming a digital enterprise is no small undertaking as it requires comprehensive, systemic change.
Building upon its efforts to advance the digital transformation ecosystem, the IEEE Digital Transformation Working Group was recently granted a charter from IEEE SA to establish a Digital Transformation Association. A new website will be established in 2021, where members can gather to share information and best practices and have access to online resources and workshops.