When you are making use of modern technology day by day, it is hard to realize how it scares others. This week I was asked if we would be able to support a company with their digital transformation. When I learned their main problem, I was a bit flabbergasted. They didn’t know how to deal with it and are afraid to be legging behind. So, what is causing this fear and should you be afraid at all?
What is Digital Transformation really about?
To be honest I have never understood this “Digital Transformation” hype. And it looks like nobody really does. When looking for a definition, you will find all kind of different ones.
Gartner defines it as follows: Digital transformation can refer to anything from IT modernization (for example, cloud computing), to digital optimization, to the invention of new digital business models. The term is widely used in public-sector organizations to refer to modest initiatives such as putting services online or legacy modernization. Thus, the term is more like “digitization” than “digital business transformation.”
And Deloitte uses different terms for the same thing: Digital transformation is all about becoming a digital enterprise—an organization that uses technology to continuously evolve all aspects of its business models (what it offers, how it interacts with customers and how it operates). IN SIMPLE TERMS, DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS HOW TO FUTUREPROOF A BUSINESS.
It is just business as usual
The last sentence of Deloitte’s definition “how to futureproof a business” is in my opinion the real essence. But at the same time, I wonder what is new about it? Isn’t this what mankind has adopted since the first day of its existence? Aren’t we continuously looking for solutions to optimize things? Isn’t that at the core of most organisations and businesses? Survival of the fittest.
Besides, you could argue whether the Digital Transformation hasn’t already started over 30 years ago, when we started digitizing processes. It is an ongoing effort not just a one-time thing. Continuously, you will have to analyse the latest technologies and adopt them if it delivers business value.
That’s business as usual.
The speed of technological change is scary
What is different today, is the speed of technological development and the wide availability of powerful tools of which we do not yet realize their full potential.
Thanks to the cloud we have access to unlimited high-speed computing and data storage. Combined with intelligent tools and learning machines this creates new opportunities. For the first time since the start of the digital transformation we can now all try to profit from it. At the same time, the pace of change might feel unstoppable.
And this causes fear among people/companies, they are afraid to be missing out. There is too much going on, there are too many choices to be made.
But if you continue doing what you used to do: focusing on new applications of technology to improve your products, solutions, services, processes, etcetera, you will most likely find your way out in this modern technology labyrinth. Fact is that digital solutions will have to be an integral part of your strategy.
And if you need guidance to develop a future proof foundation, there are many people willing to help, just be aware for the hype preachers/followers.