Nowadays, we hear a lot of terms in the digital world such as big data, artificial intelligence, the IoT or Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and above all, digital transformation. In this case, I will talk about what the digital transformation of the company represents for the current context of the company. Let’s start by clarifying that digital transformation is not just about bringing technology into the company, contrary to what many people think.
The company’s digital transformation is not taking a business process and putting technology everywhere. It implies a change beyond just adding technology; it means changing the way people work, changing business models and changing relationships with customers, suppliers and the team of our company.
If we limit ourselves to implementing technology, we would be dealing with the digitisation of a process that may not be the right one, that may be obsolete or not the best for our company. In short, digitising a business process that already exists can translate into digitising a business process that is not adapted to the needs of our customers, suppliers or employees.
What digital transformation means for our business is to redesign and rethink things. This means transforming not only business processes but also people. Most of the digital transformation projects I have seen fail did not take people into account; they forgot to train them and encourage them to work differently.
I have seen many organisations that have super-powerful software but do not make proper use of it because they have not bothered to train those who have to use it have not been explained how to use it, and use it as if we were in the stone age. Digital transformation in this context is of no use to us.
Digital transformation means going one step further, understanding our customers and their current needs in today’s time, guiding people to use such technology in the most efficient way possible and understanding that my business model sells can transform a product into selling a product and service. Many of the products that are being digitally altered are being transformed into services.
We are in a new economy in which we are asked for more than products; we are asked for services, and we are asked for much more complete business models. We can see this with simple examples: the most prominent TV channel in the world is YouTube, and they don’t produce content themselves; the biggest restaurant chain in the world is called Just Eat, and they don’t make a single plate of food. This is a small example of how the parameters of business are changing.
By the above, we can give a face to the concept of digital transformation. In a very simplified way, I will say that it is the integration of technology into your business model to seek to change the way you operate and deliver value to your customers. Still, above all, it is a cultural change in the organisation, the way you work and the relationship with and between employees of the company.
If you liked this post, you might be interested in reading about digital transformation in the times of COVID-19.