Digital transformation has been the buzzword for sometime now and COVID-19 has only accelerated the process. Everyone seems to be talking about it. A quick look at the webinars, virtual networking events, solutions offered by business consultants will confirm this.
Which begs the question, what “Digital Transformation” actually is?
Most executives tend to think it has something to do with “IT Department” the moment they hear the word “digital”. But digital transformation is not just about technology per se. It is the holistic approach that businesses need to take in this digital era to stay relevant. This has more to do with organizational and business strategies and not just about software and servers. It effectively involves rebuilding your business to adapt to the digital landscape, while interacting with customers in a modern, innovative way. Technology will always form the backbone of digital transformation, but it should never be the sole focus of digital transformation initiatives.
Some simple examples of digital transformations of businesses are:
- Entertainment moving to online streaming
- Retail stores have moved to online stores
- Fashion stores are digital now
- Moving your company’s storage systems to cloud.
- Cloud Kitchens, almost all restaurants collaborating with online food delivery services
- Even grocery shopping has become online and even automated
- Cabs, Scooters, Rickshaws can be booked online via app
These new digital companies are giving tough competition to the well-established companies that have been in market for long enough.
Against this harsh backdrop, companies in all sectors are faced with the need to adopt new processes and strategies to stay competitive.
While digital transformation is not just about technology, it does play a major part in this process. Technologies like AI, machine learning, chat bots, IoT, will transform the ways that many businesses operate.
In order to unlock the full value of this transformation, it is critical to get the organization’s culture change program right. If the human elements of change aren’t addressed, then successful digital transformation is unlikely to happen.
This wider shift in approach would involve realigning all departments and areas within the business accordingly. It could mean new data privacy systems, digital marketing and sales approach, cloud based storage systems, etc.
With this in mind, organizations should ask themselves these 3 following questions.
What is the compelling business reason for digital transformation?
For example, if you are a company developing Independent Software Solutions (ISV), it is important for you to quickly move to more modern, cloud bases, SaaS offerings.
What is the technology challenge that the organization must comply with?
In other words, what issues needs to be overcome?
What technical solution can be put in place to solve it?
Once you have answers to first 2 questions, the third part becomes self-explanatory. This is about actually building the SaaS solution that is modern and also complaint with regulations.
Many people see digital transformation as nothing more than a buzzword coined by IT Press. But in reality it is a complete revamp of a business to accommodate the changing needs of market place, employees and wider business landscape. Technology does form an important part of it, but it is also cultural and organizational changes that makes each digital transformation journey totally unique.