Digital Transformation or Evolution Supported by Digital Technology?
The digital transformation began many years before the very expression was coined or referred to for the first time.
Expressions like this usually have origin on an author or speaker, who uses it publicly until someone notices. From there the proliferation is fast and reaches diverse audiences acquiring distinctive
meanings, often different from the original ones, which is good, as this leads to public debate and the theme or themes are investigated, spread and developed.
If we are a potential supplier of “digital transformation” solutions, we cannot stop using the expression, because we face the
risk of resembling outdated, with the negative consequences that this may have on the market.
If, on the other hand, we are in the position of a potential customers or user of “digital transformation”, it is also almost impossible to ignore the theme, as this is how it is presented to us, at the risk of looking too conservative and, as a result, we may lose the attractiveness – to good customers and interesting employees, or even lose competitiveness.
But … and there is always one, Digital Transformation is really much more than it may seem at first glance. Why? Because of most technology providers, whether hardware, software, communications, any other or a mix of all or some of them, aware of these trends and using the term to avoid taking the risks outlined above.
Whenever a new technology – always and everywhere – enters the market and the organizations, there is a normal consequence in terms of employee reaction, related to change and, consequently, the fear of having difficulty adapting or even the fear of being replaced by the technology involved. Those fears are often real and sustained by personal experience or historical knowledge, at least since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
It is naturally more fearful for those who are averse to change, who do not want to adapt or develop themselves, and for those that, unfortunately, have limits of diverse nature – financial, cognitive or others – that prevent them from developing and adapting to new technologies or changes in general, to the extent of need.
The truth is that progress, and in this case the evolution supported by digital technology, namely Artificial Intelligence, will not stop and is a great opportunity for organizations to adapt and develop their organizations and their models and business processes, to adapt their socio-economic structures, adjust their internal policies, understand and adapt more quickly to consumer patterns and trends and, in general, revise their organizational culture.
All this? So many opportunities? And still, some people say that they are in the “digital transformation” simply because they sell or buy any new technology! No! Digital Transformation is much more than just that, it’s also a whole process of cultural change, especially at the organizational leadership level!
How can an organization plan and make this transformation if it cannot stop its business? It seems as difficult as changing the engine of a car driving at high speed on the freeway!
The organization that needs to transform, to stay or becomes more competitive, must look for partners instead of suppliers, and it must ensure that these partners can go beyond simply supplying and implementing new technologies. It will also have to ensure a communication plan of excellence, both internally and with the market and, before it is transformed, must determine the path according to its market, taking into account the trends, problems, the desires and needs of those it wants to be their customers, both now and in the future.
It may seem like a tortuous path – and it may or may not be, depending on whom you have as partners!
Come on, adapt yourself!
Daniel Lança Perdigão Strategist & Visual Thinker UpSideUp.pt