What Is Digital Transformation and Why Should I Care?
Often times, we hear about Digital Transformation and how it is going to change the world as we know it. It has become one of the most used buzzwords in the industry and the meaning has gotten lost in the plethora of speeches, white papers, blogs, and webinars. We thought it might be good to revisit the meaning of Digital Transformation, as well as remind people why it is important to care.
What is Digital Transformation?
In general, Digital Transformation is defined as the integration of digital technology into all areas of business that results in fundamental changes to how a business operates and delivers value to customers. It is so much more than just business though. There is also a societal dimension that is involved. Either way, Digital Transformation pushes organizations to continuously experiment and innovate their business processes.
Although Digital Transformation has been talked about recently as something new and exciting, it actually has a long history. We are currently in the third phase of Digital Transformation. The first phase took place in the 1990s when businesses began to computerize processes. In the mid-2000s, phase two took place and we began implementing more digital technologies within organizations. This third phase is characterized by the integrations of new technologies and solutions such as cloud, AI, big data and analytics, IoT, and 3D printing.
Why should I care?
Some people say that if you don’t catch the Digital Transformation wave, you’re not going to exist as an organization for much longer. However, this is not necessarily true. Early adopters of technology have an advantage by catching the first wave. There is no doubt about that. It makes them look more attractive to the incoming workforce thus they are able to be competitive in the landscape. However, laggards have an advantage as well. They can learn from the mistakes of their peers, the early adopters, before implementing new systems. It’s not just about catching the wave, but more about what you do when you’re on the wave. Do you crash in the riptide? Or glide gracefully to the shore?
Do what you can.
Technology moves quickly in this day in age, so it’s no wonder why so many organizations are constantly talking about Digital Transformation. To avoid feeling like you’re drowning in a sea of unknowns when it comes to digital technology, remember that in a few years, new tech now is going to become standard, and there are going to be plenty of people around to help you. Do what you can to stay on top of things, but never feel like you have to implement everything as soon as it comes out.
While you should always strive to be innovative, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket and hope that it all works out. Take time to evaluate what new technologies will truly help your organization become more efficient and that will add value to your customers.