Do you know what Digital Transformation exactly means?

Nowadays when speaking about the future of organisations, ‘Digital Transformation’ seemingly has become an inevitable buzzword. No matter from what sector, PR from the CEO’s office all speak of the digital transformation describing it as the next big thing or an essential ingredient of organisational success. Without doubt, the term has become a word that we’re accustomed to. All of us had heard it, all of us had read pass it, and all of us has encountered it at some point in our daily life. But how many of us actually know what digital transformation actually means?

Most of us have ‘kind of’ an idea of digital transformation. However, when asked ‘what exactly is digital transformation?’ this is where people start to struggle. This is because accumulating our exposure to digital transformation we are able to grasp only a wide concept of the picture and when all those snippets of information are weaved together, we fail to pinpoint a clear trend or relation that could perfectly describe the term- digital transformation seems to be all over the place spreading itself throughout various contexts. For example, when recalling digital transformation a list several connected terms would come to mind: AI, data science, cashless society, cloud, etc. However, we all know it is not sufficient to simply conclude that digital transformation is the transition into AI.

So what exactly is digital transformation? The word ‘transformation’ may suggest a radical transition, drastic disruption or revolution of some kind such as an immediate shift jumping to adoption of any new latest technology available out there. However, digital transformation is rather a process of constant evolution. Yes, unquestionably, adopting new technology is part of the process, but it’s not the entire picture.

To vision this, picture the late 90s, tracing back to the times where the internet had just recently become a thing and businesses rushed to move their businesses into the online space, ushering to create website and online pages, entering the digital era. Now replace those words with the cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality- the results would be an analogous representation of today’s industry landscape. So what have changed? Clearly

businesses are adopting technology at a rapid rate than ever before. However, the central concept remains constant, that is: to keep up with new technologies and integrate them into the value chain, where appropriate, in order to better serve customer needs. As defined by Gartner, digital transformation is ‘the process of exploiting digital technologies and supporting capabilities to create a robust new digital business model’. Throughout this process then do changes in other parts do follow.

Bottom line is that digital transformation does not entirely equal outright disruption. Just like how businesses need to constantly adapt to survive, with digital transformation organisations don’t end with becoming fully digitally transformed but rather it is where organisations embark on a constantly ever evolving process to create value.

Date : 27/09/2019