How to define Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing the way to operate and deliver value to customers. It’s also a complete cultural change that requires organisations to continually challenge the status quo and modify their way of working.
Why start a Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation can be driven by different factors, linked to each company specificities.
It can be driven by:
- The integration of technological innovations in the company processes: technology induced. The transformation is induced by the emerging technologies, such as IoT, Artificial Intelligence or virtual reality, and by the way it is used and adopted by customers, partners, competitors and various stakeholders.
- The necessity to answer new customers’ expectations and way of consuming: customer induced. The demand of clients and partners for better customer experience is a powerful transformation factor.
- The necessary upgrade of the legacy: ecosystem induced. Economical or legal changes, as well as shedding outdated processes and legacy technology can lead to a necessary transformation.
- The introduction of new products or services: innovation induced. The emergence of new technologies and new possibilities can also lead to a completely new line of products or services.
Indeed, like any project, the digital transformation can’t succeed without a clear objective. Change for change is not an option. Starting a digital transformation, thinking it’s easy and just a way to be on the current move won’t probably lead to success. As its name suggests, digital transformation is a real and deep change.
A common definition of transformation is “a complete change in the appearance or character of something or someone, especially so that that thing/process or person is improved”.
That’s literally means, you have to adapt to something new and forget about your current way of working. That’s a big challenge and you need to be prepared. Starting by answering some questions. What will drive this transformation? What is the motive? What is the final goal?
It can be the addition of new services or products that require a new way of producing or new technologies. This new service you want to offer to your customers and that requires a new way of working with digital technologies. It can be a new product that can’t be produced without the integration of new technologies in your manufacturing process.
Or maybe it will be the necessity to update your legacy by replacing outdated processes or technologies. The end of a maintenance contract, the obsolescence of some tools, a lack of efficiency in your processes. Time to adopt new technologies, but still with a clear objective and a defined application perimeter in mind.
It can also be the result of a strategic thinking or a creative process, which leads to adopt a new way of working/producing and comes with the integration of new technologies. Or it can be driven by your customers’ requests to improve your services and offer more possibilities.
Whatever the source, it has to be clear and motivated, otherwise, the project is more likely to fail. Then the transformative journey can begin!