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The Demand for Digital Transformation

Sep 17th, 2020 Business Development, Trends

“70% of executives said the pandemic is likely to accelerate the pace of their digital transformation (within their companies).” — McKinsey & Company. 

Wait, what’s digital transformation? 

Digital transformation is the adoption of technology that replaces non-digital or manual processes with digital ones or upgrading older tech with newer tech. This transformation involves people, models, processes, and tools; companies of all shapes and sizes combat different levels of digital efficiency. It’s not the easiest to keep up on, because we’re also in the age of optimization. So, the more you lag, the larger the leap. 

What are the four main types of digital transformation? 

  1. Business Process
  2. Business Model
  3. Domain
  4. Cultural or Organizational

Why is digital transformation so important?

In a nutshell, you’re able to make better decisions, faster. When data drives strategy, you can take advantage of the access to information. Today, companies have access to more information than ever, meaning if your company isn’t leveraging information, the leap to catch up to the competition is more of a challenge than it previously was. 

Why the sudden urgency? 

Simply put, if you’re working in a field that’s considered non-essential, then chances are you’re working remotely, or not working at all. Companies and processes that weren’t able to function remotely are quickly scrambling to make it possible. Traditionally, urgency in implementation can lead to poor vetting solutions. When technology is selected haphazardly, inevitably there will be necessary intricacies overlooked. Don’t worry—that can happen even with the best-laid plans, and that’s why there has to be a cultural commitment to iterate and improve. But, if you’re new to all of it, these major shifts can seem like impossible tasks. 

Operationally, each function of a business may have different technology needs. Globally, however, the most important thing is each of your business divisions don’t become too siloed that they’re unable to communicate cross-functionally or that data cannot be exchanged. Evolving helps you meet the growing demands of your customer and employee targets. 

What’s the best approach to digital transformation in each of these four areas of focus? 

  • Establish priorities and solve the biggest problem first. Identify problems by frequency, intensity, and potential fall out. 
  • Collaborate to gain influence and encourage adoption. Team members with the most direct access and impact should be part of the vetting, selection, and implementation process. This can ensure long-term viability. It’s not uncommon for companies to invest in technology only to have it be misused. 
  • Keep up with information flows. Note: if you’ve selected platforms that cannot cross-function and operate exclusively in closed systems, you’ve limited your ability to fully automate. 

Your ability to adapt and adopt smart, user-friendly, intuitive technology both internally and externally within your company is now more than ever directly correlated to your ability to survive and succeed. Competition on the rise. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, nearly one in three (31%) small businesses report facing more competition from smaller or local companies compared to six months ago—a 10 point increase from late May. 

Ready or not, the digital transformation has been here, and now it’s demanding that you pay keen attention. 

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