Digital Transformation – A word that’s floating around considerably around conference tables, office corridors and the water cooler in recent times. It’s a term you hear more within the enterprise as opposed to smaller and medium sized organizations and while many are talking about it with utmost urgency, not everyone is clear how it translates into actionable “on the ground activity” where the real transformation actually happens.
According to Wikipedia:
Digital transformation refers to the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. Digital transformation may be thought as the third stage of embracing digital technologies: digital competence → digital literacy → digital transformation. The latter stage means that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in a particular domain, rather than simply enhance and support the traditional methods.
It’s a constantly evolving term since Digital Transformation a decade ago till about a few years ago meant computerizing records, going paperless, automation. However, in the more recent context, digital transformation for the enterprise is addressing challenges and opportunities of the newer digital revolution where people are highly connected through the web, communications, commerce, interaction and businesses are rapidly moving online and society itself is increasingly internet dependent. Addressing areas like:
– How can our enterprise build a larger online footprint?
– How can we leverage social media to engage a wider customer base or build our brand online?
– How can we offer customer service, gather customer feedback, measure customer sentiments and communicate with them online?
– How can we re-design our website to serve as an interactive resource for customers rather than just display some company information.
– How can we develop web assets?
– How can we drive more inbound sales and revenue for the enterprise through the web?
– How can we leverage mobile technology and interact with the millions of smartphone users globally?
What we’ve observed is while most enterprises have figured out:
“Selecting and developing the the right technology is key to digital transformation”
That’s only half true. Because:
The combination of Technology + Humans are key to getting digital transformation right.
Digital transformation today encompasses multiple dimensions like online advertising, user centric web design, content marketing strategy, social media strategy, mobile engagement, digital publishing, video and more. While enterprises find technology solutions to address how they plan to maneuver through the increasingly web driven digital era, they also need to address the human or “people” aspect of the transformation:
-Who are the right people to lead our enterprise into this digital era?
– Who are the right people to drive the activity required to build a larger web footprint and execute these strategies?
– Who will deliver our brand values, customer service, customer engagement on the web?
– Who will drive our mobile aspirations so that we can tap into the massive smartphone using consumer market?
Every time a major upheaval or transformation occurs in our world, it’s driven by a change in technology but is followed by a demand for highly skilled people to lead that transformation. Computers lead the demand for a generation of software programmers and software experts to bring us into the computer age. Similarly, the social media and digital web revolution is paving the way for “digital” people to lead us into the next era for the web enabled enterprise. Social media experts, PPC experts, search experts, mobile experts, design experts, data analytics experts, content creators, influences, brand advocates, bloggers, viral video creators….“the digital people” as I call them.
Essentially, digital transformation for enterprises is the ongoing process of how to adapt to the changing needs on the enterprise caused by a transformation in the outside world. Right now, that change is the rapidly evolving social & increasingly mobile web. Equipping the enterprise with the right technologies and right people to spearhead this transformation is the need of the hour!