What is digital transformation?

 

Digital transformation is nothing more than the renovation of a business primarily based on technology.

 

4 wrong beliefs about digital transformation

 

1. It’s all about acquiring technology

While technology plays a key role in any digital transformation process, it is not just about acquiring the latest computer model or the most modern piece of software.

When facing a process of technological renovation in a company, no matter its size or turnover, the following key elements must be considered:

  • It has to be an investment and not an expense, for which the return has to be measured in terms of time and cost savings in business operations.
  • It must lead to a change in the way employees work and in their functions/tasks
  • The related productivity improvement must lead to a relevant gain in the company’s competitive position
  • It entails the possibility of providing better customer service and encourages continuous training among employees

 

2. It’s only for big companies.

A very characteristic reaction of small businesses is to think that digital transformation is not for them, but something for big companies.

The reality is quite different:

  • all companies will have to adapt sooner or later. No matter how much they resist the evolving technology always comes to them
  • the evolution of technology in recent years has made its cost perfectly affordable for any company so it can no longer be used as an excuse to avoid transformation into small or even self-employed companies
  • regardless of size, the use of technology always stands out from the competition
  • small is no longer the same as traditional, the Cloud has brought a democratization of technology that enables the use of technology to be tailored to the needs of each company.

 

3. It is just about selling the same products or services online.

Many companies continue to believe that being up to date with technology consists of displaying on their website the content of their printed brochures, leaflets or catalogs together with their contact details (address, email, telephone number, etc.) and updating their content with each passing season.

However:

  • “I already have a website” does not imply having a digitally transformed company if its content has not been updated for more than 1 month.
  • “My son has created a Facebook profile for my company” doesn’t mean to have a digitally transformed company either as long as the Facebook page of my company is managed in the same way as my personal page but with less dedication.
  • Transforming a company digitally not only involves offering the same products or services online to regular customers but also delivering new products that you never knew you could sell to new customers that you never knew you could have.

 

4. It involves replacing employees by robots or electronic devices.

The idea that investing in robots or other digital devices inevitably eliminates employees is not new, but it remains fresh in both employers’ and workers’ minds. While the evidence is impossible to deny, the equation more technology = fewer employees may not always be true.

The primary reasons for opposing this widespread belief are the following:

  • The use of technology enables employees to dedicate less time to administrative tasks that add little value to the work they do
  • The automation of low-productive tasks makes it possible to provide a better customer service by allowing more time for effective advice.
  • The more cost-effective the automation of tasks resulting from the use of technology, the higher revenue and the greater contribution to profits will be generated, making it possible to preserve more jobs and even generate new ones

 

Conclusion: get digital or die

Digital transformation has come to stay. 

Ironically, it has first been introduced into our personal lives through mobile devices (Samgsung, Apple, Huawei, Xiaoming), social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Tinder) or online shopping sites (Amazon, AirBnB, Booking).

It is reasonable to think that changes caused by the advent of the new mobile phones that serve for almost everything now while not long ago were only used to talk on the phone, or changes that Facebook and other social networks have caused in the way we communicate with other people, or those that Amazon and other online stores have generated in our way of buying are going to reach our professional life.

It is difficult not to think that such changes will hit our working environment any time sooner than later and that companies that would resist them will experience an ever-increasing impact on their revenues and profits that will lead them to either concede or disappear. Get digital or die.

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