More than just a buzzword
What does it really mean to “digitally transform”?
What is it, really?
At it's core, digital transformation is the impact of (digital) technologies and the increasing digitization of business processes on people, companies and even society.
The goal is to optimize and automate work. On the one hand to improve business processes, on the other hand because the world is ready for it. Self-driving cars and robots that perform surgeries are a result of innovations through digital transformation, but so are less dramatic workplace improvements like automating paper administration with a simple web application.
A few years ago digital transformation was something for young startups and daredevils. Nowadays you hear it everywhere. Particularly because of the explosive demand for software today that has led some to claim, “Software is eating the world.”
This means that every Most organizations are aware that digital transformation is the next logical step for their business, but some still see it as something futuristic that doesn’t apply to their company or sector. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
It has only just begun
Think about everything that has happened technology wise over the last 20 years. In 2000, there was no Youtube. Facebook was only available on university campuses, and bitcoin and blockchain were just words that would’ve been nixed in a game of Scrabble.
You’re probably reading this on a smartphone, while 20 years ago people would’ve laughed at the idea of a mobile telephone that could connect to information all over the world.
It’s a new world
Whether or not you’re actually interested in or want any of this, it’s going to happen. What’s more, it’s already happening. Of course, you can be stubborn and hold on to what you want to keep, but that won’t work. The world will move on, with or without you (just ask U2).
The future is now
If you’re not innovating yet because you don’t want to start without knowing what the technology will look like, we’ve got news for you: nobody knows.
The only thing we do know is that standing still is not a survival tactic. We live in an era where innovation goes fast. Like really fast. Planning for your company 10 years out is harder than ever, because so much will change. Everything is about speeds and flexibility. In fact, those are the only constants that you can predict. Jobs and even entire branches that fail to adapt will disappear.
The point of all this is not to scare you. It’s that we live at a tipping point. On the one hand, the technology we have now is old and reliable, it’s “good enough”. On the other hand, innovation is about to make things possible that we can now only dream about.