Digital transformation is about transforming an organisation so that it can succeed in today’s digital age. The mistake many make is in thinking it is about just one thing like building digital products, or adopting Agile, or making use of digital channels. In truth it is about all these things and more. Digital transformation is about transforming the whole business, including how the company thinks, acts, operates and competes.
In the last 10 years technology has become pervasive and disruptive to a level not seen since the advent of the industrial revolution. It is changing everything about how we live, work and play. Yes, technology has always been evolving and impacting our lives, but never at the speed we are now witnessing. We are witnessing the digital revolution.
The digital revolution is impacting how businesses operate and survive. Many businesses have tried to ignore the impact of technology on our lives and have suffered for it. The examples are endless:
It is easy to think that companies who have done well out of the digital revolution have managed this by simply seeing how technology and digital channels could disrupt the market. However, there are countless examples of companies who had the foresight but couldn’t execute. The true successes came from companies who were quick enough to act and adapt, who embraced technology in every department, and who recruited and empowered the best people to get their business to perform. This required a different type of operating model.
Consider examples like Spotify and Netflix. Both companies have had fierce competition yet both have done well because their operating models have allowed them to anticipate and react to the market. Spotify have been constantly evolving their model to fight off the threat from the likes of Apple and Amazon. Netflix quickly adapted from being a mail order dvd company to a digital streaming company, and only recently reinvented themselves again as they choose to buck the trend and focus on developing their own content.
Digital transformation is about transforming a business so that it can succeed in today’s digitally impacted market. No business or sector is safe. It is truly a case of evolve to survive.