Where technology is taking – or has taken – us, there will be no room for the “business as usual” mentality. In the digital age, transformation is the key word. However, one cannot simply say, “I’m done with the old and I’m switching to the new!” There has to be a commitment and a willingness to transform age old practices. Innovation should be every company’s cup of tea.
Pretty much all the machine and gadgets we now use for our daily business (and personal) activities evolved from early concepts.
While some of us grew up with keeping files in heavy and locked steel filing cabinets, today’s generation has it easier with the Cloud. In the past, we had the telephone and telegram to help us keep in touch with relatives and friends. Nowadays, we can connect with and search for people in different ways – email, social media and the Internet of Things, among others. Likewise, many businesses have made the big switch and gave up traditional practices to give way to digital technology.
Of course, everyone wants to improve. Everyone wants to make things easier. After all, that’s what technology is for, right? But, what really drives businesses to digital transformation?
One of the major driving forces is digital proficiency. Brands are becoming more aware of the advantages of digital tech, and they apply this to their products and services. So, in a way, customers, and even employees, are required to adapt to digital innovations. Nowadays, even a street vendor knows how to use the mobile phone to get in touch with possible customers. User demand is changing. Proficiency is now more important than age or status.
Competition among businesses is another driving force. Before the advent of digital technology, enterprises were contented with brick and mortar shops. Customers went to these shops and bought their items there. Today, we have businesses like AirBnB and Uber. Suddenly, finding a good hotel or getting a ride home has become easier. All you need to do is get on your smartphone or laptop and then press some buttons, and voila, you have what you need!
The third factor is technology, which is an ever-changing concept. We used to be satisfied with gradual changes. But, in today’s fast-paced connected world, change has taken on a new meaning. Disruption has become a part of the norm. If you have a small business and people find out that you do not have a website or even a Facebook page, there is a probability that they will not give your products or services the attention it deserve. Technology has changed the way businesses – and people – think.
The Cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) – these are innovations that have become partners for business growth. Connectivity is now a valuable asset. Your business (or you) needs to be mobile to easily connect with people and places, as well as to interact with data. The fact that we now have Big Data and the technology to keep it secure is enough reason to consider digital transformation.
So, what’s stopping businesses to digitally transform?
Despite these, however, there are still many who hesitate to jump into the digital bandwagon. There can be several reasons for this.
First off, there are business leaders who continue to hold on to traditional practices. While this is admirable, this can also prove to be a liability in the near future. Stubbornly refusing to give up outdated technology when it comes to enterprise management is quite common for a lot of companies, especially the big and established ones.
Another reason is the refusal to accept innovation. Business leaders should be willing to experiment if they want their companies to improve and grow. Taking risks is necessary as it leads to significant learning. In reality, digital transformation is about improving a business process more than anything else. And this is important if a company intends to stay on top of the game and increase its longevity.
Lastly, some business leaders – and even employees – still have a lot to learn about technology in general. Not just about digitization, but the whole concept of technology. This is something that clearly needs to be addressed, regardless of whether the people involved are rank and file employees or managers and officers.
Digital transformation is a game changer
Digital technology changes a lot of things. So, when a company decides to embrace digitization, what it is doing is accepting the challenge to improve. This is why you cannot just say, “We’re okay with what we have. It’s business as usual here.” Whether you like it or not, digital transformation changes a lot of things – the concept of leadership, the way employees work, how businesses satisfy customers and how customers connect with the enterprise.
The traditional way of managing a business puts the weight on company executives. They are the ones who send communication to employees, the ones who organize and the ones who decide on important matters. In a digitized business, the scenario changes. It becomes a team effort. Individual leadership then becomes leadership by team.
This is no longer the era of managers telling rank and file employees, “I think of the projects, you come to me to learn about them, and you work on completing them.” Today, everyone in the company can pitch in, all thanks to informed decisions through digital technology.
Business as usual is still a concept, but it is becoming increasingly unpopular. Before you can completely shrug it off in favor of digital transformation, try answering the following questions first:
- Are you willing to come up with a strategic digitization plan for the entire company? Are you willing to include every department and every employee of the organization? This includes coming up with programs intended to inform and educate employees and leaders about digital technology.
- Are you willing to give up traditional practices and embrace innovation, experimentation and learning?
- Are you willing to take risks?
- Finally, are you willing to improve employee, customer, stakeholder, partner and supplier experience?
If you answered YES to two or more, then you are ready to slowly move into digitization.
Take your business to the next level and have the advantages of digital transformation. Please take a look at Four Cornerstone’s consulting services in database administration, Oracle MySQL support, application development and Oracle Cloud.
Photo courtesy of Magnus D.