The blurring of the boundaries that currently exist between the physical and digital worlds continue to happen at a rapid pace. The implications of such coming together of two worlds are far-fetched. The most visible impact can be seen in how people work or in other words, do business. There is no industry out there that hasn’t experienced some of the other effects of digital transformation. And the two major reasons for this plunge into digital transformation are pressure from competitors and a self-aware move to match the pace of the digital tide.
In the simplest of terms, digital transformation is nothing but reimagining the way businesses operate, backed by the latest technology. The way businesses operate and the way people work are two things that have undergone changes several times. However, the pace at which businesses are evolving now has never been seen before. And this can be primarily put down to the coming together of a whole host of technologies, such as Big Data, mobile, social media, cloud, and more.
Digital transformation is not a new concept. It is more than a couple of decades old phenomenon. Everyone remembers now how word processing completely changed how people used to write and how emails transformed how people used to interact with one another. It was the start of digital transformation that every business became a part of, without even knowing how they were entering the digital world and taking the steps to changing the way they will operate in the time to come. However, the scale of digital transformation that is currently underway is much more significant and has far greater stakes than earlier. Some businesses believe that digital transformation is disruptive and can cause them to fall behind their competitors. On the other hand, there are others that feel that it could open a box of opportunities for them.
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The pandemic has further accelerated digital transformation of several businesses across the world. The need for transformation arose because of the presence of the roadblocks that were hampering business operations. Businesses were left with no other option than to undergo digital transformation and make remote working amongst other things as seamless as possible for their people. These rapid changes demand both people and organizations to align different aspects of their work. For achieving better alignment, there are a few important components that can make the transition easier and successful.
Mindset is the key. If organizations and people are of the opinion that they don’t need digital transformation or that they want to do it at their own pace, nothing in the world can make them change their mind. This is why it is very important for them to continue working on their strategy. As long as businesses have components in their strategy that don’t serve the purpose anymore, they won’t be able to make the most of digital transformation. Every organization needs to focus on learning new things and unlearning those that are not good enough to survive in the current world. Employees need to follow the same path. They need to rework and reconsider their career objectives and not be rigid in that sense. Their career objectives need to be more flexible than they earlier were. Also, they need to stop doing stuff that doesn’t work anymore. Learning should also be central to whatever employees do.
Digital transformation doesn’t mean that businesses have to stop caring for their people or for that matter become inhumane altogether. The need of the hour is to club technology with humanity. Delivering a human experience should always be at the forefront of organizations’ digital transformation endeavour. The use of technology to deliver experiences should be done equally for both employees and customers. Neither employees nor customers should be made to feel that they are being given a compromised experience. And organizations should always have different channels available to them for communicating with both employees and customers. Relying on just one channel for communication won’t help their cause. Their message needs to reach the people it is intended for, in a way that it makes maximum impact. Also, organizations will have to train their employees in omnichannel communications because they will be at both ends of the communication spectrum at different times – sometimes as receivers and at other times as givers.
Another important thing that can have an impact on the digital transformation efforts of organizations is how they go about treading the path that ultimately leads to transformation. To begin with, they will have to redefine what they were doing before turning more aggressively towards digital means. Also, they need to understand that there is a difference between how a business interacts with customers digitally and how it does on a human level. And they also need to define different success metrics for both these customer touchpoints. To make the maximum impact, organizations need to ensure that they align both these interactions. There can’t be too much of a difference between digital and in-person interactions. Both experiences combined will contribute towards business success.
Finally, as much as organizations need to focus on the utilization of technology, they can’t undermine the importance of the value that it is going to deliver over a period of time. If there is no motivation to undergo digital transformation, why would businesses want to go ahead and want to do it in the first place? Digital transformation makes businesses ready to tackle almost every challenge. It helps them improve their business efficiency, gain a competitive edge, and work towards contributing to their bottom-line.
Businesses and their people need to focus on digital transformation and the way it is going to impact how they work. Technology continues to redefine work, and organizations that have been averse to the change, need to welcome it with open arms to shorten their path to success.
- Digital Transformation is Rewriting Work | HR Bartender | Sharlyn Lauby | July 22, 2021
- How Digital Transformation is Rewriting Business Models | Crust | Niall McCarthy | September 8, 2020
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