New ways of communication, modern payment methods, completely different forms of spending free time. Our expectations (or customer expectations) change very quickly. In order to be successful in business, you must keep up with these changes. Or even better – be their precursor. We need to put the needs of our business partners at the center of every action, change the way companies operate/remodel certain processes within organizations, and utilize the latest technologies. All these actions are referred to as digital transformation.
A brief history of digital transformation
The term digital transformation gained popularity a few years ago and is still trending. However, the very approach of focusing your actions on the customer is a derivative of many concepts “tested” even earlier. It results, among other things, from the rapid technological development that has taken place recently. The first stage (digitization) was the transition from analog information to digital forms of storage. Business, for the most part, has long since adapted to the changing reality and largely replaced paper records with electronic ones. The next step was to focus all attention on the available technologies, infrastructure development, and acquiring specialist knowledge and know-how in the field of IT. After all, every large and modern company has an IT department that is responsible for network administration, system maintenance, or preventing potential IT threats. Many organizations have also implemented mobile solutions enabling remote management of business processes specific to their structure. Companies struggling with high competition need to reorganize their business processes in order to gain market advantage. This, of course, requires an appropriate technological level and full customer focus. Such changes in functioning are what we call digital transformation.
Yesterday vs. today
Let us recall what everyday life was like just 15 years ago. Online stores were not very popular yet and few people had the courage to buy there. In order to have an opinion about a theatrical play, it was necessary to watch it live or consult a friend, not an Internet review. We did not use price comparison apps while standing in a store. When watching movies, we had to sit in front of the TV at a specific time and we would only make tea during commercial breaks so as not to miss even a fraction of the story. It sounds like a distant past. Now we watch what we want, when we want. We search for reviews online, we find advice using internet bots, we shop online and have the purchased items delivered to our doorstep on the same day. All this is happening thanks to the technological revolution that we have been witnessing for the past few years.
Digital transformation is a step forward
In the era of digital transformation, success is determined by the adaptation of products and services to customer needs, ease of use, and availability. According to the most basic definition, digital transformation is the integration of digital technologies with all areas of business activity. In order for a business to prosper, it is necessary to change the way it is run, acquire new competences, change the mindset of employees and management, as well as change the organizational culture, quality of customer service, and develop new practices and habits. Only delivering true value to our customers can give our business a chance to achieve the ultimate success – realization of its strategic goals. Enterprises fiercely compete for every single customer. Thanks to digital transformation, changes are happening much faster. We have already experienced first-hand the real impact of business transformation on our lives: wearables, BigData, cloud computing, renewable energy, artificial intelligence – all this is happening before our eyes. There are more and more innovative solutions and they enter every area of our everyday life.
Can we consider digital transformation to be complete at some point and just forget about it? Unfortunately not – after all, new technologies are constantly being developed and popularized. On the other hand, attitude is the key to success. If we realize the vast technological potential that we can achieve and constantly look for areas of the organization that we can improve, we will gain competitive advantage and an incentive to continue our efforts. Because nothing is a better motivator than success.