Digital Transformation: Demystified

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Introduction: culture, process and technology for new experiences

Digital transformation is critical to remaining competitive, let alone getting ahead of your competition. Hardly anyone would debate that, today. That's why I find it surprising that many companies are still just focusing on just one or two pieces of the puzzle.

True digital transformation should be based on the full adoption of three main elements: culture, process, and technology. It’s about leveraging digital technologies to meet changing business and market needs by creating new business processes and customer experiences – or at least modifying existing ones.

It is definitely not a one-time thing or something “for IT to take care of.”  And yet, many organizations still approach it in that way.


Exciting times: the fourth revolution 

We are in the midst of a technological revolution that fundamentally alters the way we live, work, and engage with one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation is unlike anything humankind has experienced before. The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production; the Second used electric power to create mass production; and the Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now, a Fourth Industrial Revolution is taking place, characterized by a fusion of technologies. The lines between the physical and the digital world are blurring.  

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Impacting each and every business process and employee 

The key technologies involved  in the current revolution are 5G, AI, Big Data Analytics, Cloud/Edge Computing, Wearable Devices, IoT Solutions, Robotics, and Virtual Reality Solutions. These technologies will influence internal and external processes, including the products and services delivered, significantly. Therefore, they will also impact each and every business process and employee.  


“[New technologies] … will impact each and every business process and employee”


Adaptability as part of the organization’s DNA and ecosystem 

By themselves, each of the above-mentioned technologies can and will create new business opportunities. Taken together, they will provide significant synergies for enterprise product and services companies to realize business value for all stakeholders.

Besides the obvious improved operational efficiency and general cost savings, Digital Transformation also provides many other benefits, including greater organizational agility, and faster product development and delivery. All are needed to stay ahead of the competition. 

Adaptability must now become part of the organization’s DNA and be embedded in its ecosystem. This includes procurement, HR and many other functions, anchored into its operating model.

The prerequisite for all this to happen, however, is a culture that cultivates adaptability, in which transformation becomes second nature. In other words: enterprises must create an environment that is organized for constant change.  


Stay tuned for the next article: How to create a culture and ecosystem that fosters change

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