What is digital transformation?

The world is changing around us, and consumer patterns influenced by the abundance of technology aids are making a permanent mark on customer and consumer behaviour and demand. Many technologies are having a marked impact on business and society, and many more are coming – organisations needs to be ready!

More than even in the past, it is technology and its effect on society and business drive the need for organisations to transform, and in this instance transform digitally!

There are a several schools of thought on the concept of digital transformation, and what it really means. Rather than bore you with these different opinions, we will instead define our point of departure and continue from there.

Even if you disagree with our view of what digital transformation is, that is OK.

Agile ADapT will be a valuable resource in your digital transformation journey.

A drive to ‘innovate the future’ forms part of your transformational mandate. The ADapT approach to digital transformation takes a firm stance with regards to what qualifies as Digital Transformation.

“Digital transformation is the profound transformation of business and organisational activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of a mix of digital technologies and their accelerating impact across society in a strategic and prioritised way, with present and future shifts in mind.”

De Clerck and De Wit. www.i-scoop.eu

What is maybe missing from the above definition, although implied, is that digital transformation depends on embedding some key digital capabilities and new sets of behaviour into the fabric of the organisation. Transformation is an organisation-wide issue not just an IT or product and service issue, it must include everyone in the organisation and their attitudes, behaviours. It will also impact on processes and operational models, leadership strategy and governance, no part of the organisation will be left untouched by digital transformation.

Most importantly, the transformational focus should be the customer and customer experience. That being said – often transformational efforts are internally focused on efficiency and even business model innovation – but the aim of these improvements should always be an improved customer experience.

Merely digitising an existing business process is NOT transformational; it is merely changing the delivery mechanism or the tool used.

The objective of transformational initiatives is to make the business and its products and services radically different and better. If this objective is not an outcome, we will call it digitisation or sometimes digital optimisation. There is no denying that there is a great need for digitisation or digital optimisation, but that is of lesser importance when thinking about innovation and transformation.

The more innovative an initiative, the more likely it will be transformative. We will, however, inevitably touch on digitisation and optimisation from time to time as a matter of course.

No matter what industry your organisation is part of, it will be impacted by the changes brought about by the 4th industrial revolution, the resultant change and therefore Digital Transformation should be a concern for every organisation and business!

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”

W. Edwards Deming

We have changed Deming’s saying to the following the following mantra “ADapT or die”.