Digital transformation is the rethinking of how digital technology is used across an organization. It is a cultural journey involving connected goals and operational change in the business. While digital transformation is predominantly used in a business context, it also impacts other organizations, such as governments, public sector agencies, and organizations that are involved in tackling societal challenges.
The covid crisis rapidly reshaped both the what and the how of companies’ digital transformation agendas. With most people working remotely, employee experience of digital technology has gone from “nice to have”, to the only way work gets done. And it looks like remote working is here to stay.
“Digital transformation is not just about disruption or technology. It’s about value, people, optimization and the capability to rapidly adapt when such is needed through intelligent use of technologies and information.” — i-scoop
What drives digital transformation?
Technology and people are the main drivers of digital transformation.
People are crucial to creating a digital culture that crosses departmental lines to assess ways to improve enterprise-wide processes. Technology is a tool that helps with those improvements. Companies need employees who can collaborate and explore solutions to help meet customer expectations. They need team members who are eager to explore new technologies because deploying technology is the only way to achieve digital transformation. Without technology, organizations lack the agility and flexibility to meet expectations.
Four Pillars of Digital Transformation
Businesses must understand the customer journey, behaviors, and expectations before investing in technology. These expectations should be the basis of any investment, rather than asking customers to try and fit into new processes (and potentially losing them in the process). The only way to do this is to focus first on the customer’s experience.
One could consider people to be the cornerstone of all the other pillars. Without the right talent or without focusing on the employees, the business will struggle.
Transformation cannot happen without change, which is why change is one of the pillars of digital transformation and not just an overarching theme.
Understanding firsthand that change is inevitable in transformation is crucial — and it might be tough. Communicate your expectations to your employees, coworkers, and colleagues. Develop a strategy to encourage change and deal with push back at the same time. Provide the necessary tools and environment for employees to embrace and succeed in this change.
Transformation and innovation are not the same. To transform, there must be innovation. Innovation can be defined as a sudden spark of creativity that leads to the creation of something that changes the face of your business. Then, the implementation of that something is the transformation.
Innovation requires a space of open communication, collaboration, and freedom. Innovation also drives digital transformation forward by creating an open space for problem-solving when the going gets tough.