October 11, 2017

Digitalization vs Digital Transformation: A Trojan Horse or a Golden Opportunity?

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Want to start your digital transformation? Is your company ready for it? Think carefully, before you shout yes. The constantly changing customer preferences have driven businesses to change and adapt to the new conditions, in order to survive and remain competitive. Being flexible is essential, since new inventions come to life every day. Ever since digital pushed away traditional, companies have been striving to keep up with the ongoing trends, to satisfy client needs. We are all consumers, who constantly seek for the best product/service on the market. This digital revolution is significantly increasing our buying power. Now we are able to compare, obtain more information, search for greater value.

Why Digitalization is not Digital Transformation?

Digitalization opened the international doors to businesses and billions of individuals. A company without an official website and social media channels rarely exists nowadays. Furthermore, E-commerce released the opportunity for sales overseas and global marketing expansions. Statistics shows that 65% of consumers would rather purchase a good online, than go to a local store, if prices are right. Online trade of goods brought 1 trillion USD in revenue to China and 396 billion USD to the States.[1] The digital era empowered businesses to manage operations in a more efficient way. Unfortunately, simply adopting the digital is not enough and many organizations fail to unlock their full potential. You may gradually improve the company by implementing innovative digital solutions, yet this is simply not digital transformation. Introducing a new CRM system, to respond to customers’ inquiries quicker is not transforming anything. It’s just making the old better and faster.

Launching a new software, which automates the whole monthly payroll distribution is going to relief your accountants from dealing with excel tables. Great job! You are a digital company now… Think again.

The Double-Edged Side of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation takes time and requires genuine commitment, planning and preparation and constant input. This is not a one-time event, but a gradual path towards improvement and growth. When this golden opportunity knocks on your door, be careful… It may turn out to be a Trojan Horse. As we all know, Trojan Horses look like a gift on the outside, but may bring trouble from the inside. If you want to digitally transform your company, you will need to review and possibly improve every existing process, product, service, module, etc. All of these may cause you a trouble on the way, since altering working systems can be tricky. However, your biggest challenge in the digital transformation journey will be connected to human capital. Changing the existing organizational culture and norms will bring you more headaches than you can imagine. People easily get used to a specific environment, but are rarely enthusiastic about shifting to another.

How to Start Your Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is a gradual leap towards operational and business evolution through software and human change. Solid and transparent communication and regular internal trainings are the tools, which will best assist throughout the entire process. But how to start?

  • Talk to your team, before jumping into action.
  • See how they feel about the whole idea.
  • Discuss and explain how this will affect them.
  • See if they have any contradictions with your vision.
  • Let them directly participate in this business revolution.
  • Make sure to align your strategy around achievable outcomes.
  • Be open to new suggestions and stay positive.
  • Take your time! Don’t rush, but continue to explore new opportunities.

Change is hard, but this is the way to evolve. No need to stress out. Take the positive and proactive side and start today. That’s the way to go. Remember digital transformation is a process, which takes more time. Keep calm and you will see the results germinating soon.

Conclusion

Digitalization and Digital Transformation should go hand-in-hand. It’s not only the technology that makes the difference here. It’s the people, who drive your digital transformation and turn it into reality.

 

 

[1] Cohen, Kim. June 2017. “Global eCommerce Sales, Trends and Statistics 2016”. eCommerce Trends. Accessed on 6.10.2017. URL: https://www.remarkety.com/global-ecommerce-trends-2016

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