The Problem with Digital Transformation

digital transformation

Never before have we encountered a phrase which described something so undeniably apparent, yet is so notoriously hard to explain. The term, ‘Digital Transformation’ has become somewhat of a buzzword over recent years, it’s often thrown around in a sentence with words like people-focused, optimised, customer-centric, efficiency, innovative and evolution but none of this really does much to explain what we mean by ‘Digital Transformation’. In fact, attempts to explain it often seem to confuse matters more. Popular tech website and Digital Transformation I-Scoop settled on this:

~ ‘The profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way within a holistic perspective’ ~

When conceptualised like this businesses are often faced with an issue of basic comprehension. From the above description, it is difficult for anyone to understand how it might relate to them, let alone be able to prescribe anything pragmatic or actionable. It is when described like this that Digital Transformation as a concept loses its punch, becoming another abstract term banded around by techies and industry-insiders, long since out of touch with the working world. A solution, desperately looking for a problem.

Ultimately, Digital Transformation is an umbrella term used to describe the introduction of digital technologies into preexisting processes and systems with the objective of improving efficiency and reducing mistakes.

The reality is that most industry leaders have readily adopted ‘Digital Transformation’ and are leveraging it to further dominate their respective industries. With this, we can see the emergence of a widening gap between market-leaders and smaller SME’s.

Perhaps one of the most poignant examples of this can be found by looking at Amazon. Originally an online bookstore, Amazon relentlessly adopted digitally transformative  technologies. At a time where many businesses were neglecting their website, Amazon invested heavily in user-experience and in optimizing the purchasing journey. With this mentality they expanding into more and more industries and today they are one of the most profitable businesses on earth, valued at over 1 trillion dollars.

Amazon has been able to expand into an increasing amount of industries because of its focus on innovation. Entering sectors that have traditionally neglected digital transformation, Amazon is immediately able to get a head start on its competition and establish itself as a industry-leader, ahead of companies that have existed in the same space for decades.

This is yet another example of a reason why SME's need to embrace digital transformation. As multi-national businesses diversify and branch out into more sectors, smaller businesses will find it impossible to compete unless they utilize every tool available to them. works with companies to enable them to evolve their business systems, allowing them to take advantage of new technology to evolve their customer experience and ultimately increase their revenue.

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