In the year 1995, I remember helping my father identifying and classifying all information-bearing documents, whether they were in the form of hard-copy output or computer 5 1/4″ floppy drive – my dad being in the Travel Industry in Madagascar, we had to process pile of files, it was like running out of space on top of his desk and having to process one pile of files at a time in order to free up space for another pile of files – this was a long and tedious task.
To automate this task, I had developed a small application using DBASE III running on a Windows 286 with an MS-DOS Version 5 which was my first computer – the program design was quite simple, I had to enter all the customer data along with one important attribute “the File Number” – the intent was that when someone searching for a particular string, instantly the app shows the file number containing the respective data – as these efforts started to bear fruit, the happiness and satisfaction on his face were palpable; Wish he could have seen today’s digital era where humans are engaging in smarter experiences through technological innovation.
So what is Digital Transformation?
simply put, use technological innovation to convert your manual tasks or create new business processes.
According to Schumpeter, the process of technological change in a free market consists of three parts: invention (conceiving a new idea or process), innovation (arranging the economic requirements for implementing an invention), and diffusion (whereby people observing the new discovery adopt or imitate it) – in layman’s terms, this means Schumpeter argued that anyone seeking profits must innovate.
This is true for all the companies who have adopted and transformed their services or business through technology – for an instance with this COVID pandemic, today with a majority of individuals working remotely, employee experience of digital technology has gone from “nice to have” to “the only way work gets done” – this is a revolution of the introduction of a new technology that creates entirely new ways of serving existing needs and significantly disrupts an existing industry. On the other hand, companies that are not innovating may not be disrupted however does guarantee a poor outcome and may be defeated by the competitors.
What is the 5-key success of Digital Transformation?
Everything begins with trust! Digital Transformation use technological innovation to replace your manual tasks or create new business processes however we have seen traditional organization/people who have a strong culture resists to adopt these new changes.
Companies can overcome these barriers by inculcating trust, communicate to their workforce their digital transformation strategy then create opportunities for dialog. Upskilling and re-skilling is crucial to ensure adaptability and employability in the transition times.
One of the important pillars of the Digital Transformation success is a strong and determined leadership which is required for the development and implementation of the strategy. A key strategy is to focus primarily on improving Customer Experience which is possible by implementing digital business models and services, let us see some of the model types:
- Marketplace model: the biggest ecommerce Amazon would have no business without internet, this is amongst the widely used business models.
- Free model: Build great products and released them for free (Trial or Basic lifetime features) once the customers get accustomed then monetization would not be an issue. Many companies have adopted this model for their products.
- Subscription-based model: Netflix and Amazon Prime have built an amazing base of loyal customers which guarantee a continuous revenue over time.
- On-Demand model: this model is based on supply and model, it has two sided players, for example in Uber’s case this model works as soon as the drivers (supply) are offering their services to the riders (demand).
Invest more in the upskilling of the workforce, employees are the face and heart of any organization – in this process of Digital Transformation, it is imperative to upskill or reskill otherwise you might fail to meet the customer’s expectations.
It is in human nature to love everything new! Innovation increases your chances to react to changes and discover new opportunities which become the key for survival. Take Apple as an example which has done a continuous innovations such as the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, and iPad.
Smarter Customer Experience
An improved customer experience is a significant factor in efficiency, profitability and brand equity which must be the result of your Digital Transformation Strategy. I cite from a global telecommunications EY’s study “Automation and efficiency improvement of all processes will serve customer experience.”
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The intent should be to nurtures lives through innovation and technology. This vision is going to transform your business and tap into new and exciting opportunities globally.