Digital Transformation is definitely a key conversation point for many companies right now, but what does it really mean? A common definition is “to keep up and use new and emerging technologies” however, as Galen Gruman expresses in his editorial the new definition of Digital Transformation should be “…the application of digital technologies to fundamentally impact all aspects of business and society.” The reality as he points out is that if you are not currently using most digital technologies in the last 40 years, you probably don’t exist. However, the fundamental question to ask here is even if you are using these technologies have you digitally transformed? Just because you are not using as much paper and do things electronically OR are able to invoice using an ERP, that does not qualify you to answer yes. As Gruman suggests: “Digital transformation implies “fungibility”, which means the ability for something to be changed, not the ability to change something; fungability is an intrinsic characteristic, not a force imposed by an external source. Transformation is the act of making substantive change; fungability is the intrinsic ability to be substantively changed.”
Most companies digitize their company but often stop there and don’t actually do the ‘transformation’. Transformation is beyond the products and services it’s about the processes that create, enable, manage and deliver them. By doing this, you can focus on the platforms being able to adapt and support the evolving processes and products that a company has vs. the current situation which is adding new layers of technologies for the new and different processes and products and trying to figure how to integrate, isolate or retire some of the platforms you are currently using.
Digital Transformation should be an ongoing process, so think differently. New technologies only have a new way of doing the same thing, but thinking differently is what the transformation part is all about.