Have you heard about the digital transformation? This term has gained the attention of companies from all sectors around the world. But what exactly is that? Some people think that it is an IT effort or that involves the improvement of the customer experience, as well as an infinite number of other ideas and definitions. However, digital transformation is not a concept for the future, but rather something for which today’s businesses must focus to the fullest to remain alive.
Therefore, it is necessary to understand exactly what that transformation means, its impact on society, and how to apply it in business processes and marketing strategies.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is a process in which companies make use of technology to improve performance, increase reach, and ensure better results. It is a structural change in organizations, giving an essential role to technology.
But then, practically, all companies are investing in that, right? You’re wrong! This concept is much broader than having a fan page or a corporate blog, although these are part of the Online Marketing strategy series.
Instead, it is a radical change in the structure of organizations, in which technology becomes a central strategic role and not just a superficial presence. This takes time and consumes resources, but it is not only large organizations that can implement digital transformation programs, because this is not restricted to those who have more money.
Before, it is necessary to understand the whole process that leads to this change and to work collaboratively to achieve it. Among other factors that we need to understand, is the impact of such changes in society, in general.
What is the Impact of Digital Transformation in Society?
It is essential to understand that digital transformation has a profound impact on society, in general. From this conclusion, the value of implementing change programs in companies becomes clearer. But how does that impact occur? It’s simple, think about how the use of technology is transforming our lives every day.
Everything became faster, the volume of information is infinitely greater than before and does not stop increasing. All this makes people more distracted and demanding than ever. That is the first change, there is a clear alteration of behavior. Beyond that, our life became “easier”, as automated services and products offer the comfort that was unthinkable some years ago.
Thinking about the point of view of public utility services, as in the case of hospitals, police authorities, and firefighters, this means more lives saved thanks to technology. On the other hand, new challenges arise such as disorders linked to vice in technology, virtual crimes, etc. What does this mean?
With the evolution of technology, both new solutions, and problems that need attention to arise, forcing companies to adapt to meet the demands of society. That is where the digital transformation comes in, through what can be done with better results. The possibilities have no limits.
6 Myths about the Digital Transformation you need to Forget
It already gives to have a notion of how much digital transformation impacts people’s lives in all spheres of society. Consequently, this also profoundly affects the way we do business today. The problem is that many companies still fail to start a digital transformation program because they are tied to myths about the matter.
Look at 6 of those myths that you need to erase from your head right now, and what is the right way to think about each one of them:
This issue is only for Technology Companies
It is very easy to hide behind the thought that digital transformation should only happen in companies that were already born in a digital context, such as e-commerce, SaaS, and other “native digital” businesses. It is not a secret that there are so many paid or free tools available for virtually any type of digital initiative you can imagine.
Everything is summed up in the customer experience
Another myth is that the digital transformation is summed up in creating the best possible customer experience. This indeed matters, but it is not enough. Listening to cases of how the customer experience is increasingly valued in companies such as Zappos, which goes beyond the limits known to man to satisfy customers, reinforces that idea.
But again, it is worth noting: the digital transformation is a process that needs to be scattered throughout the company, so naturally, it is not summarized in the customer experience.
The transformation comes from small initiatives
How about letting the small initiatives of the collaborators develop to create, little by little, a truly digital organization? In theory, that idea may even seem to make sense, but things don’t work that way. The transformation needs to come from above. Why? Such a big change requires not only freedom but the initiative of leaders to develop clear change programs and implement them in companies.
In this way, the company can change an organized and efficient way, and the collaborators will understand what is expected of them in this transition.
Who performs the transformation is the IT sector
Information technology, or just IT, needs to be very well structured to ensure the level of action that a digital company needs. However, between affirming that and saying that digital transformation is the responsibility of the IT team alone, there is an abyss!
What needs to be there is an approach between managers and who puts the technology to work and not outsourcing responsibilities in that way. The IT sector is only one of those involved in the digital transformation of any company. But it is important without guaranteeing that you are affiliated to meet the day-to-day demand.
It is possible to wait to see, depending on the industry
The demand for innovation is real and urgent throughout the market and who decides to wait to see what happens, probably will not like the scenario you will find.
Think, for example, in agribusiness. Formerly, that industry was practically synonymous with action free of technological processes. But what to say today? It is one of the sectors that make the best use of technology to anticipate possible difficulties, optimize processes and, on account of that, obtain better results.
This shows that the segment does not matter, risky even is, postpone that important change of focus.
Simply develop several digital initiatives
This, perhaps, is the biggest deception by executives and decision-makers in companies. The thought is more or less like this: “If my company already has x digital initiatives underway, I am already part of that transformation.” Who would say it was that easy, but the truth is that the question is deeper than that.
It is very good to develop strategies such as content marketing – which also has large participation in digital transformation – but those strategies are only PART of the solution. Therefore, continue firm with your digital strategies, but do not fall into the illusion that they are the transformation itself.
Understand the development of technological progress
The digital transformation is not just one more buzzword, a nice term to say that it is worth investing in Facebook Ads or something of that kind. On the contrary, it is part of a much larger process, which is called: technological process. There are three main phases, the digital transformation being the last.
Look at what each of these stages consists of and how they culminate in this movement that we are currently witnessing.
Fingering is described as the process of transition of analog information to a digital form. As well? It is the representation of signals, sounds, images and objects for the digital medium utilizing binary values (each value is represented by 0 or 1).
In other words, the data is transformed into bits and stored in electronic devices. Whole industries benefit from that process, as it became easier to keep and protect important and sometimes confidential information.
Digitization is much broader and refers to the real changes made in organizations through technology. That includes some more advanced concepts, such as Big Data, internet of things, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, among others.
A common mistake is that digitalization means using more IT, but the examples cited show that goes beyond that, as it involves a more holistic view of technology to cause changes.
Now we finally reach the digital transformation, which is described in the technological process as “the total and general effect of digitalization in society.” What does this mean? With digitalization in its full state, new opportunities for change and evolution open up to organizations of all kinds.
It is possible – and sometimes necessary – to change socioeconomic structures, organizational patterns, cultural barriers, and even laws.
In this way, we can say that fingering is conversion, digitalization is the process and digital transformation is the effect.
6 challenges in the path of digital transformation
The very use of the word “transformation” indicates that much work is expected from companies willing to start such a program. As in any great (and lucrative) project, we can expect challenges at all stages of that process, but mainly to start it.
Those are some of the main obstacles that prevent companies from implementing digital transformation:
Lack of initiative
The lack of initiative is the first problem that companies face to address digital transformation. A recent study launched by McKinsey & Company revealed that industries, in general, are less than 40% digitized, despite the relatively broad use of technology.
That makes it clear that more than isolated actions are necessary to cause real changes in the company, and that demands initiatives from the leaders.
The lack of qualified personnel is another problem that many companies still face in the search to implement deep transformation programs. To solve this problem, it is necessary to look for the best professionals and invest in training and constant qualification for those who work in the company.
Otherwise, it will be impossible to see progress, since the solutions will be planned and executed without the necessary efficiency.
Reputation and security
Another serious problem is the fear that many executives and managers have about the reputation of their companies, and the possible security breach with the adoption of more robust digital strategies.
The risk of staining the reputation of recognized companies – even centenarians – is a factor that weighs heavily against digital transformation.
That is especially the case of large corporations that deal with confidential information, such as insurance data, financial information, medical records, etc. A simple smartphone that falls into the wrong hands, could put companies on the ground, and that is something that no CEO will consider.
Most companies make decisions based on the ROI of the initiatives presented, and that is one of the practices that we here at Rock Content also follow and recommend. But, in the case of a total transformation with that, it is difficult to quantify the return on investment, even because the benefits will not be felt in the short term.
It is an adaptation to keep companies alive for much longer, so that should not be a reason to stop experimenting.
The culture of the company is decisive in the type of projects that will be developed or abandoned, and in the case of a big change like that, the most common is that the second option is specified.
Therefore, it is necessary to make a huge effort and change certain cultural aspects of companies before developing digital transformation programs and putting them into practice. That is one of the most complex challenges to solve, and perhaps what takes the most time.
The IT sector has acted fundamentally at all stages of the digital transformation, that is, the problems in that department represent a major obstacle to the proper functioning of such a program. In this sense, the solution is to train professionals to deal with the new challenges that will arise, in addition to putting them in a more central role in strategic decisions.
If you want to transform your business and explore technological advancement and solutions, do contact us. We will not only guide you through your journey but will also pinpoint immediate and distant steps you must take to counter competitors’ in the vertical market.