What is Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation is not a technology or service that you can purchase. It is a term to describe a mixture of new technologies and cultural changes to break with traditional business practices. Digital Transformation is a once in lifetime technology shift that will likely transform all walks of life.

I’ll be honest; I’d not heard about the term Digital Transformation until the start of the year. Although the more I read, the more I recognised the characteristics and the concepts associated with it. It’s likely you’ve heard many of the ideas too!

Microsoft talks about Digital Transformation as:-

  • Customers engagement
    • Build deeper relationships
    • 24/7 availability
  • Empower the team
    • Improve productivity with technology
    • Achieve more with flexible workstyles
  • Products and services
    • Reinvent business models
    • Using technology as a differentiator
  • Operations
    • Drive business efficiencies
    • Accelerate responsiveness

Why is Digital Transformation happening?

Maybe above Dunedin IT pay grade, but our take is the coming together of technology is allowing the opportunity for culture changes to challenge businesses.

  • Computers have become more powerful and cost-effective over the last 70 years
  • Internet connectivity has become common place in the previous 20 years
  • And during the previous decade, there have been rapid developments in Mobile technology

Can I buy some new technology?

“When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.”
George Westerman MIT

No, and I’ll explain using Blockbuster as an example. I’m sure at some point Blockbuster decided they would allow members to reserve DVDs for collection from the shop or even through the post, we need some of this internet stuff someone would have cried. Netflix which started in 1997 before the internet was mainstream, they envisioned a day it would allow members to download films to their homes. Until computers and the internet became fast enough, it broke with traditional concepts for video rental, no shops and no late fees. Blockbuster became a faster caterpillar, but to Netflix that didn’t matter, it was becoming a butterfly.

Some examples of Digital Transformation

  • Taxi Company v Uber
  • Motor Companies v Tesla
  • Hotels v AirBnB
  • Record Shop v Spotify
  • Blockbuster v Netflix
  • Yahoo v Google

So your local taxi company may now offer an App to book its taxi (faster caterpillar), but it hasn’t changed its business model. Tesla has broken many traditional rules when it comes to motor industrial; their goal is to help with the adoption of electric cars for the good of the society. Airbnb, Uber, WeWork, Lyft are all examples of companies using technology to approach their industries from a different perspective. It could be said that Yahoo and Blockbuster are two examples of companies that didn’t embrace Digital Transformation fast enough.

How do I get started with Digital Transformation for my business?

By Vc20 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Researching using the graphic above and inserting your industry name into a search engine will be a good starting point. The video below also gives a good outline too.

  1. Speak to experts/others, research into future innovations in your industry and have a deep think about the future!
  2. Have disscussions with others businesses and experts
  3. Engage with company like Dunedin IT for their take on upcoming technologies

One thought on “What is Digital Transformation?”

Comments are closed.