The Problem (What is Digital Transformation?)

 

A buzzword.  A concept.  A process.  An evolution.

Digital transformation is more.

The buzzword comes from large technology companies offering their products and services to an individual or business to become digital.  Terms like “paperless”, “internet of things”, “big data”, “block chain”, “cryptocurrency” and many more have entered our vocabulary.  This is a part of digital transformation.

The concept itself has many facets.  In its purest sense, it is about change.  With change comes challenge.  Add technology to the mix and complexity rises.  Making your business, that is not digital, become digital is all about change.  As a result, many small and medium-sized businesses struggle with harnessing digital transformation.  It will mean something different for everyone.  Which business transactions need to be digital, which don’t and which can’t?

The process of digital transformation is a journey.  For larger corporations, the journey includes scores of people just to strategize the effort.  Money is always involved.  What about the artisan, sole proprietor – the “mom and pop” shops that are the backbone of many communities like the one I live in now?  The process is left to the family member or friend who lends a hand.  These business owners that wear many (or all) hats can’t be technologists when they must focus on running their business.

From a societal perspective, digital transformation is an evolution.  As technology has evolved, so has access.  The evolution starts with digital competence – the best example is the tablet or smartphone.  Almost everyone has one.  Toddlers are playing with devices.  From competence, digital consumption occurs.  The best example is apps.  Those little programs you download to your device.  Now you have reason to use your device.  Finally, you have digital transformation.  All (or most) of your transactions are digital.  All (or most) of your interactions are digital.  This is where many companies struggle.

Digital transformation is more.

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