The digital economy, in fact, is about ‘being connected’.
Connecting objects, jobs, and people. The way people, objects and things are connected with each other by digitalization, is a changeover. After all, new technologies and new business models are emerging. Industries converge, the business activities intertwine. It is no longer possible to clearly see who the player is and which industry it represents. New economy companies become powerful players in health or energy or automotive or defense industries. There is a shift in the entire playing ground. Now we are dealing with new players and new business forms. That’s why we need to redefine how we add value, how we interact with our customers and how we do business in the new ‘digital’ world of transformation.
A true digital business is built on the new computing infrastructure: • cloud computing, • mobile technologies, • social technologies, • big data analytics. As for IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine-to-Machine), they come into play as the main accelerators. With these technologies, organizations gain the competency to adopt new business models, to develop new products and services and to bring them all into broader and new market opportunities.
Most businesses have got through the ‘denial’ phase of digital transformation.
They started to acknowledge that ‘digitalization’ is inevitable for survival and growth under the relentless changes in the business world. In the ‘acceptance’ phase, trial and error is the best methodology. As John C. Maxwell, an American author on leadership, quoted ‘The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get.’ And finally, you succeed. Those who have the patience to proceed, are in the ‘internalization’ phase. This is the phase where we increase the number of ‘winning organizations’ and put them under the spotlight for others to learn from them. Those who have reached the ‘role model’ level have overcome a number of challenges and have successfully realized the transformation.
Three main components of digital transformation are:
- Ensuring operational excellence throughout the entire value chain;
- Interacting with the customers, market and ecosystems;
- Integrating the existing product and solution portfolio with digital services.
Always, all but one critical outcome is expected; which is, adding ‘value to customers’: more efficiency, ease of use, quality, affordability or more luxury… whichever is important for the customers.
The best part of it is, to bring the real-time data in front of the management and the people responsible for the job in order to ensure that they can make decisions on time. Even a better scenario would be to develop understanding by making the internal and external data intelligent. As such, you could interpret the sales fluctuations better and increase your sales opportunities, solution portfolio, or competencies. Or, you could identify the unproductive areas and ensure your processes stay fluid. Or else, you could assess the fluctuating demands better and you may adjust your capacity accordingly. Thus, you could predict customer trends better and make better strategic choices.
In other term, digital transformation requires cultural transformation throughout the entire business and value chain.
In fact, for some businesses, such transformation may mean involving the entire ecosystem. It requires a change of mentality as to using information and communication technologies efficiently, using data and analytics effectively, using awareness and creativity for innovation purposes, adapting how we do business and how we interact with others.