Digital Transformation is one of the most talked about concepts in the last two years. All companies insist that they have a “magical” product that will transform their company or that will save them millions of dollars by implementing a trendy technology such as Artificial Intelligence or Big Data. But is it really possible that there is a "remedy for all ailments" / a ¨universal fixer-upper¨ for companies?
For starters, it is important to understand that Digital Transformation is an integral process of a company, where it is imperative that Management commits to actively participate in the transformation process; by not only making decisions that complement the change, but also communicating the importance of those changes in the process, in order to ensure employees are committed to transforming the company towards excellence.
Like any transformation process, the main challenge is that people accept the change and have a positive attitude towards it; therefore, all possible allies must be identified prior to starting the process. Communication is also key, to effectively convey the manner in which their daily tasks will be impacted and the importance of the transformation occurring in their very important responsibilities.
Current technological maturity has allowed opportunities from: raising a multimillion-dollar business, to generating new needs for millions of people around the world. This does not mean that all technology initiatives are going to turn into multimillion-dollar companies or even exponential companies. However, it has certainly set a standard, a reference of sorts, as to what is the proper use of technology, as well as a promising business plan.
"Like any transformation process, the main challenge is that people accept the change and have a positive attitude towards it; therefore, all possible allies must be identified prior to starting the process"
At this point, a business plan is essential to reach the customer first. It is necessary to be clear about what is required, the market segment in which it will work, its own competitive advantage and the company's core business. These factors will help to understand priorities: which improvement is required first with the use of technology.
Digital Transformation is a complex process and should be focused around the company’s core business. In fact, all efforts must be concentrated around it. So, if the idea is to radically change the company’s core business, it is best to start with a new project, such as a Startup, with complete independence from the current business. This is because the needs of both projects will be very different, and the cost of operating under the same administration is very high.
Once Management has committed and the business model is clear, you can start talking about the technology. This will guarantee an ideal environment for a Digital Transformation.
The implementation of new technologies can either enhance a company’s operation in an exponential way or be a million-dollar loss if it is not done correctly. So, companies need to look for allies, experts in technology.
There are many stories of bad software implementations and the only way to ensure success is to ensure that it covers the real needs of the business: interviews with all the business units, since many times the upper Management may have visualized a reality different from the true requirements of the business.
A technological transformation process is complete as long as the needs of all business areas are met, giving value to people of all hierarchical levels.
There are an infinite number of technologies. A classic ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a good starting point. These are expensive systems that must be implemented correctly, as they are generally adapted to the the company's current systems.
In addition, there are systems such as DPA (Digital Process Automation) and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) that help expedite the company's business processes, so that employees can focus on the tasks that generate value to the company.
Once a solid technological base is set, the company can give way to tools such as:
These require having millions of data to analyze and improve the efficiency of the company. Interesting findings scan be obtained, as were the cases of DHL and UPS –their vehicles never take left turns and have saved 10 million gallons of fuel per year.
A Digital Transformation will soon be the differentiator between the companies that survive and those that close their doors. We must not fear change, on the contrary, we need to embrace change as the universal constant for businesses and society in general.
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