Digital Transformation: From Digital Pages to Digital DNA

As we finalize the first quarter of this year 2017, one tends to ponder about achievements so far and I get to realize how fast time goes by; not only this year precisely but, in fact, time in general and suddenly I remembered a phrase that one of my mentors once told me “Jose, remember and treasure this moment because as of right now we are as young as we will ever be”.

Hearing this in the back of my head, it created a flashback that took me back about 20 years ago, when for companies “being digital” meant to have a “webpage” not even a site; a page with some text and hyperlinks, and perhaps some photos of the company building and maybe some product or services if the company owner was intrepid enough to taste the new depths of these digital waters.

Nowadays, some decades later, it is obvious that the digital landscape has changed, evolved and certainly mutated; mutated in a way that not only changed itself but it also created waves of transformation that have impacted many industries with it; not only making companies to use the digital channel as a format to display products and services but a change at a much deeper level.

Many of the companies that are lagging behind in terms of digitalization, believe that if they are fast enough, they will be able to pull off a smart app and their “digitalization-stuff” problem will be solved; in some cases even further down the line, a company guru heard that the trend now is to have a “chat bot” for their company and by building one they will be able to talk to the millions of potential clients on Facebook.

The latter is nothing far from the truth; they represent adaptations to the digital channel moving from a webpage to the digital trend, apps, bots, voice, etc.

In reality, a digital transformation touches many aspects and levels within companies. Times have changed so fast and so deeply that the adaptation to Digital is a much wider void for companies. It has moved from a marketing element to be at a “new channel or media” to actually becoming digital; rebuilding processes, making them more efficient by being digital, optimizing timings, automatizing iterative processes, thinking of the value chain from a digital perspective, and many other aspects that involved other areas within the company and not only the marketing and sales guys. As a whole and because of the digital transformation, technology itself has become the predominant tool.

In parallel, we hear that some market experts are claiming that intelligent robots take care of executing our jobs, and that some drones will be doing all product deliveries or even take us flying to work. In addition, technology from companies like Prelude Fertility help young graduates and executives plan their lives and families for a future moment when careers allow them more comfort.

It is a natural move to bring new transformations in order to renew or improve prior changes. In doing so, these new changes may be the catalyzer to new understandings and future transformations for companies and entrepreneur. They will be able to embrace newly discovered technologies, processes the combination of both to help improve and enhance people’s lives.

One of the new models to follow in order for companies to break ground and understand new opportunities is the so called “Design Thinking” by which the focus is not only on the progressive changes but more on the exponential changes; changes that by design need to be totally conceptual to really bring innovation and approaches to the way things are done.

Having said all the above, in conclusion, the digital transformation in a company requires a moment of true necessity for the company to move forward towards the future, to improve itself, and to accomplish betterness, and in doing so the company will profit from a radical change in its pillars embracing the real power of digital not only as a channel but as way of existing in the future.