Nowadays, Digital technologies are everywhere they changed our lifestyles. However, we need to know more about the new orientation and evolution of digital technology.
This post will deepen into the term digital transformation what is it and how it is strongly related to creativity and entrepreneurship, how to be successful using it in business and reasons for transformation failure. To explain more academically, I did a very deep research related to the subject we will discuss.
I believe that digital technology give everyone the opportunity to be more entrepreneurial, innovative and creative, leading more open and efficient world as professor Erik P. M. Vermeulen said in article discussing Why Digital Technologies Boost Creativity “I am referring to the potential of digital technology to transform our society”.
This video explain more how digital technology open new opportunities:
According to Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic professor of business psychology at University College London, digital technology created this lazy behavior which killed people’s creativity. The sense of curiosity is ignored and almost nonexistent with the enormous information available in the Internet. A study by Gardner and Davis showed that digital technology can limits the exercise of imagination because with all resources available it is easier to recreate an existing idea than come up with a new one.
Survey done by Adobe to answer the question “Is the digital world killing creativity? (Source: Mashable)
Finally, I emphasize that technology is a double-edged sword; it can be used as a tool to build and develop knowledge, invention creativity and innovation and quite the opposite can be used as a tool to depend on or steal others ideas.
In the digital economy, disruptions are occurring every day. To keep up and stay ahead, businesses need to prepare for those changes that can impact them, or reinvent their businesses and create disruptions to survive using their own digital transformation.
Explained by Niall Mckeown CEO of Ionology, digital transformation is the rapid adoption of technology creating new sustainable competitive advantage. So, there are two types of organizations those that are only doing digital and the new kind the digital innovators who are winning they are disrupting every opportunity enabled by this technology adoption.
To understand digital transformation more; watch:
Therefore, this proves that what organizations do by simply digitizing existing services and calling it digital transformation is a wrong application of the concept, contrariwise digital transformation is a journey of strategic, planned and organizational change that starts by empowering teams with new methods to create highly responsive strategy and fearless culture of innovation.
Ultimately, one way to do this according to Mark Newman M Forum’s Chief Analyst, business leaders must have a clear understanding of their organization’s digital strategy. This requires a clear vision of how to evaluate the competition and their capabilities to develop a specific business approaches and finding new ways to innovate in a technological, coordinated and deliberate way to spark entrepreneurship.
Investors do not understand transformation
Applying digital transformation seems to be complex for both communication service providers (CSP) and investors.
Challenges facing digital transformation:
Shareholders and investors do not seem to be enthusiastic about digital transformation. In contrast, communication service providers (CSP) are in a huge preoccupation with digital transformation. However, based on a survey done by TM Forum’s about digital technology transformation (DTT), one of the major findings of the survey is that communications service providers (CSPs) are unclear about what they want to become.
According to Newman, reasons for the discrepancy include investors are looking for short-term gains, while CSPs are looking at their long-term prospects for success. The more I research the more I find that, shareholders and investors are unaware of what digital transformation really means they only know what CSPs tell them during presentations.
To end with, Newman said “If the telecoms operator isn’t communicating its strategies, its issues, its concerns around digital transformation to shareholders…then the investor community isn’t going to have that visibility and won’t be aware it’s such a big issue”.
Failure of transformation
Not every company, business model or process requires or is benefited by digital transformation. Supporting this idea, Paul Taylor Innovation Coach at Bromford in a recent article (The Case against Digital Transformation), people need to stop encourage transformation and consider the cost of digitizing everything.
Based on research from McKinsey & Company, companies are spending significant investment on new technologies, which can be perceived as impacting the company negatively. Implementing new technology is not usually the failure point; it is much more than that.
Furthermore, as Gerry McGovern writes in his latest post, Organizations have often used technology to increase short-term profits with reduction of people and replacement by machines, I totally agree because they ignoring the fact that such technologies were designed by people.
So then, why do most digital transformations fail?
Giving the evidences above I stress that failure is mainly because the effort of the management is scattered, not focused on the customer and the team has no central place to plan, track, and measure it.
To conclude with, digital transformations often fail because the scope of what it takes to deliver better customer experiences is usually much broader than adopting the newest technology; it takes examining every angle of the customer’s journey with the service and product.
How to make digital transformation happen?
Digital worlds have boundaries no matter how vast they are. Here comes the challenge of creating something new. So I believe that you have to start from where other people stopped, you have the opportunity to use digital technology as a creative assistant, to come up with innovative solutions to complex problems.
How to drive digital transformation?
Paul Taylor suggests that, Analyzing customers’ needs for transformation should be the first step for a successful enterprise transformation. Thereby, I believe that it should include every part of the customer journey including marketing, sales and support.
Furthermore, choosing the time is an important factor for the success of the transformation, I emphasize on the importance of creating a road-map that can help to motivate employees, keep them on track and highlight major milestones for achieving them.
Some points managers should take into consideration when driving a digital transportation
To summarize, I assert that a meaning collaboration between the management and employees, empowering people down the hierarchical of the organization, learning from failure, keeping shareholders informed and measuring results therefore; can eliminate Opportunities for failure and external support would be useful to understand what went wrong to avoid it in the future.
Examples of Digital transformation
This new era of digital transformation has given organizations the opportunity to change their industry. The world is changing; every one have a chance to win. Change and success is not exclusive to someone. Alongside with the Saudi Vision 2030 there have been amazing Saudi examples of digital transformation.
Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University
For instance, I am proud to say this example my university Princess Nora University located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia have adopted this approach by the use of electronic books instead of paper books, reducing the time and effort spent searching for the books, getting rid of heavy school bags and saving thousands of trees dedicated to the paper industry. Moreover, the effective use of BlackBoard in the facility, for efficient communication between students and the faculty.
Another amazing example would be, Misk schools part of The Misk Foundation founded by H.R.H. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has partnered with global education pioneer General Assembly (GA). Misk enables technology by keeping a document for the student progress including video and audio recordings for families to track their child progress as well as virtual visits by parents to campus using 360-degree video technology. Moreover, Misk schools lead disruptive, transformation and innovative learning alongside with Harvard University, LinkedIn and Khan Academy for building a new Saudi Arabia.
An another amazing example would be NEOM the smart city that was born of the Saudi vision 2030, to develop and transform Saudi Arabia globally in many areas including technology.
It’s time for action. Effective leaders everywhere must clearly see the impact and urgency of digital transformation. They should understand that visual and new tools are available to address many of the challenges facing them. Most important of all, they have to realize that there is no choice it is our present and future.
To conclude with, from my point of view, management has the power to build transformation that will create a sense of identity to their subordinates yet it support the development and recognition to their organization. Instead of being anonymous company in the industry they must simply start this innovative process that will lead the organization to new opportunities. There are endless possibilities, nothing can stop you.
Bushaus, D. (2017) “The digital transformation debate rages on”. Inform TM.com Available from: https://inform.tmforum.org/digital-transformation-and-maturity/2017/10/digital-transformation-debate-rages/
Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2015) “Is technology making us more creative?”. The Guardian. Com Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/jun/18/technology-creative-creativity-web-content
ERIK P.M. (2018) “WHY DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES BOOST CREATIVITY “CENTRALIZED” VERSUS “DECENTRALIZED” THINKING ABOUT TECHNOLOGY”. Hackernoon.com Available from: https://hackernoon.com/how-digital-technologies-help-us-be-more-creative-innovative-b5e264ef3749
Ionology, (2015), “What is Digital Transformation?”. ”. (ONLINE VIDEO) AVAILABLE AT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Rb6fSaHmjU&feature=youtu.be
McGovern, G. (2017) “Customer experience continues to get worse”. GerryMcGovern.com Available from: http://gerrymcgovern.com/customer-experience-continues-to-get-worse
Remes, J. Manyika, J. Bughin, J.Woetzel, J. Mischke, J. and Krishnan, M. (2018) “Solving the productivity puzzle”. McKinsey.com Available from: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/regions-in-focus/solving-the-productivity-puzzle
Taylor, P. (2017) “The case against digital transformation”. Paul Taylor.com Available from: https://paulitaylor.com/2017/11/27/the-case-against-digital-transformation/