Digital transformation is the biggest challenge that companies and organizations are facing. It’s being described as a revolution because the changes are far-reaching; things are in a state of constant evolution and the rules of the game as we knew it are shifting.
Digitalization affects processes, business models, customer relations and company culture. After all, we’re not referring only to the adoption of new technologies or the modernization of our way of working; it’s a matter of preparing for what’s still to come and the impact it will have on our business. In other words, an ability to anticipate challenges, and to do so before the competition does, is critical.
Some of the most obvious examples, in terms of the impact they’ve had on their respective sectors, are Uber (transportation) and AirBnB (accommodation), but digital transformation affects companies of every size and sector. It’s also happened with the media. Companies are still exploring how to monetize the migration from paper to the Internet, and we’re seeing the results in key economic sectors such as banking, telecommunications and insurance.
At this point, it’s important to distinguish between two trends, one of which relates to the production of goods and the other to services. In the first case, we’re experiencing what’s known as the fourth industrial revolution, based on technology and focused on improving production, management and logistics systems.
An example of this trend is the smart factory, which adopts technological advances such as big data, artificial intelligence and IoT to optimize processes.
In the service sector, new technologies are being incorporated just as they are in industry, but this is accompanied by the challenge of rethinking interpersonal relationships. Companies are making it a priority to improve the customer experience.
Today’s consumers are more demanding than ever: they expect immediate responses on any device at any time, they want transparency, they’re more informed and they make comparisons. The digital customer’s demands are ahead of the companies that must meet their needs. The companies that adapt best will gain a competitive advantage.
Let’s review the ideas we’ve explored so far: we have an improvement of production processes due to innovative technologies, disruptive business models, new ways of relating to people and constantly evolving environments. Ultimately, we need to find solutions in order to continue adding value in an efficient way in this new world.
Is my organization ready? What’s my leadership model? Are we agile enough to adapt and to anticipate challenges? Am I taking advantage of all the talent and creativity of my teams? There’s no doubt that we’re currently facing the most important process of change management to date.