Digital Transformation refers to the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society, and points out that digital usages inherently enable new types of innovation and creativity in a particular domain, rather than simply enhance and support the traditional methods.
There is a hype around this term for quite some time now. In fact it became a kind of catchword for almost anything associated with our new connected, social media oriented world using emergent technology and we can just hope that it is not becoming as diluted in meaning as the “cloud” term.
According to David Terrar, who wrote an article on Enterprise Irregulars’ website on ‘digital transformation’, something happened in 2014. “Suddenly everyone was using the term, from insurgent consultancies to the marketing agencies that were active in social media marketing, to the big firms like PWC, Deloitte and Accenture”, he said. The shift happened, David believes, because the core idea has been becoming a mainstream necessity for businesses to succeed. “It is the combination of economic and technological forces that have changed the World and disrupted whole industries, or businesses like Kodak, or Blockbuster, or Blackberry (actually, nobody is safe). We now live in a World of instant communication and feedback, where the supply chain has changed forever, and where our reaction time has to be just as fast, or we could go out of business,” he explained.
David further points out that today’s business models are constantly under threat. “Some smarter, nimbler competitor is just about to overtake you with a more innovative approach, or better use of data or clever use of technology and takes your market”, he emphasized, concluding with a perfect definition:
“Digital transformation is the process of shifting your organization from a legacy approach to new ways of working and thinking using digital, social, mobile and emerging technologies. It involves a change in leadership, different thinking, the encouragement of innovation and new business models, incorporating digitization of assets and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of your organization’s employees, customers, suppliers, partners and stakeholders.”
Depending on which definition of "digital transformation" you hear today, you will realize various directions of impact and objectives of this development: For one it is all about the improvement of process efficiency, the other focuses on the reduction of process costs, the third sees it as a support value-added business activities, and others again are more focused on electronic voting and control of business activities, or the development of existing stand-alone solutions for companies through consistent networking.
Whatever your point of view, be aware that networking is of the essence in business management and inevitably leads to change. It is just not always immediately obvious where it takes place and what the consequences will be. Figuring this out is in fact the true challenge and we hope we will be able to spur on your train of thoughts, having chosen “Digital Transformation” as the main topic for Asian eMarketing in February.