Since digital transformation will look different for every company, it can be hard to pinpoint a definition that applies to all. However, in general terms, we define digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers. Beyond that, it’s a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure. Often it is interpreted in terms of process automation and investment in exciting emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT).
For an organization to be successful and harness the full potential of technology, the people within the organization should understand its worth and value it. Technology can empower people to transform organizations and drive business growth which inturn help in generation of new ideas, by working in new ways with new partners.
Due to the ever growing industry boundaries and the rising geopolitical tensions which shape the environment that organizations operate in , digital transformation no longer remains within the context of a single organization.
Is technology a force for greater social good?
The introduction of new technologies is being challenged as people are questioning if this will increase bias against certain group of the population, and whether it will worsen social inequality if individuals without technical knowledge are excluded from the workforce, with technology being considered as a driver for business growth. Many individuals are not comfortable with the change in technology as they consider it to be a change in their environment- for example the rise of the online retailers has made life for many local and high street stores. And the main concern with the technology is related to the mental and physical well being and our interpersonal relationships.
How can organizations deploy technology as a force for both business growth and greater social good?
- Put your people at the center of your digital strategy. Here people are given major importance as digital transformation is all about unlocking the human potential and making them more productive without replacing them with robots. We should be thinking of ways to utilize technology in a way to enable people instead of searching for their replacement, it should be focused on making people more productive by giving them sufficient opportunities and roles to lift up their career. Consider how the business can function effectively without the utilization of people in different strategy making? How can you create opportunities for your people to think, create, challenge, exercise judgment and partner with others?
- Remember the people who might be left behind. Organization should cater to the ever increasing need of competition by investing in the training and development to upgrade human potential. They need to maintain privacy and see that the people’s personal data is protected with high ethical standards to be maintained. If this responsible approach is followed with digital transformation then organizations will build trust, which inturn will derive growth. For the technology to be truly accepted by the people, it needs to be deployed in a way that does not leave people behind.
- Collaborate with partners. For a transformation to become a force for good, it cannot usually be achieved by one single organization alone, there should be the input and support of the entire ecosystem as a successful transformation delivers its benefits to the wide range of stakeholders, both to the internal and external. That’s why organizations collaborate with others to create product and solutions that are not only beneficial to your own organization but to the whole industry.
Different organization are partnering with each other to develop solution and to simplify and to create transparency in situations where different legal system hold and processes vast amount of data which help the organization to function in a more effective and efficient manner. As a result we are seeing great examples of ecosystem collaboration happening.
Technology should exist to serve a much higher purpose i.e. the human purpose, transformation should be made for the benefit of people by other people. There should not be a end to it. Ultimately, there is probably no such thing as a digital-only strategy at all – only a human strategy that is enabled by digital technology.