Digital Transformation Myths and Trends in 2018

You have been hearing about Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s probably the hottest topic for businesses, thought leaders, policymakers, scientists and of course technocrats.

Klaus Schwab, the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, who coined this term, writes – “The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create the mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now a Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the Third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.”

He makes a very important, pertinent point – “Neither technology nor the disruption that comes with it is an exogenous force over which humans have no control. All of us are responsible for guiding its evolution, in the decisions we make on a daily basis as citizens, consumers, and investors.”

While Digital Transformation as a term is still misunderstood, today, digital transformation as a business imperative is widely agreed upon. What then is a digital transformation in practice? Is it an IT project? Or the introduction of a few cool tools in the company? Or the addition of a mobility is driven customer relationship management (CRM) initiative to engage customers better?

As an organization, if you are looking to embark on the digital transformation journey or trying to stay away from it, there are still a few myths around digital transformation that you need to steer clear of. If you want to lead your organization through digital transformation, the first step is understanding the realities of digital transformation – rather than getting carried away by the hype.

In this article we use excerpts from a few, prestigious industry reports/white papers to dispel a few myths.

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The reports/white papers that we quote from include:

  • World Economic Forum’s (WEF) White Paper on Digital Transformation of Industries: Digital Enterprise, developed in collaboration with Accenture
  • Forrester’s Report, The Digital Business Imperative, co-authored by Martin Gill and Nigel Fenwick
  • Digital is a fad; a trend that my business need not think about
  • digital transformation process

Digital has transformed the market context for every business, and the pace of change is accelerating.

The WEF White Paper says – There is widespread recognition among leaders in most industries that the role of digital technology is rapidly shifting, from being a driver of marginal efficiency to an enabler of fundamental innovation and disruption. Digitalization is the cause of large-scale and sweeping transformations across multiple aspects of business, providing unparalleled opportunities for value creation and capture. Business leaders across all sectors are grappling with the strategic implications of these transformations for their organizations, industry ecosystems, and society.

Digital Transformation means exceptional customer experiences powered by new technologies

Digital has impacted not just channels and customers. It is disrupting organizations from within – changing the way they do business. Digital brings new opportunities for organizations that can embrace the technology fast enough. It speeds time-to-market, reduces costs, and unlocks new revenue streams.

Forrester Report says – Digital business isn’t just about customer experience; it’s also a way to drive operational agility. Digital operations can increase speed-to-market, make employees more productive, promote leaner processes, and maximize asset utilization.

Let me build an app. My digital transformation is done.Digital transformation is not about the introduction of a few tools that are geared to change a particular facet of your business, be it employee collaboration or customer transactions.