The term “digital transformation” has become so overused that it is descending into cliché territory. First coined to highlight the need for companies and organizations to fully embrace technology, it has since become an umbrella term so broad it could mean almost anything.
Faced with increasing challenges from digital-first start-ups, traditional companies are finally realizing that they can no longer rely on fax machines.
Many firms seem to think that digital transformation is a type of fairy dust: sprinkle some around the office and poof, your company is now ready to face this new world of “innovation”.
Digital transformation, however, is not that at all. What it provides is the critical infrastructure, like electricity and running water, to enable the pursuit of innovative ideas and practices.
Any company that has not adopted digital technology throughout its organization and still relies on paper is a dinosaur. Boasting about going digital is akin to being proud that the office has light bulbs instead of candles.
When new technologies emerge, these usually create a digital doppelgänger of existing analog products or services.
The second wave of technological innovation occurs when the unique attributes of the new systems are used to address previously unaddressed, maybe even previously unacknowledged, business and marketing challenges.