Digital Transformation is a transformation, not a change and we better treat it like that.
What’s the difference? When we change, we try to make progress as safely as possible and that rarely includes reinventing from scratch — it’s too risky. Transforming
means burning the old bridges and doing things completely differently, better and more efficiently. As for the digital? It means transforming the way we do business
and serve our customers to first avoid being disrupted as a business altogether, and further to monetise new revenue streams by leveraging the latest technologies.
The foundations of DX are digitisation and digitalisation, aka replicating every process
and data a business runs on in a digital format. Even though in an ideal world every
company should have their processes structured and automated, realistically most
of them have such operations they haven’t put under a regulated hood yet. So the
first challenge is being able to think in a digital manner and identify what can be
digitised and digitalised, be it processes or data that feed them or are expected as
an output from them.
Data is gold, and a brave and wise storyteller. Just that you should
know how to read them, and most importantly what to read,
otherwise it will be a noisemaker at best, with a high risk of telling
the wrong story or in a foreign language we never learnt.
We moved from a society that was not measuring enough, to one that is over measuring
and reporting. Because we have so many channels and “showrooms”, oftentimes we
give too much importance to vanity metrics, which frankly speaking can be artificially
and accidentally produced and rarely walk anything to the bank.
This goes especially when used for decision-making. We don’t want our executives
to base their decisions on intuition alone and even worse on emotions, we want to
fuel them with the insights that can’t even be seen immediately by looking at the
raw data. We want our departments to start driving on AI, but before we go there
completely, we need the data, properly fetched and read and interpreted.
Design Thinking Literacy
“In the final analysis, therefore, we digitise
information, we digitalise processes and roles
that make up the operations of a business,
and we digitally transform the business and
its strategy. Each one is necessary but not
sufficient for the next, and most importantly,
digitisation and digitalisation are essentially
about technology, but digital transformation
is not. Digital transformation is about the
— Jason Bloomberg
That means technology should be invisible, resting in the background, and enabling the experience to be completely seamless. This makes the talks about products
and solutions between different departments revolve around more natural language with less technical terminology as a barrier: How to keep the customers
engaged and satisfied — in other words: retain them.
Having said that, we need to shift our thinking process to engineer
from the outside, hence our customers and what they expect. This is
proving to be demanding at times, because they are already used to
technology that works perfectly and that comes from companies with
a well-structured, dedicated tech team. You’re competing for their
attention with all those other companies. Or you can learn from that,
That’s where Design Thinking makes an entrance.
It’s a creative approach to problems and
challenges presented, and be agile.
What makes an approach creative when thinking in itself is supposed
to be creative, you might rightfully ask. A purpose — the end-user the
solution to be built is going to serve. Starting with the right mindset
and goal, the rest is an iteration until it proves to be successful. Back
to the learning opportunity, you can use the existing perfect
technologies your customers are already relying on and loving, as a
meter to know them and analyse their behaviour psychology better.This will shorten the iteration and help you be at the edge of
customer experience, but of course you have to define what that
means for your customers and business offering.