Digital transformation and the mindset change.

What is the driver behind digital transformation? Is it more digital tools and technology or is there a more fundamental change that businesses must make?

We live in an age where every business needs to think digitally to survive, from the gardener with a Facebook page to the multinational enterprise. The window for ‘digital transformation’ is closing. Digital moves at a rapid pace and by now you have either genuinely accepted and leveraged the transformative power of digital or your revenues are declining and challengers are eating your market share.

Digital transformation is, of course, a lot more than having a responsive website. Digital transformation is at its core a mindset change. A mindset that always asks “is there a better and more efficient way of doing what I’m doing?”. That mindset isn’t a temporary one because digital doesn’t stand still. You could have just invested in a new CMS but in a few years we’ll need to rethink our entire approach to websites. In the near future, machine learning will be able to create a ground up personalised experience for each visitor based on individual digital footprints. Machine learning can already write content, it’s not a far leap for it to write unique content for every visitor.

At the crux of digital transformation are the digital tools and technology we introduce to our businesses. Simply put, it’s not possible to be a digital business without investing in the right digital tools and technology. These digital tools come in all shapes and sizes. The individual salesperson could buy a LinkedIn navigator license, the large corporate could invest in a whole new CRM. Both are changes that adapt the business and increase its digital capabilities. You may argue a single person buying a single license doesn’t transform a business. In practice, small commitments by individuals have, on mass, a far more transformative power on businesses in the short term. Large business-wide investments are slow and difficult to implement. A business could decide today to upgrade their HR system but it may not be live until next year. Individuals could decide to become social media advocates for their businesses and act immediately.

Digital transformation is a mindset change, something akin to Kaizen. (The Japanese word for continuous improvement). “Is there a better, more effective or efficient way to do what I’m doing?”. It’s this question that triggers an investment in better digital tools or technology. Businesses at an organizational level and individuals within the business have a responsibility to ask the question. It’s not something we ask once but ask repeatedly. There may not be a better way today but there could be tomorrow, eventually, there will always be a better way.

Remember to always think