Understanding the impacts of digital transformation

The digital era has arrived and there is no denying it. The improvement and the creation of technologies have dictated the pace of society and caused changes in people’s routine, habits, relationships and behavior, in general. Therefore, if society changes, so does the way it consumes and, consequently, the behavior of the market is also modified.

The use of emerging technologies to facilitate and improve the performance of companies and organizations is a recurring theme and has been gaining prominence worldwide. Executives from all sectors have started to use digital advances such as data analysis for decision making, mobility issues, social media and countless other smart devices incorporated into their daily routines. However, for many companies, the use of traditional technologies to optimize internal processes, responsive websites and applications for customer relationships are tangible examples of Digital Transformation.

The new dynamics of the modern world and the speed in which the new technological, social and information revolution are impacting the way consumers are behaving has become a reality for companies. Experts have acknowledged that this new reality has contributed to the collapse of several business models in the last decade, and for this reason, companies need to adapt to new Digital Transformations. 

Digital Transformation, what does it mean?

It is the integration of digital technology across all business areas, fundamentally changing how you operate and add value to customers. It is also a cultural change that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, as well as experience and feel comfortable with possible failures and have methodologies for agile corrections.

Digital Transformation has become imperative for all businesses, from small to large corporations. This message appears loud and clear from each lecture, discussion panel, article, podcast, innovation festival or study related to how companies can remain competitive, offer digital platforms that understand their employees needs and stay relevant as the world becomes increasingly digital. 

Some companies, oddly enough, still have a difficult time accepting that the business commandments behind the evolution deadlines, the performance of the new operating models and their ability to 

respond to customers and competition, are not going anywhere without a cultural implantation of Digital Transformation.

It is also important to note that today’s organizations are at different stages when it comes to Digital Transformation. If you are feeling stuck in your Digital Transformation strategy, you are not alone. One of the most difficult questions when you are mapping your  Digital Transformation is how to overcome the initial problems of the current business culture to implement the strategy. This creates anguish and many organizations think that they are far behind their changing peers, when this is not necessarily the case.

Even organizations that are doing well implementing their Digital Transformation, face difficult obstacles such as budget restraints, lack of understanding from the directors and board members, teams  that are resistant to change and, crucially, the impacts on cultural changes that are generated. However, this is no longer an issue that involves evaluating “whether the company will apply it”, but when it will start to deploy. Organizations that are delaying the implementation of a true Digital Transformation will struggle to survive. This is especially true as we are already evolving into the era of Post-Digital Transformation, and your company cannot afford to stagnate behind the others.

Organizations are investing and adopting digital technologies at an unprecedented pace. Because of these efforts, digital technologies are increasingly fueling major business operations.  Social media, mobile, analytical and cloud technologies, have gone beyond adoption silos to become part of the technological base of organizations.

Now that many global organizations have already evolved from this first wave of transformation to become digital businesses, what comes next? In this era of Post-Digital Transformation, which is fast approaching, becoming digital is no longer a competitive advantage. With digital saturation and equal conditions, companies will face the challenge of meeting the growing demands of customers, employees and partners in constant evolution. In the post-digital world, successful companies will be those that take advantage of the  fundamental resources and apply a new generation of technologies and innovations to differentiate themselves, providing the right experience to customers at the right time.

Forward-thinking leaders are evaluating their organization’s current digital strategic plans and preparing the next stage of their Digital Transformation efforts. By preparing the next steps, it will allow companies to expand their digital capabilities, creating intelligent and highly personalized experiences. 

All of this may seem unlikely, or at least distant, but I prefer to anticipate, and start implementing these new dynamics, rather than sitting at my desk and letting others have all the fun discovering the impacts of Digital Transformation and all the positive outcomes. 

Janaina Tavares is Head of Organizational Development at ActionAid Brazil and a global ambassador and supporter of UNLEASH, the biggest global gathering of the HR and tech community https://unleashgroup.io/.