Digital transformation is a term that has been banded around the industry for many years. In fact, it has been used so regularly within businesses in the UK that some argue that is has become an empty catchphrase. The reason? The digital economy of the last 25 years has been driven by a communications revolution, not a business transformation revolution. And when we take a step back and consider where we are on the scale of digital transformation in 2018, it’s clear that we are only at the beginning.
The digital transformation journey is only just starting. With that in mind, what do businesses need to focus on to be successful?
The Digital Make-Up and Structure of the Future
In the next five years, we will see truly transformative business models based on platform and ecosystem thinking. These businesses will be enabled by digital infrastructure and be powered by data and technology loosely referred to as ‘artificial intelligence.” However, in order to get to this place, organizations will need to think beyond their operational agenda and develop their capacity for organizational learning and continuous evolution.
The next phase of the digital economy will make very different demands on organizations and learning and knowledge sharing will be critical to future success. Learning is a key part of continuous innovation. As James Dyson says, “Enjoy failure and learn from it. You can never learn from success.”
As we look to revolutionize our technological journey and move forward in it – the time to reflect, consider and absorb the lessons we have learned is essential to plotting the next productive and effective steps.
A key theme will be moving from a reductionist, analytical and siloed world-view to a holistic and integrated world-view.
Innovation: The Essential Ingredient to Value Creation
Companies need to invest in innovation, and ultimately, they need to start now. Innovation is the key to value creation and it should be embedded in every aspect of a business and respected as part of its DNA. It is important to understand that investment means more than one would initially imagine. Innovation is much bigger than technological innovation.
Service innovation and business model innovation are arguably more important if not systemically interlinked, so time and resources need to be paid to all of these areas.
Talent Talent Talent
Investment also needs to fundamentally be attributed to talent. Without it, a company has overlooked the most important item and a tipping point for digital transformation. Talent is what is needed to get the most out of technology innovations, and it is talent that will move us forward in our journey. To not place enough emphasis on individuals, would be a shortcoming that would lead to transformative delay.