Digital Transformation – Cultural or Technological?


Just take a look around you at the office. Chances are you’ll see a dozen pieces of technology that have quietly taken over aspects of your everyday life. The Phone, Laptop, or Office ID Badge. The Expansion of the application of technology is what Digital Transformation is all about. There hasn’t been a Digital Disruption this big since the Dot-Com Bubble

Business processes are being accelerated to involve technology in almost everything – Paying Bills, Maintaining Accounts, Sending Documents, and even communicating with staff. The whole concept of business revolves all around the customer. They are the most important part of the business.

However, businesses wanting to inculcate Digital Lifestyle are having to overcome financial and infrastructure-related problems apart from cultural challenges. There has been influx of new technology that companies are trying to integrate within their business and clear Digital Strategy should be mapped out and transformation goals laid out.

The biggest Transformation will be from within. We will explain this, but let’s first understand the three stages of digital technology utilization in an enterprise:

According to the study, 88% or organizations are undergoing digital transformation. They also found that successful companies are focusing more on the Social Media, mobile and search aspects of their business, showing SMAC’s pivotal play. Read our article on SMAC

If companies are required to undergo digital transformation to deliver results, then so be it. It is clear that enterprises are undergoing a digital transformation from the above survey. There could be one of two reasons for this metamorphosis: Technology or Culture.

Technology vs Culture

Companies want to become digitally literate. The digital shift could be a strategic one as maturing digital organizations build skills to realize their strategy and what they want to accomplish. If the shift helps them better achieve their goals, then why not?

It’s not a technology revolution, but more of an evolution with regards to technology, as we are changing its applicable uses. Many archaic things are being discarded (Fax machines) or altered (mobile) so they can be used in our world today. Does this mean that during digital transformation, the old and outdated will be transformed back into relevancy? Possibly, yes. One such example is telephone booths in Britain being transformed into Wi-Fi hotspots.

Doesn’t this imply that technology usage has increased simply because of the introduction of technology? Not really. Many companies were hesitant to use tech when it was first introduced. This is hard to fathom now, since almost every company is trying to squeeze gains from technology now. That’s where the answer lies. A few companies took a bold leap of faith with regards to tech and it paid off for them. Now the rest look to follow.

A joint study from Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review states that digital transformation is a result of cultural changes rather than technological ones. It says that risk-taking with regards to digital transformation has become a cultural norm and that companies are seeking to gain a competitive advantage through digital advancement.

Nowadays, companies are left with little choices. They can either try to form their own path, adopt the techniques of their competitors, or get left behind in the dust. Of these three, adaptation seems the least risky. Small and medium-sized corporations around the world are hence following the lead of innovative giants like Google, Facebook, and Tesla with the assumption that they know best. The technology for electric vehicle is over 100 years old and JavaScript’s basic elements of HTML/CSS were developed two decades back. The environment only changed once the leaders started using tech to run different aspects of their business.  All this points to a cultural shift. Technology being introduced didn’t alter much.

Ultimately, digital transformation isn’t really about technology. It is about how these pieces of tech are integrated within a company to improve performance. You can have all the fancy hardware, devices and software in the world, but if you don’t know how to utilize them properly, then you won’t go anywhere.

The present day scenario dictates that companies either transform digitally or get left behind. Don’t fight it, embrace it. Get on board and get with the program. Adapt, evolve and transform your business because the digital culture is the best vehicle to propel your company onward and upward.

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