Digital Transformation Myths Debunked
There is a lot of information floating around about digital transformation. But we know the main question on everyone’s mind is…
What the heck even is digital transformation?
The definition we like to use at Emgage is, “the evolving process of embracing technology to enable people to succeed together.” It is, in it’s most basic terms, when an organization adjusts business models, tools, mindset, etc. in order to keep up with the changing world around them. The overall goal is to become agile and flexible, and strengthen a business’s ability to connect, communicate and collaborate, which we call the three C’s of digital transformation.
The concept can be a little confusing, especially when there is a plethora of information to navigate. To help clear the waters a bit, here are the top 4 myths about digital transformation DEBUNKED.
Myth # 1 – Digital transformation is a one off event.
One of the most common misconceptions about digital transformation is that it is a lone, isolated event during which a business works towards a one-time retooling and revamping of their processes, systems and tools and then doesn’t do it again.
To view digital transformation as anything but an ongoing process is a mistake that is harmful to your business. We like to refer to digital transformation as “digital up-keep”, because the process is, and should be, ongoing. If you treat the process as a one off event while the rest of the world keeps growing, you will inevitably fall behind.
Myth # 2 – The end goal of digital transformation is disruption.
Another myth is that the aim of digital transformation is to cause disruption in your industry. Uber and Netflix are commonly cited to support this statement. Uber embraced digital, adapting apps, social media and smart phones into their business model and disrupted the car service industry. Netflix embraced digital, utilizing the Internet to bring movies directly to their users, disrupting the video rental,movie, and television industries.
These companies are the exception, not the rule. While their engagement in digital transformation caused disruption in their industries, that isn’t to say that the end goal of every single transformation is disruption. And if it is currently the goal of your company, it may be time to reevaluate your current plan. It isn’t a sustainable business model, and as we just discussed, your plan for digital transformation should be long term and sustainable because it is an on-going process.
Focus instead on the end goal of building relationships between people (customers, shareholders, employees) in order to encourage them to take ownership of your brand and become a lifetime supporter. Digital transformation allows that to happen by enabling the people-business relationship to become more equal, empowering businesses to communicate, connect and collaborate in a way that the people have come to expect.
Myth # 3 – There is a digital transformation blueprint that every company must follow.
Another common myth, is that there is one comprehensive technique or system that every business uses to engage in digital transformation.
While there are common areas of focus that each business addresses while engaging in the process, there is no designated blueprint that one has to follow. Each organization is unique, with its own different set of challenges.
As a result, “Digital transformation will look different at each company…tools will be deployed differently to meet the unique needs of each business” (Wharton School of Business). Guidelines and checklists are helpful, but they shouldn’t be treated as the end-all and be-all. Use them for guidance and adapt them to fit the individual needs of your business.
Myth # 4 – Embracing digital transformation is just a trend.
Perhaps the most popular misconception labels digital transformation as the “buzzword” of 2017. The process is seen as just a passing trend that will fade away with time.
Maybe that is true for companies that attempt a one off event and don’t fully engage in digital transformation. If the process isn’t part of a long term business plan, it will be executed and disappear, giving the impression of a passing trend. But digital transformation is vital to your company’s survival. According to Progress, 96% of organizations see digital transformation as critical or important. It increases revenue streams, affords your business a competitive advantage, and grants more stability. The fact of the matter is, this is the future. Your organization must adapt and evolve along with the world in order to be successful.
Digital transformation doesn’t have to be confusing. If you are looking for more information, check out this SlideShare or Webinar. Or visit our knowledge center to learn more.