A view on digital transformation by our CEO.
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to fundamentally change the way an organization operates and delivers value to its customers.
You don't need me to explain what digital transformation is, in fact, the line above is generated by Google Bard. That's Google's alternative to ChatGPT. Isn't it amazing that we all have these tools at our fingertips that can explain just about anything? Tools like ChatGPT have a huge potential to change the way we act and learn in the "very near" future. And I believe we should start embracing that as soon as possible. However, that's not what this article is about. It's about my personal view on digital transformation.
Digital transformation is not the future.
Yep, you read that right. Digital transformation is not the future. It's now! CEO, CFO, COO, C(all the letters I’ve forgotten)O, manager, owner, … the time is now! Transforming your business and making it ready for the future is not something you start tomorrow, next month, or next year. It should be one of your main objectives. Why? Evolution is unstoppable. New technologies are being introduced at a very fast pace. People are adapting to those technologies, tools, and devices faster and faster. You have to make sure you are ready for what's coming.
How do we know what's coming?
Good question! I don't know. I have a lot of ideas, but really, I don't know. How could I? I'm not a magician who can see the future. What I do know is that there are two common grounds in this future: convenience and information. Convenience for all stakeholders in the organization: customers, partners, teams, management, etc. Providing them with what they need, when they need it. Buying a product, done in 1 minute. Closing an insurance policy, done in 1 minute. Getting the latest sales report, done in 10 seconds. In order to do that, accessing information needs to be flawless, fast, and secure.
Convenience is key.
If you think about digital transformation, you should only keep one word in mind: convenience. Make it easy for your customers to access your products and offerings. Make it easy for your managers to get numbers and reports. Make it easy for your teams to get the information they need to perform their jobs. Automate work that can be automated. By structuring your company data in such a way that it's made available to people, systems, and software in a convenient way, I'm sure you'll be ready for any technological evolution in the future if you at least do these things right.
What about the price?
The real question you have to ask is: what is the added value? How much does it cost if you don't automate? How much revenue will you lose if you don't invest and your competitors do? Or even how many people will you lose if your internal processes are a pain to work with? It's of major importance that for every project, you determine the KPIs and the gains you want to get out of it. And you should also closely monitor them. In the long term, I'm 100% convinced that investing in digital transformation will help your company in many ways.
It's all about the people
Will AI replace jobs? Yes. Did computers replace jobs when you compare 20-30 years ago? Yes. Do fewer people have jobs now? I don't think so. I believe transformation and evolution are good things. They are challenging for sure, but still, good things. It will always be people who decide how this evolution will impact the things we do, and it will be people who decide how to adapt to those changes. New jobs will be created, new ideas will arise, new doors will open. Exciting times ahead.
What about security and privacy and all that stuff?
There is a lot to say about that. It will not be an easy exercise. Security and privacy of people are one of the major challenges we face. People are being robbed of their (digital) identity on a daily basis, thieves are stealing money because you clicked the wrong link, and it will not get easier at first. I do believe that the right technological systems can prevent a lot of this, but human awareness will always be needed. If you are building a strategy for your digital transformation process, please make security one of your major objectives.
Wrapping this up
To wrap this article up I’d like to say that I’m excited of what will come. I think we haven’t seen the least of what AI can do for us. And yes, their will be pitfalls and stuff we have to be careful about but let’s be positive. Convenience Is absolutely the most important thing if we’re talking about digital transformation. Get your information structure right, use the right tools, talk to the right people and you’ll be ready to tackle the future.