People in digital transformation.

Successful digital transformation must benefit people inside and outside the organisation through the use of data converted into information. Digital technologies are ineffectual without the people that use the technology to solve external challenges experienced in the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) external environment of the business. Customers increasingly expect to interact, communicate and pay digitally for goods and services. Digital transformation improves the chances that the business has of providing the service required within the reduced range of customer tolerance.

 Better data quality creates transparency in the business and improves the understanding of its external environment, market sector, customer behaviour and user experience while allowing the horizontal scanning for disruptors. Better data converted into information empowers the sharing of knowledge among staff while data transparency facilitates the breakdown of silos and improves the continuity and internal culture of the business.

Acceptance of Social media channels such as Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Twitter and others improves the variety, veracity, velocity and volume of data available to the business, that can be used not only for marketing but also in the early identification of opportunities and threats to the business.

Fenton, A., Fletcher, G., & Griffiths, M. (2019). Strategic Digital Transformation: A Results-Driven Approach. Routledge Ltd. Retrieved from https://www.dawsonera.com:443/abstract/9780429020469

The benefit of hindsight.

Hindsight is 20/20 when identifying what non-survivors of digital disruption did wrong. People make decisions and try to hang on desperately to their established way of doing business, resistance to change, limits their ability to see potential disruptive threats. Blockbusters and Toys R Us are examples of companies that failed to respond to the changes in their external environments that ultimately contributed to their demise; the threats were identified but dismissed as ineffectual – competitors that would remain in niche markets.

Predicting these disruptors is near impossible; however, improving the business agility and increasing the innovative mindset of staff would have allowed a quicker pivot as the threat became evident. Kodak was able to do so and continues trading with an evolving business model that reflects the mission and vision of their immediate future.

Planning for a long term future is no longer viable, short term goals backed by invested people with available, accurate information, allows for quick, cyclical innovation.

Fenton, A., Fletcher, G., & Griffiths, M. (2019). Strategic Digital Transformation: A Results-Driven Approach. Routledge Ltd. Retrieved from https://www.dawsonera.com:443/abstract/9780429020469