“Enterprise Digital Transformation” is the buzzword at present in every domain of the business world irrespective of product or service. Especially post-pandemic, the focus of every business is on how to make a digital transformation and reap its benefits. Before arriving at a conclusion on whether the enterprise digital transformation will rule the world or not, let’s examine the enterprise transformation first before going digital.
What is transformation? A change in form, appearance, nature, or character is a transformation. When an enterprise identifies a better way to perform the business that allows it to be more productive, more efficient, and more effective, it goes through a transformation. This is enterprise transformation and when this transformation happens with the aid of technology, we call it an enterprise digital transformation. Digital transformation is a broad spectrum and means different things for different businesses. From Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Financial Management (FM), digital transformation can happen to a specific area or all the areas of a business and is a big umbrella term that accommodates every aspect of technology that help transform different businesses to perform better. In simple terms, any sort of transformation of business through the use of technology that enables your business to perform better is a digital transformation.
Digital Transformation for businesses didn’t happen overnight. If you observe, the businesses of the past used to maintain the physical ledgers for bookkeeping, and all the calculations were done manually. When calculators were introduced, they simplified the job of the bookkeeper in keeping the books more accurate than manual calculations. This is a business transformation from manual calculations to electronic calculations. In the 90s, the use of spreadsheets had made the accountants’ life much easier and happier with the power to manipulate the data in hand to extract various financial reports. This is also the time when databases like Dbase, and Foxpro were popular for record-keeping and obtaining various reports easily which were previously tedious tasks. Also, word processors like Wordstar helped desktop publishing much easier and much faster with various features like spellcheck and type-setting which previously took a lot of time. As the businesses evolved, so is the technology, and today when we look back, Wordstar and Foxpro may appear primitive, but businesses were run on those, and people paid to get trained in those courses. We have come a long way from the world of Wordstar and Foxpro to the present day sophisticated database management systems, cloud platforms, web services, et al. If you notice, technology constantly evolves to keep up with the transformation of various businesses, to help them ease in conducting their business, to help them become more efficient and achieve greater profits.
Now, let’s take a look at the other side of the coin. Does digital transformation help every business? The answer depends on how you approach the transformation. Most digital transformations fail due to unrealistic expectations. More often businesses think they can implement the digital transformation with less money, less time, and limited resources than is realistic and this leads to the crashing of the transformation midway. The second most important factor is resistance to change in the organization. Even though it sounds exciting at first to go for a digital transformation, when it comes to actual transformation, resistance is obvious. This is due to the initial hurdles that may appear in the long path of digital transformation that puts off the employees, executives, and other staff from embracing the new technology and they would like to cling on to their time-tested processes. Even though digital transformation is driven by technology, one should remember that the transformation has more to do than just technology. Along with investing in technology, an organization has to invest in educating its human resources so that they are more open to the technology and to try new avenues. So, once the digital transformation is crashed halfway, it’s a case of “Once bitten, twice shy” for such an organization to again try. Hence, before leaping onto the digital transformation, a business has to examine the size, complexity, and scope of such a transition so that it does not hurt during the process.
Why is the digital transformation more important now? The world has changed rapidly during the last 5-7 years, more so during the pandemic. Innovative technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation, and Blockchain technology have changed the way enterprises conduct their business. If you had already integrated digital technology into all the areas of your business, these innovations can help your business in tremendous ways. They can help you with enhanced data collection, better customer experience due to data-driven customer insights, increased agility, greater resource management, more security, and increased productivity, all leading to increased profits! To reap the benefits of the technological innovations that are aimed to enhance your business, you should be digital-ready first. The world is fast turning digital and every business in it has to catch up unless they want to lag. Enterprises that are stuck with traditional business practices have suffered a lot during the pandemic and this has led many businesses to rethink their opinion on going for a digital transformation. They understood that technology can be a savior to their business in times of crisis like a pandemic, and can act as a catalyst in normal times boosting their productivity, enhancing the way of doing business, and bringing profits.
The invention of the wheel is a ground-breaking technology for a caveman. Now, the wheel has become a part of our lives and is no more exciting, even though we can’t move in our lives without it, pun intended! Yesterday, today, tomorrow – technology is always there and always evolving. Right from the invention of the wheel to the present day AI, every era has seen some significant life-changing technologies to which we humans got accustomed over a period of time. So, the answer to the question of whether the enterprise digital transformation rules the world or not is yes, it does! The technology behind the transformation rules the world. And to think of it, who is behind the technology? We, humans! So, ultimately it is we humans, who rule the world – whether for good or for bad, that is a matter for another debate.