Digital transformation is the cultural, organizational and operational change of an organization, industry or ecosystem through a smart integration of digital technologies, processes and competencies across all levels and functions in a staged and strategic way. Digital transformation leverages technologies to create value and new services for various stakeholders (customers in the broadest possible sense), innovate and acquire the capabilities to rapidly adapt to changing circumstances. Digital transformation is the profound transformation of business and organizational activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of a mix of digital technologies and their accelerating impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way, with present and future shifts in mind. Digital transformation is a journey with multiple connected intermediary goals, in the end, striving towards ubiquitous optimization across processes, divisions and the business ecosystem of a hyper-connected age where building the right bridges (between front end and back office, data from ‘things’ and decisions, people, teams, technologies, various players in ecosystems etc.) in function of that journey is key to succeed. It has been astonishing to see how the world is digitally transforming. From business life to domestic life, everyone is facing digital transformation at a rapid pace. The impact of technological advancements has affected how every activity and task a person does daily is carried out. Everyone is intentionally or unintentionally being affected by the trend of going digital. Whether we are comfortable with it or not, we need to do things digitally now that we used to do manually before. Whenever we need to study the impact of digitization on human life, there are now two eras to divide the phenomenon.
1. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, the world had been going at a reasonably fast pace towards digital transformation. The e-commerce industry was booming, and online shoppers were increasing day by day. The focus of business owners was shifting from physical outlets to online stores.
The focus shift was quicker than most of us expected. But it still needed something to completely eradicate the non-digital means of doing business transactions and other daily life activities.
People in underdeveloped and developing countries have already been doing things digitally. Paying bills, transferring cash, and doing hundreds of activities digitally, had become a norm. But Nature had something around the corner, which we did not know about.
2. After the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, it took digital transformation to the next level. People around the world became locked down in their homes. Socializing became a scarce thing; the streets became abandoned.
The reshaping of our lives’ entire landscape changed how we did everything before the outbreak. Before, the customer could decide to choose from the digital or classical method of doing tasks. Now, the only way of buying groceries, paying bills, transferring money, or doing any other thing is to do it digitally.
Things like the “Internet of Things (IOT), Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), and Virtual Reality (VR)” have been introduced in the post-COVID-19 era. We can assume what is coming next by looking at what we have done in recent years and how fast the development has been in the IT sector. In the future, ranking at the top of search engines’ first page will not be enough. Businesses will have to incorporate all these mentioned technologies and others, which are only concepts at present. The introduction and implementation of these concepts and technologies need to become a household thing. Only then will we be able to say that digital transformation has evolved human life completely.
All we know is that innovative startups and proactive corporations will be the drivers and the winners of this digital transformation.
Why Digital Transformation? There could be several reasons why our lives must wish to transform digitally. But the most likely reason to take the digital transformation path is that it is the need of the hour. There has been a paradigm shift in the way customers communicate with businesses due to the rise of social media platforms and web-based solutions for sales. The world has shrunk with digitization and so have the markets! International competition has entered the same space as domestic competition. No corner of the world is too far away for business now! Digital solutions have changed customer expectations in the field of business and marketing about multi-channel availability and response time. Digital solutions are helping businesses to tailor their products, services, interactions, and communications to fit customers’ specific needs. With the appropriate communication and encouragement, a sense of unity can be developed in the workforce, breaking down social divides and age gaps. Strong leadership and alignment between and within departments are keys to successful transformations. This learn together and earn together behaviors make digital transformation easier and vice-versa. This is a win-win situation for stakeholders, the company as well as its employees. Digital transformation is currently hitting our working and everyday life with great revolutionary power. It rolls over all industries and challenges companies of all kinds and sizes – from now on nothing will ever be the same. We can already see the great impact of digital transformation today – but in the future it will change our working life in ways we can’t even imagine yet. All we know is that innovative startups and proactive corporations will be the drivers and the winners of this digital transformation.
( The author is a teacher @ Govt High School Brakpora Anantnag. Views are his own)