Digital transformation — it’s not just about technology
Posted on November 2, 2023
In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, digital transformation has become a buzz term that’s hard to ignore. Companies across all industries are rushing to adopt digital technologies to stay competitive, improve customer experiences, and streamline their operations.
Amid all the excitement and enthusiasm, one common misconception often holds businesses back — that digital transformation is only about technology. However, this belief is easily debunked, and businesses need to see the bigger picture beyond new technology.
“One of the most common misconceptions in the business world regarding digital transformation is the belief that it is solely about implementing new technologies and tools,” says Jeff Sheridan, managing director of Matrix Internet digital marketing agency for 23 years.
“Many organisations equate digital transformation with the adoption of the latest software, the development of mobile apps, or the use of data analytics. While these technological components are crucial, they are just one piece of the larger puzzle,” adds Jeff.
“Digital transformation is not just about technology; it is a holistic process that encompasses people, processes, and technology. Treating it solely as a technological upgrade is a grave misunderstanding that can hinder a company’s success in achieving its digital transformation goals.”
With Jeff’s industry insights, we explore the reasons why digital transformation can never be a tech-driven quick fix.
The three pillars of digital transformation
To debunk this misconception, it’s essential to understand the three interconnected pillars of digital transformation:
People: Successful digital transformation starts with your people — your employees, leadership and stakeholders. They need to embrace and drive the change. Training, upskilling, and fostering a digital culture are all crucial aspects of this pillar. Without people who are digitally fluent and enthusiastic about change, technology adoption alone will fall short.
Processes: Transforming business processes is equally essential. Companies must re-evaluate and redesign their workflows to leverage digital tools effectively. This often involves automating repetitive tasks, improving data management, and enhancing collaboration across teams. Failing to adapt processes to accommodate digital tools can result in inefficiencies and missed opportunities.
Technology: Technology is indeed a fundamental aspect of digital transformation, but it’s not the only one. Selecting the right tools and platforms that align with your business objectives is crucial. Integration, scalability, and security are key considerations when choosing technology solutions. However, without addressing the people and process aspects, even the most advanced technology will not yield the desired outcomes.
The danger of this misconception
Believing that digital transformation is solely about technology can have a negative effect on a company’s efforts to evolve and compete in the digital age. Here’s why:
Resistance to change:
Employees may resist the adoption of new technologies if they feel left out of the digital transformation process. By neglecting the people and process aspects, companies risk creating a culture of resistance, making it harder to achieve meaningful change.
Focusing solely on technology can lead to overlooking essential process improvements and cultural shifts. This narrow perspective can lead to missed opportunities for innovation, efficiency gains, and improved customer experiences.
Without addressing all three pillars of digital transformation, companies may invest heavily in technology but fail to realise the full benefits. They might struggle with integrating new tools into their existing workflows or face challenges in driving digital adoption throughout the organisation.
“Digital transformation is a complex and multifaceted journey that encompasses technology, people and processes. To succeed in today’s digital age, businesses must recognise and debunk the misconception that digital transformation is solely about technology. Investing in upskilling your team should be a key feature of any digital transformation journey ” says Jeff.
Embracing a holistic approach that considers all three pillars — people, processes and technology — will pave the way for a more effective and sustainable transformation. If organisations do this, they can position themselves to thrive in the ever-changing business landscape and reap the rewards of their digital efforts.