What Does Digital Transformation Really Mean?

This is a time of great change. With mandates regarding remote work for employees to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission, companies are finding themselves in the middle of the biggest reworking of how business is done in a generation. There are companies that were already set up for remote work, and they are doing great. Others are embracing the opportunity to rethink the way their business is done. And some are struggling, pushing back against the changing tides. No matter how businesses are choosing to respond, they are all feeling the effects of digital transformation. 

True Digital Transformation

But what makes a true digital transformation? It’s not just a 1-to-1 transformation that brings the physical world into the digital world and calls it a day. Simply uploading that paper document into a spreadsheet and adding it to the cloud is not a digital transformation. A true digital transformation results from taking the time to fully contemplate how you can use the technology available to you to actually change the way you do business. This should happen both for how you work internally and how you can work with your customers in new and interesting ways. 

Change is Necessary

In this time of change, you need to be asking yourself “given the technology available, how SHOULD we be operating?” Let’s take a look at a few examples of businesses that have really embraced a digital transformation. 

The other day, our Founder, Mark, went out to grab some lunch for his family from their neighborhood Chick-Fil-A. He was not surprised to find they were as busy as ever. Not only is their food delicious, but they have set themselves up for social distancing success by embracing a new suite of digital tools that make online ordering and pick up a seamless customer experience. They didn’t have to scramble to come up with a digital solution in less than a week and then beta test it during a crisis. They had already hit the ground running and were ready for the increased volume of online orders. 

We are seeing digital transformation across all types of industries.

  • Loyalty cards turned into apps.
  • Going to a bank is no longer necessary with online and mobile banking.
  • Brick and mortar stores are being added onto or replaced with eCommerce stores.
  • Physically hailing a taxi isn’t as common as simply ordering a ride on your phone.

These aren’t just 1-to-1 transformations. This is a true rethinking of what an industry is and can do. 

At Mutually Human, we have helped multiple companies realize a true digital transformation. For one client, we helped them build an online shop where teachers can purchase new and exciting digital content for their classrooms and immediately deploy it on their devices. This transformation wasn’t just digitizing physical products, making them available as PDF downloads, and calling it a “digital transformation.” This was a rethinking of what offering classroom content could look like in a world where teachers have access to sophisticated classroom technology. 

Change Now So You’re Not Scrambling Later

The thing about digital transformation is that it’s going to happen no matter what. The world is going digital and it is a train that isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Although you may not want to digitally transform, if this crisis has shown us anything, is that you HAVE to be willing to transform in order to keep your business running. 

While we may not see another health crisis like this anytime soon, the world will be permanently changed by this. The digital world will only grow because of this situation. Don’t wait until the next major crisis to begin this transformation, only to be caught scrambling. The time to digitally transform is NOW.

As you consider a digital transformation for your business, ask yourself: “Is this really a digital transformation, or can I envision a bigger shift in the way we do business?”

To learn more about creating a digital transformation in your organization, check out our latest podcast episode where we cover this and more!

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