The Death of Digital Transformation

The digital industry has been following the mantra of digital transformation for years, despite a distinct lack of transformation. Here's what they should be doing instead.

Digital Transformation has become the buzzword of agency and consultancy, the catch all to get you to let them into the building, or to marvel at the incredible work they must have done by digitally transforming a business. But lets be honest, digitally transformations stopped happening before I even entered the industry, businesses aren't being altered by the integration of digital technology. Businesses hit that point ages ago, what has been happening since is digital iteration. Small pieces of work that build upon a once big leap into the digital unknown.

So if digital iteration is all the is being done, why is it being called digital transformation? Well in all honestly it simply seems to be because it sounds good, because a clients ears must prick up at the sound of it and the one thought cross their mind "that sounds like a massive piece of work, they must be good". But alas that won't be what happened, updating something that already exists in the digital space to improve it, adding a single piece of functionality to make it a nearly completely digital workflow, doesn't make a digital transformation.

Death of Digital Transformation

The death of digital transformation is finally here, most companies aren't digitally transforming anymore, if they've survived this long without a digital footprint, they never will. Everyone else from small to large businesses will be digital in some way and that's all a digital transformation is, that first step from the paper based nightmare to the new reality of digital and then iterating upon that.

So if digital transformation is dead, what is next for the agencies and consultancies to chase new work for. Well more than likely it'll be the digital iteration that they're all doing currently. But the aim should be that of the next evolution of business transformation, what it feels like every company is trying to do, but hasn't quite made the step yet. They're reaching ever closer to the precipice of taking this leap, but we're probably not there yet. If you're reading this, you're probably are way past your digital transformation, so what is next?

What's the Evolution of a Digital Transformation

Businesses are going to be hitting a rapid growth in how they could be operated, for example with the continuous improvement in artificial intelligence. How a business can innovate, do they have the talent to allow them to do it and do they know how to build effective innovative teams. You need to build a culture that supports this new way of working and for most businesses it'll be struggle, it'll go against how most currently operate.

You'll be getting propositioned in the coming decade by consultancies and agencies to support you in this area, how you can innovate and stay ahead of the curve. Some consultancies are already preparing for this for example the likes of KPMG, one of the big 4, are already opening innovation hubs to determine the best ways to work in innovative ways. Another is Accenture who has been doing the likes off design sprints which it has run with Parkinson's UK.

You can do this yourself as a business by taking the initial risk to build a team dedicated to identifying what's next and testing what this could be. Instead of having a team at the top having a quick flick through what your competitors are doing and emulating them rather than innovating and taking it to that next step. It's going to be a choice you'll have to make, or you'll be asking a consultancy or agency to help you a few years from now.

I hope you found this interesting and creates a discussion about what you think businesses should be doing next. Hoping that you realise that as a business they shouldn't be investing in bring people in just to iterate digitally, you should be bringing people in to make a leap not a step.

Ask me any questions on Twitter, I'd love to talk to you about any of this!.

Thanks for reading