By Carlos Domingo.
15th march 2016. The latest meeting of the ideas4all clients club was an opportunity for representatives of various different sectors to talk about the digital transformation and innovation. The different sectors present at the meeting reveal two realities: that the digital transformation affects all industries and that they can all benefit from a range of common patterns to which they can adapt their businesses.
We find ourselves at a moment of revolution (digital revolution) whose effects are comparable to those of the industrial revolution. We may not be aware of this until 10 or 15 years have passed, once we have witnessed how the changes it has brought about have affected our daily lives.
Some of these effects, however, are already visible today, in the form of our permanent connection through smartphones, true miniature computers, and even with objects that establish a ‘dialogue’ among themselves.
The digital revolution, as is the case with all revolutions, arises with the intention of settling into our lives, with a transformative mission that will force us to implement changes.
This process is not reversible. In this sense, companies must understand that the disruptions that have taken place in the last few years cannot be stopped, and that they require a readjustment without which they will inevitably be left outside of the game.
They must also understand that practically all new scenarios are accompanied by the appearance of new actors. The new digital economy will put into question the hegemony of many companies in their sectors, but it will also reinforce it if the company in question knows how to adapt to the new environment.
In that regard, it is important to highlight that the digital transformation involves a danger as well as an opportunity. Everything will depend on how the challenge is faced by each company and each sector.
I always try to defend the idea that this digital journey involves a dual transformation. One of the key aspects will therefore be not to disregard the different parts that make up our business.
The main core of our income, that which makes us profitable, must know how to adapt and make the most of technology to improve efficiency, simplify processes and reduce costs.
At the same time, we must invest in the exploration of the new business opportunities offered by the digital transformation – an exciting challenge that our business’ future will depend on.
In summary, we will need to split into two in order to approach the future while we also live the present, that which currently makes us a viable business. And all this without forgetting one important premise: if you don’t do it, your competitor will
When a company embarks on a digital transformation it needs to do so involving its entire team
This duality tends to be particularly difficult for large companies with big structures, bureaucracy and non-communicating silos of knowledge that make innovation more difficult in the search for new business models.
In light of this, more and more companies are paying special attention to the selection of talent, both internal and external to the company. By incorporating multidisciplinary profiles with creative and innovative abilities, or by opening up to collaboration with partners, generally startups that are highly specialized in specific fields. Innovation consulting, cloud computing, big data or the internet of things are some of these.
Whether they do so at an internal or external level, it is essential for an organization to be able to surround itself by the right people for all of these changes. At a moment when, for the first time, employees have better computer tools at home that at the office, we must create a work environment that is technified and friendly, encouraging the transmission of knowledge and innovation in order to be competitive.
In this sense, open innovation platforms create the perfect framework for collaborative work and act as a way to materialize ideas as innovations. These platforms are also a powerful tool that enables organizations to find the best employee profiles within the company (or outside of it) and encourage engagement among its employees, thanks to the sense of belonging that they foster.
In the end, this journey towards the digital transformation is a team effort. That is why it is essential for senior management to include all employees in the process. There is no doubt that our company will be stronger if all of its members acquire the same skills, and knowledge will be greater if it is shared.