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Nov 29, 201601:01 PMOpen Mic

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What is digital transformation? What are its challenges?

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Scope of impact

Another large challenge in the digital transformation arena is that it affects everybody. Digital transformation will have an impact on your internal operations, external sales team, manufacturing environments, customers, suppliers, and employees. NO ONE will be spared — it literally will impact everybody.

Given the speed of evolution and scope of impact, companies must face the question, “How far should our digital transformation take us?”

There are obvious limits to how much time and money a company should invest in any aspect of a business, but before this can be answered one needs to fully understand the opportunities to be gained and lost, the existing competitors in the marketplace, future distributive competitors, and clients expectations.

From Henry Ford to Steve Jobs, leaders have fearlessly created new products that customers never asked for. Had Henry Ford asked people what advancement they wanted in transportation they would have answered “faster horses.” Had Steve Jobs asked customers what they wanted in portable music, “five-hour cassette tapes” might have been the response. Unfortunately, in most cases, customers don’t know what they want until they see it.

While understanding the needs of an industry, market, or product differs for all companies, what is clear is that never before has doing nothing been a riskier play. Sitting on the sidelines and not responding to market conditions and threats is the quickest way to extinction.

Bill Topel is vice president of sales and marketing for Concurrency Inc., an award-winning IT consulting agency with offices in Brookfield, Chicago, and Minneapolis.

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