Musing on Digital Transformation Term

In category Digital Transformation | December 19, 2016

Don’t be uncomfortable to have heard about the term “Digital Transformation” in the computer technology world today. You are not alone! But is “Digital Transformation” new to the world? Unfortunately it’s not. It has happened from the beginning of the Internet. Instead of your conversation is just via phone call, you can chat with each other via web browser. In stead of reading physical paper, you can now read a document in your computer. Does that sound new to you?

But what is actually Digital Transformation anyway?

To me Digital Transformation must be something which changes your work, and strongly impacts on your business so that you have to change your habit to align with it. When you change your work, you make a change to your customer’s expectation. Moreover, Digital Transformation would have to recall a trend which happened in the past that people were not really be aware of. Look at e-commerce, when it was born, people were able to purchase just via website, they did not have to go to the brick-and-mortar. Just a few clicks on an online shopping website and wait a few hours (or days) to receive your order. Does that sound like the brick-and-mortar is dead? No it’s not. A piece of evidence that proves the fact that brick-and-mortar style is going to come back to life is Amazon Go. It allows shopper to scan their own bar-code on cellphones, and pick you whatever they need, without having to wait in a long queue for payment. People are going to love brick-and-mortar again, aren’t they? If brick-and-mortar is dead, why are many technology company investing to face recognition to improve customer experience? Saying a loyal customer going to visit a brick-and-mortar, they receive a warm greeting in a digital board. Why are virtual assistant (robot, chat-bot) in a brick-and-mortar being invested vastly? Oh! you have the answer. It’s kind of digital transformation. Shopper actually love experience on the eyes, to touch directly to a product, to feel it at brick-and-mortar.

Another example is customer feedback system. Does this sound new? I’m sorry it’s an old man. But customer feedback now is still a sample of digital transformation. Why? In the past you collected feedback from a public form on your website, or via phone call. You manually classified type of customers via their feedback and content call. But now you have tons of customers, and users using your products. They send you questions every minute so that you don’t even have time for your family do you? Imagine if a virtual assistant which can help you answer number of common questions, you save your time. Imagine if you have a system which automatically classifies type of customers so you can have a right target. Does that sound impossible? It doesn’t, with big data and artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence exhibited by machines. In computer science, an ideal “intelligent” machine is a flexible rational agent that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal.[1] Colloquially, the term “artificial intelligence” is applied when a machine mimics “cognitive” functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as “learning” and “problem solving”.[2] As machines become increasingly capable, mental facilities once thought to require intelligence are removed from the definition. For example, optical character recognition is no longer perceived as an exemplar of “artificial intelligence”, having become a routine technology.[3] Capabilities currently classified as AI include successfully understanding human speech,[4] competing at a high level in strategic game systems (such as Chess and Go[5]), self-driving cars, and interpreting complex data. Some people also consider AI a danger to humanity if it progresses unabatedly.[6] AI research is divided into subfields[7] that focus on specific problems or on specific approaches or on the use of a particular tool or towards satisfying particular applications. – WikiPedia

There are so many examples of digital transformation. I just wanted to give you two examples to let you clarify the actual picture of digital transformation

Digital Transformation Pitching for SI company?

Sales pitch in Digital Transformation is completely different from traditional pitch. For example for a retail customer, in the past you used to tell them that you had mobile development service to help them build mobile app against BYOD trend. But today such a pitch might not be useful. Instead, you like to tell them that you help them digitalize shopping experience by your mobile app. Imagine shopper at brick-and-mortar can check out products they like, order them from mobile app and even can pay before picking up from the POS. Look at McDonald, you now don’t have to go directly to order hamburger. Instead there are several digital machines where you can order and pay, then wait until your order is delivered to you. This is how digital transformation means to improving shopping experience, for example.

Talk with your prospective customers, do not say something so innovative. Just penetrate their business, and figure out the way they operate it, before pitching digital transformation plan. Unless what you have said is just a conceptualization and they may have already known about it.

What type of companies needing digital transformation plan?

I do believe all companies that have a strong need on customer success and customer experience development need a digital transformation plan. Why? it’s simply because every company is doing business, and you are doing so for your customers only. No customer means no business anyway.

Conclusion

Again, digital transformation is a just a term. Because of the maturity, you have already heard it. Keep it in your mind and don’t be stick too much with it. I myself don’t like to repeat this kind of term many times, when even sitting with my customers. It’s just something to start your presentation, like “You know today we have heard about the digital transformation, everything is changed …“. Such a sentence is always just a conceptualization and it never gets you to the right direction.

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