Digital Transformation or Transition – That is the Question

Over the last few years, there has been much talk about digital transformation. But what exactly is it, and do you really need to worry about it?

The process of complete digital transformation is often seen as highly disruptive and expensive. It can also present challenges that take time to resolve or are tough to overcome. Research has shown that 84% of digital transformation efforts fail due to the scale of the challenges posed.

However, complete transformation is only one option for moving your business into a prime digital position – the other is to consider a digital transition.

What is digital transformation?

So, to start with, let’s take a quick look at digital transformation.

Digital transformation is a combination of transformative digital technologies, tools, processes, and people – including corporate culture and mindset. It is about genuinely transforming the way that you do business at all levels.

In reality, businesses and users are often hesitant when it comes to the adoption of such a transformational shift. As such, they often find themselves trying to overthink the problem, following change processes that require everything to stop and restart again from a new beginning.

If your instinct is to feel anxious about the thought of new technologies and strategies, then you are not alone. Digital transition assists with this issue. 

How does this differ from digital transition?

What is the difference between digital transition and digital transformation?

Digital transition is the process of improving your existing technologies, tools, and processes rather than adopting completely new systems and approaches.

Automating some manual steps, upgrading to newer technology, adding additional integrations to improve turnaround times, gaining efficiencies in terms of time, revenue and/or profitability is not necessarily a business transformation project. It is more likely to be a transition.

A common mistake that executives make is seeing digitalization as a process that needs to start and finish at a single point in time. A more realistic perspective is that your digitalization should undertake a transitional process that moves in manageable stages rather than a significant and immediate need to jump into its final transformed state.

Although they involve different change mechanisms, digital transformation and transition are essential for future success. Technology is forever changing, becoming more functional and encompassing new business needs. In turn, this highlights the shortfalls in older, outdated technology, causing business processes to be slower and more costly than competitors.

Upgrading outdated software and hardware may seem like a basic plan, but if not addressed, it can significantly inhibit your business processes. For example, a “small step” upgrade that your business can implement is the easy capture and storage of your content and data. Wasting time on manual-based paper processes can inhibit the forward motion of your business strategies. Digitizing your information enables these paper workflows to be automated. Through automation, you will see (among other benefits) a reduction in human error, greater efficiency, and enhanced security.

Enhancing capabilities instead of adopting new ones

The enhancement of existing capabilities is another example of how digital transition and transformation work differently. For instance, workplace collaboration will allow a business to improve on current processes instead of changing them entirely.

A further transitional digital step that your business could take is to ensure that information is centralized and easy to access or that a traditionally manual process is automated.

Digital transition, as seen here, is making small changes that businesses can adapt to quickly. It is also evident that starting the transition process can have a domino effect on other areas of your business. Processes such as document automation are examples of how companies can digitally transition to make operations more efficient rather than redeveloping established processes through digital transformation. Ensuring you have the technology capable of handling automation and then upgrading your current systems to accommodate automation processes can be some of the most effective first digital transition steps.

More about digital transformation

Both digital transition and digital transformation have their place in the modern organization, and over the coming weeks, we will be covering more on this topic. Make sure to keep an eye out for new content Global Cents blog and our newsletter.

GCI provides new ways for your business to function and secure a prosperous future through automation. For more information on how to improve and transform your processes, contact Global Cents today.