The new normality that has been imposed by the socio-sanitary crisis of 2020, from which it seems that we are beginning to emerge little by little, has caused numerous losses and problems for companies. Especially SMEs. But like any crisis, this one also represents a transformation opportunity business: an opportunity to rethink business models and operations to deliver innovative value to the market.
The situation generated by the outbreak of Covid-19 has caused profound changes in the way people work, do business or relate to each other, among others. Some changes are here to stay, while others will soften or, as is the case with telecommuting, we will develop a mixed model. What is clear is that it is increasingly important to constantly innovate, improve collaboration between people and offer more value with less effort.
In this new opportunity to achieve a business transformation, the digital transformation plays a crucial role. Although the reformulation of an organization should not be subject to technology, this is a key element to do it more quickly, safely and efficiently. In other words, the adoption of technology does not imply transformation, but business transformation today has a high technological component.
Thus, although consumers demand, for example, a more ethical behavior, greater environmental responsibility or other evolutions that do not necessarily require technology; digital transformation can enable a company to address these challenges in a more agile (which is, in turn, a value of extreme importance in the current market) and that it communicates it adequately to all interest groups.
How to enable true transformation
The popularization of the term “digital transformation” has led, in some cases, to granting disproportionate relevance to the role of technology in business transformation processes. But reality and data indicate that technological innovations and developments are a means, not an end.
The transformation of a business necessarily goes through the concept of people. By the individuals or groups that constitute the stakeholders Of a company. Thus, it is key, first, engage customers. Mainly existing ones, but also potential customers and the target audience. Any business transformation process must put at the center the people to whom the product or service that the company intends to offer is directed.
On the other hand, it is also key to take into account the main asset of any organization: the people who make it up. Thus, it is necessary to address the processes of change by valuing the work of the employees, knowing their situation, evaluating the improvements they may experience and being aware of the effort that may entail them. If the transformation is going to have, as it surely will, a technological component; special attention should be paid to the training of the employees.
Based on the people (both internally and externally to the organization), it is possible to carry out the objective approaches: optimization of operations and transformation of products or services.
Business transformation and technology
We cannot let technology lead a business transformation process. Technology allows us to do more with less and to do things better; but an ambitious goal to be transformative cannot be, for example, having an online store. The objective, for which it is decided to create an online store, must be to enter the B2C market being a traditional B2B company, integrate all the company information for each client in a single point or streamline the organization’s processes, to put it three simple examples.
Even so, in the case that we have just mentioned, which can be transformative for the entire organization, we cannot consider it as an example of business transformation from technology. For it to be so, digital transformation must be complete, flexible, scalable, integrated, simple, fast and reliable; always with the user in the center.
That is Microsoft’s idea for the business transformation of organizations that want to remain competitive in a changing environment, now marked by the pandemic, but which in the future will be marked by other extreme situations (cybersecurity, climate change, artificial intelligence…) .