Managing a gym can be a profitable business. People sign up for memberships with the intention of “getting in shape.” However, once “in shape” they can’t simply call it a day and cancel their membership. Staying in shape takes continuous visits to the gym and can never really stop.
The same could be said for your digital transformation. The concept of “digital transformation” is to adopt and engage technology to improve business performance and gain competitive advantage. Similar to how the food you eat that turns to fat, digital transformation is a continuous process in adopting new technologies and processes and can never really end. This is a key differentiator between a digital transformation vs. an ERP implementation.
Below are a few considerations to put this concept into perspective:
Digital transformation may be broken into bite-size pieces and generally takes an agile approach, so there may be time-defined initiatives such as an ERP implementation or web-integration. Once one initiative is complete, however, there better be another task in que.
Companies who “complete” a digital transformation initiative and then sit back to rest quickly fall behind. Ask the retail organizations who rested once they implemented a new POS to integrate with inventory. At one point in time they may have been ahead of the game, but those who rested too long and didn’t jump into Ecommerce soon enough are feeling the pain if they are even still in business.
Technology allows for the evolution and maintenance of competitive differentiation. Many family-owned businesses that have grown on the laurels of their founders, offering superior customer service, treating employees like family and putting product and service quality over anything else have found that technology allows them to enhance and build on these key differentiators. Many who have not adopted an effective digital strategy, on the other hand, are finding that their once dominant market advantages are becoming diluted as competition adopts technology to provide enhanced levels of service and quality.
Technology is emerging faster than companies can adopt. Unless you are Amazon, Tesla, Apple or another industry giant with unlimited funds, you simply will not be able to adopt emerging technologies as they unfold, nor should you. The importance is to remain educated and aware of what technology is bringing to the market so you can make educated decisions. This should be factored into your ERP software selection process.
Every organization in business today should have some form of a digital roadmap. The successful companies 10 years down the road will be those that have made progress on that roadmap, those that have evolved and modified their roadmap for current market conditions and those that understand that digital transformation and adoption never really end.
If you are stuck and getting board with the treadmill, keep in mind there are alternatives. Try kickboxing, yoga, racquetball or tai chi. If your digital transformation is stalled, ask for advice, talk to vendors, look at what the competition is doing and make a commitment to keep momentum. The goal in both scenarios is to keep moving.