I’m not going to mess around. If I hear one more person talk about a digital transformation strategy I think I might scream. But I digress. What do company executives really mean when they say that they want to move to a digital transformation strategy? I think that if you talk to 10 executives you will probably get 10 different answers. The answer to the question is a lot more complex than simply expecting your company to be the “uber” in your market.
So, let me get to my point. Digital transformation really means a forward-looking strategy. Many well-established companies whether we are talking about transportation, manufacturing, retail, or electronics have a difficult time changing. The answer isn’t that mysterious. How can you take your intellectual property, your customer base, and your established brand in the market and translate it into a new generation? It turns out to be more difficult than it looks. Think about the companies that come up first on the radar when discussing digital transformation. They are companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon. They all have one factor in common: they came to the market with no legacy products and revenue tied to those products. They didn’t have to invest in physical inventory or complex infrastructure to support their customers and their business. This is both a strength and a weakness. There are hundreds maybe thousands of digital transformation companies that fail and fail hard. The ones that succeed do so because they have mastered the management of complex data.