Wondering how much impact your digital workplace project will have? Will it truly be a transformation of what you do, or just an adaptation of what you’re already doing? Those two words sound similar, but they lead to entirely different destinations. Bear with me while I draw a couple of analogies to make my point.
Transformation, on the one hand, is analogous to the real change that occurs in the natural world when a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. It’s a multi-step process whereby one creature – a creepy, crawly caterpillar – is reborn as a completely new creature – a swift, agile, airborne butterfly. The butterfly that emerges from the cocoon bears no resemblance to its ancestral caterpillar.
It’s not just their physical appearance that changes. It’s also the way the two creatures move – the caterpillar crawls while the butterfly flies. And what they eat – caterpillars eat leaves and plant parts, while butterflies do not eat, but drink, feeding on nectar from plant flowers or tree sap, or on the sugars in rotting fruits. And finally, it’s how they impact the world around them. Caterpillars cause tremendous damage to plants and crops, while butterflies do no harm.
Adaptation, on the other hand, is analogous to the chameleon that changes color based on its environment. This color change results in protective camouflage. The chameleon has the ability to look different even though it’s still absolutely the same creature.
In times of rapid change, or disruption, adaptation alone can end in extinction.
So take a hard look at what you’re actually doing in response to rapid changes in the ways that forward-thinking companies are doing business and the forces that are disrupting businesses of all types today. Are you transforming your business processes to remain competitive in a digital world? Or are you merely using a few new tools to do the same things in the same ways with just a slightly different color?
Effective digital transformation requires a great deal more than just moving documents from hard copy to soft copy. Hopefully, you accomplished that a decade ago or more, before digital transformation was even part of your lexicon. Then there’s “digitization” which is the conversion of analog data into a digital form. And that’s still a step away from “digitalization” which refers to the process of technologically-induced change. Once again, this reflects the difference between transformation and adaptation.
Technology pundits will tell you that companies that embrace digital transformation will be leaders in their industries, while companies that do not embrace digital transformation will struggle to remain competitive. Hopefully, you’ve embraced digital transformation. But how far along have you come on that journey? Far enough to maintain a competitive edge? Or are you still losing ground because you haven’t executed real caterpillar-to-butterfly business process change?
Digital connectivity and collaboration, which eliminate isolated silos of information, embody yet another step in the evolution toward ultimate digital transformation. But make no mistake, ultimate digital transformation itself is not even a fixed goal. Because it’s a moving target. Because business is being conducted in an era of rapid change where new and different disruptive forces are appearing on the horizon as we speak.
Our team put together a simple 1-page tool to rate your digital workplace plan. Click here to download the tool and determine if your plan will lead to transformation, or just to adaptation.
C5 Insight works with companies that are embracing digital transformation and require assistance to:
· assess their current capabilities and business processes
· rate their digital workplace project, and
· accelerate their digital journey
We provide cutting-edge intranet, content management, collaboration, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management), tools that are part of the fabric of digital transformation. Contact C5 Insight to learn more about the role we can play in your digital journey.
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