Digital Transformation and the 4th

Ready for some lingo bingo? Digital Transformation, is one of those terms. 

I ponder if the term has lost its way in the marketplace. You can talk to many people and get different answers to what it means to them. Some poise the idea of hardware and infrastructure upgrades to keep up with the times. Others suggest it’s all about platforms and our programs, let us get digitised. Let’s step up the clarity and build a better view.

I pose an alternative view, let’s call it being ‘digital at heart’

Strategically I suggest this idea as it creates an overarching view of technology and its people. It’s more than the above and deeply nuanced too.

3rd Industrial Revolution – The electron and computers reign. We need computers and be online, we need to make everything digitised, we put our information into databases and compile it all digitally.

4th Industrial Revolution – Digital, how can we grow from the 3rd and empower our people/organisations with everything that became digitised? Whats insights do we have? What can be made automatic?

Why do I talk about these revolutions? 

The 4th Industrial Revolution is all about taking what was digitised and revealing deeper value. Especially a deeper human value, a value that allows people to step into roles and capabilities that allow them to influence, contribute and deliver purpose. Instead of a nameless drone operating a lever, empower an individuals imagination and creativity to be themselves, show empathy to the process and to each other. 

What can we do to use our digital view to release people from activities that deliver little value, into activities that see their individual potential shine? i.e. how helpful is it for an accountant to deliver financial insights and governance, when they are tied up doing data entry? or manually pushing processes back and forth? If their time is released from these tasks, imaging how much more powerful their skills will shine in the areas that matter more.

This is why I suggest that we call this becoming Digital at Heart. 

It’s a process that will not finish, it’s one that’s agile, grows, shifts and improves in ongoing cycles. 

As we look to our people and organisations and consider digital transformation activities, do we continue getting lost in the 3rd, or move into the 4th?

What have you discovered in your digital journey?