Blog: Role of digital transformation in startups

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Role of digital transformation in startups

While technology and tools are an important part of digital transformation, it seldom drives transformation alone.
Role of digital transformation in startups

With the digitizing trend, the government has started various initiatives in order to spread digitization in India like the Digital India campaign which ensures that the government’s services are made available to citizens electronically by improved online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity or by making the country digitally empowered in the field of technology.

It is easy to forget how integral machines have become to our lives; we can access any information virtually instantaneously. The millennial generation has not known it any other way. Having come of age during the information revolution, today’s customers and employees are at ease with digital technologies and social media. They are a generation that is very demanding, have very short attention spans, and want everything quickly and of global quality, no compromises. In order to serve this need, harnessing this transformation of being connected in a studied and careful manner, while continuing to maintain human connections, is what can help companies and start-ups grow and develop into thriving businesses.

To grasp more fully, the experience of the millennial generation, consider this: In the early 1940’s, with the communication network being slow and largely manual, if something was happening on another continent, you could capitalize on being the first person to know that bit of information. Called information arbitrage, you could leverage your advance knowledge into a competitive asset. For example, if you knew before the others that quantities of certain supplies were going to be affected on another continent, you could base your decisions for your business on the information you possess. This would allow you to take steps to drive profits based on prior knowledge. 

Whereas today, everything is connected and can have an impact on the way organizations function, regardless of country or continent. Plus with recent advances in artificial intelligence and robotics, we have analytical tools that are intelligent and can predict customer behaviour. The incorporation of AI and expert systems into the digital transformation landscape has resulted in dramatic productivity gains and improvements in customer service in fields such as Medicine, Finance and Insurance.  

I personally feel that Data speaks louder than words. And, data can be used to do things in a lot better, faster and innovative ways which can provide for pre-empting strategic interventions that add value across stages, for almost all industries. AI power – if yielded correctly, can add immense value to the lives of people everywhere!

While technology and tools are an important part of digital transformation, it seldom drives transformation alone. In reality, it is the people, employees and customers, who help drive digital transformation. Everything about the organization, from structures and business processes to the mindsets and behaviours play an important role in implementing digital initiatives for transforming businesses and its processes. Aside of AI, other crucial technologies like blockchain, high speed data analytics form the core elements of a strong digital transformation framework. Companies that lead in digital transformation know what data to use, draw critical insights from the data, and focus on delivering on their goals based on this data. According to recent research by McKinsey, organizations that made extensive use of data analytics saw approximately 126 percent improvement in profits over their competitors.

In fact, there is a concept, highlighted and put forward by Michael Kremer in 1993 where he proposed that the various tasks of production must be performed proficiently together in order for anyone of them to be of high value, which means the weakest part of the chain becomes really important as you go forward. This was recently in the news when MIT Professor David Autor noted that as more and more production and business processes are automated, there is a commensurate increase in the value of other tasks. This implies that if you are putting a tracking system in place that can gauge the performance of different people, then you need to upscale your management layer to be able to understand the data that is being stored in the system. 

As the scope and extent of automation increases in an enterprise, a new human dimension, the emotion quotient is becoming important. Machines have the power of IQ but EQ is a very human quality, which needs to be communicated in a different way. All these things are adding to the challenges that exist in the current world and are leading to a lot of change in business. However, the changes have been for the better, increasing efficiency as well as the ability to analyse. This provides better quality insights allowing to make strategic interventions at the right time, which eventually leads to a better quality of life. 

Digitization is the most trending technology these days, it is playing an influential role in the transformation of every sector. It is a reality today which is already delivering positive results for enterprises in their journey from startups to established, world beating businesses.

Topics: #GuestArticle, Technology

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