Digital Darwinism, a term coined a couple of years ago looking at the growing trend in adoption of digital technologies, is relevant even today.
According to digital analyst Brian Solis,
Digital Darwinism is an era where technology and society are evolving faster than businesses can naturally adapt. This sets the stage for a new era of leadership, a new generation of business models, charging behind a mantra of “adapt or die.”
We are indeed at the cusp of a rapid technology evolution and are looking at quick changing business models. Increased consumerization and ease of access to technology is leading the way business is getting done today.
Lower device cost, decreasing cost of data, coupled with social platforms, is instrumental in driving these changes and shaping up of companies like Uber, Airbnb, etc. And these changes are not only benefitting the consumers but also the companies that are adapting to these changes.
So, are we, as a business ready to adapt or die?
We all know the answer to that, so the next question is how can we adapt? What changes are needed to 'adapt'?
Design Effective Digital Strategy
It’s imperative that we become Digital.
For B2B companies like us, knowing the customer’s customer is paramount. What Digital technology can bring a change in their lives? We must know the platforms, know the channels, and walk the talk. We need to ensure that Digital Transformation doesn’t merely remain a buzzword, and gets into the system of every human.
We must quickly identify key business processes that, though rooted in legacy technologies, can potentially reap rich dividends if given a digital touch (social, mobile, cloud, etc.). Companies will have to reverse engineer such processes and keep an eye out for digital elements at each phase to make them more human.
The other key element is – how fast can we re-engineer such processes and roll them out to reap the benefits as quickly as possible? The trend is to release the rudimentary product, crowdsource it to people to test it, and then work on making it better. Google Glass’s example is noteworthy. They rolled out the product real quick and engaged a selective audience to test it Live.
Investing in People, Product
While we are still too early in this digital transformation and adoption curve but it is evident that only the companies that can ‘adapt’ will stay afloat. So, while we wait for the entire workforce to get trained in newer technologies, it could be a wise decision to invest in few specialists who can help realize the vision.
They are the torch bearers and can help in strategizing the efforts required to invest in next set of specialists and technologies.
We need to invest in products that are at the forefront on adopting digital technologies. Partnerships like this will mostly likely grant access to knowledge and well as opportunities in those areas.
Our role now is to ensure that this phenomenon does not swallow us whole. It is up to us to slow it down, and gradually overcome it, dwarfing it in the process. There is nothing to gain by continuing in the current pace, because the phenomenon is happening – right here, right now.