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The Digital Transformation By @ABridgwater | @CloudExpo [#Cloud]

The path to digital transformation is a tougher one for some more than others

The Digital Transformation Social Spectrum

Life is difficult. Business life is sometimes argued to be even more difficult. If nothing else, business life is as socially complex as life itself.

This truism obviously means that there are different business types - but different in regard to what? Separating the old and the new is good way to look at how the family tree breaks down.

At one end of the spectrum we find the old languid non-transformative company (or user) who fails to grasp new digital information empowerment - and at the other end we find the true digital native. But the space in between is populated by a degree of other behavioural types.

The social spectrum members
Digital virgins - These poor souls have been left behind or simply refuse to see the need to bring digital transformation to bear upon the business models that they work within. Found in major corporations, small to medium-sized businesses and among the self-employed lone worker, the digital virgin has made a conscious (or possibly unconscious) choice to abstain from what might surely be a great opportunity to progress.

Digital adolescents - The digital adolescent has a smartphone, but is unlikely to have a shiny set of social media accounts and a propensity to Tweet regularly. Scratching the surface is okay and the efforts made by the digital adolescent are generally admirable, but full digital maturity is some way off.

Digital showboaters - The digital showboater likes to talk about business transformation and new technology, but fails to get to grips with it at a grass roots level. This social set has heard about Big Data analytics, but really have no idea what it is. If digitization were haute couture design, then the digital showboater would be a fashion victim. There is more steam than substance here and more sizzle than sausage. The difference is that with some guidance the digital showboater can become a true speedboat driver for transformative technology.

If digitization were haute couture design, then the digital showboater would be a fashion victim.

Digital natives - The digital native uses technology for competitive advantage. We could equally call this group the digital elite. They understand the opportunities offered by technology if implemented efficiently and are willing enough to take risks that we might also classify this group as so-called early adopters.

Interestingly we cannot generalize and say that one group is more prevalent in one industry compared to any others. The spread is as unequal as it is uneven.

According to a McKinsey & Company study, "Many companies (and leaders) have recognized the importance of digital and focused their digital strategy and spending. Yet many still have a long way to go in creating an organization that is well positioned to see digital efforts scaled across the company and achieve the large financial impact that respondents expect. One such challenge is the struggle to recognize value from existing digital efforts. When asked about the funding of and impact generated from digital projects, just 7 percent say their organizations understand the exact value at stake from digital, and only 4 percent of respondents report high returns on their companies' current investments."

The path to digital transformation is a tougher one for some more than others. It is worth being charitable and remembering this fact when it comes to how you deal with your own industry partners and stakeholders at every level.

This post is sponsored by The Business Value Exchange and HP Enterprise Services

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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