Foreword: The original article can be found on my LinkedIn page. The reason I chose to publish it here is because I believe that as my thoughts unfold, there is a good opportunity to contextualize it with the technology innovation that SAP is unraveling. We could explore how embracing SAP can enable digitization.
After almost 8 years being abroad, I decided to move back home towards the end of 2015. India was on the cusp of a revolution, being one of the largest growing economy, more and more of her citizens were having access to the internet and devices (phones); moving to accessing and delivering services online. The government had launched a digital India campaign, the objective to provide the country with a stable digital infrastructure, making the citizen’s digital literates and moving government services online.
In a couple of months after being back home, I realized that most major cities in the country (esp. Bangalore) was hosting in many ways the cashless economy I had experience in Europe & North America. Groceries, Shopping, Banking, Tax, Investments, Entertainment, Transportation and so on – every major touch point had a digital variant.
There is an incident I remember the most. Unlike in the US or the UK where one picks up milk from the nearest Tesco or Walmart, in India, we prefer the milk to be directly delivered to our homes from the diary. If you are not one of those who buy milk off the shelf, then you are one who has it delivered from your preferred diary to your doorstep by the milkman.
Almost in all cases, this is how it works. You move into your new residence and ask around how people get milk delivered. Someone gives you a number or offers to tell the milkman to drop by at your home. So the milkman then turns up and you buy off him ‘milk coupons’ (monthly or quarterly). Before going to bed, you keep a container for your milk along with the coupons and the next morning the milkman drops off packets of milk equivalent to the coupons you leave. Once you run out of coupons, you give him a call. He comes over, you pay him cash, get your new set of coupons and life goes on.
But then one Sunday the milkman shows up at the door and asks me to install an app on my phone. He takes all the coupons I had at home and credits the ‘wallet’ in the app with equivalent money. Suddenly my milkman went digital. Here I was looking at an app where I could schedule, reschedule, change the type of milk and even order eggs along with my milk for breakfast – everything with the promise of being delivered between 5-8 AM next day on orders placed before midnight. Heck, I now even have a call center and chat bot to interact with for my milk delivery!
I like the above-mentioned ‘experience’ because it is a great example of how a very basic touch-point in life was bettered due to digitization. This is just a one of the (minor one this) examples of how my country is undergoing a digital transformation.
Almost all major economies of the world are undergoing this transformation. Enterprises are the core of every economy and today every CXO globally is leading initiatives around digital transformation. So what does Digital transformation really mean?
There are multiple definitions. Some of the popular ones being;
Digital transformation (DX) is the reworking of the products, processes, and strategies within an organization by leveraging current technologies. [TechTarget]
Digital transformation involves a change in leadership, different thinking, the encouragement of innovation and new business models, incorporating digitization of assets and an increased use of technology to improve the experience of your organization’s employees, customers, suppliers, partners, and stakeholders. [The Agile Elephant]
Digital transformation is the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. [Wikipedia]
These definitions hint at one thing and it is the convergence of technology and people on a quantum scale. In the next article, I will try to explore this topic further and how using the various facets of emerging trends both social and technological are becoming the foundations to digital transformation. We will take a stab at how organisations can develop a strategy and embark on this journey that is DX.
Hope you had a good reading!
PS: Do leave your thoughts on where you think the digital revolution is leaving a significant mark in your life.