THINK Week in Review: The “Digital Transformation is not a Destination” Edition

Digital Transformation: It’s not a destination. “It's an interesting term 'digital transformation'. It implies a changing of states, from one to another, which is misleading. The light at the end of the tunnel is perceived to be the point where the journey ends and you've finally reached that destination you've been striving for; free to bask in the glorious sunshine. If you view the tunnel through this one dimensional lens, and believe there is a destination to reach, don't put a timescale on it. Because, apologies for being the bearer of bad news, you won't get there, you never will. Technology will continue to advance, rapidly, and behavior will also change, you will always be playing 'catch up'. There is no destination. Instead, you should move your focus away from the destination and to the pace of your transformation.” Interesting read on Platform Economics: “To remind us, platform businesses are essentially orchestrators. They typically have some key characteristics including serving multiple types of customer, facilitating efficient value exchange (between all the constituent players in the ecosystem), and exhibit shared common standards (the terms that ensure the participants can transact easily and fairly).” And more about Network Dynamics: “'Not only are many of the most valuable goods in our market — such as ideas, intellectual capital, and access — digitizable, but also our digital networks allow them to proliferate with great ease. The scaling cost is close to zero. When you add the network effect, where each additional participant (or node) in the network increases the value for every other participant, the network drives its own growth.'” Nothing world-changing here but still good thinking by Gartner: 3 mega-trends that will drive digital business into the next decade. “The report is unique among most Gartner Hype Cycles because it garners insights from more than 2,000 technologies into a succinct set of compelling emerging technologies and trends.” Emerging Technologies outpacing Digital Banking Transformation. ““Executives need to develop a rigorous approach to emerging technology, one that includes a formal framework of listening to those on the bleeding edge, learning the true impact of these technologies, sharing results from pilot projects, and quickly scaling by implementing them throughout the enterprise,” states the report. In other words, being a leader in emerging technology is no longer a luxury only for the big players. It is important for all financial organizations to make emerging technology a ‘core competency,’ with engagement throughout the organization (not just the very top). In addition, the focus of every implementation much be both internal and external human experiences, as opposed to revenue, profit and cost savings.” Starbucks teaches Silicon Valley a lesson in Tech. Great case study for THINK and other blog content. “Starbucks identified the smartphone revolution years before most bricks-and-mortar firms, and the technology still holds big promise in boosting sales over the long term. “The kind of growth and financial performance we are seeing out of customers with whom we have digital relationships blows the socks off of anything Wall Street would possibly want to see,” Matthew Ryan, Starbucks’ global chief strategy officer, tells Barron’s. During a conference call last month, Ryan told investors that the company’s digital efforts “make it very challenging for digital companies to outmaneuver us in the physical world. While digital companies may win in other sectors, we will be the digital company that wins in ours.”