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Many people assume that digital transformation is the conversion of something that is ‘rudimentary, analogous and old-fashioned’ into something that is ‘modern, advanced and sophisticated’. 

Published: 24th October 2019 07:57 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2019 07:57 AM   |  A+A-

​Tony Saldanha

​Tony Saldanha

Express News Service

Everyone dreams about the perfect company that adheres to the highest international standards and generates sufficient revenue. More often than not, the said company would need to be digitalised, for the digital world offers far more potential and possibilities than one could fathom.

Tony Saldanha knows this competitive market like the back of his hand and he lists out the salience of the book he has authored, Why Digital Transformations Fail, as a tribute to it.

Why does Digital Transformations Fail entail? 

The book takes the complex, buzzword-filled topic of digital transformation and makes it checklist-simple, to have leaders avoid the 70 per cent failure rate of digital transformations. It draws on the latest practices as well as my 27-year career at Procter & Gamble, where I had the privilege of transforming a multi-billion dollar operation in every region of the world. 

Your book contains a ‘proven five-stage model’ that can help readers attain successful digital transformation. I’ve introduced a five-stage spectrum. Stage One is simple automation where you use technology to automate a given process, say payroll. Stage Two is ‘Siloed Digital Transformation’ where a particular function/unit or a region in the company starts to transform itself.

Stage Three sees a corporate-strategy to digitise. Stage Four is the level at which the organisation is able to complete a technical transformation, but it hasn’t finished an ‘organisation culture change’. That happens only at Stage Five, where digital culture and agility becomes the living DNA of the organisation’s people.

Many people assume that digital transformation is the conversion of something that is ‘rudimentary, analogous and old-fashioned’ into something that is ‘modern, advanced and sophisticated’. 

To truly define digital transformation, we need to step back and understand that we’re in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Unlike the previous three industrial revolutions, which involved steam, electricity and the internet as the major technologies driving disruption, this one isn’t about a technology per se.

It’s about the effect of a technology on other technologies including the physical, biological and social. Digital transformation is the rewriting of people, processes and systems so that they upgrade themselves from being successful in the third industrial revolution period to the fourth.

This means applying new business models or new smart products and improving internal business operations, like using AI and robotics to get work done.

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