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Adapting to digital progress isn’t an option anymore, it’s a necessity. 

 

Tough love. Something we all need once in a while, especially when it shakes up comforts that have long since settled into sleepy complacency. 

Businesses know this, too. McKinsey surveyed business leaders across the world and an astounding 92% reported that their business models wouldn’t remain viable with the current rates of digitization we’re experiencing globally.

Then COVID-19 came. 

92 out of 100 businesses didn’t have faith in their business models adapting to the pace of technological advance. That’s alarming. Even more alarming is how quickly that dread of the future became the trial of the present. Organizations have had to lean into their weaknesses or fall by the wayside.  Among innumerable variables, digitization has been one of the most important adaptations that businesses have needed to address. 

In a matter of moments, the world was flipped on its head. Businesses worldwide have been tested by never-before-seen tribulations that have brought some clear revelations about the need to adapt to digitization. 

Let’s review those revelations.

 

Status Quo? Status No.

“It’s worked for this long, so why change things?” Stop thinking like that. 

Necessity is the mother of invention. One of the most notable changes has been the overnight switch from brick-and-mortar offices to remote work. Coupled with the rising demand and need for powerful digital platforms to conduct contactless transactions and seamless digital interactions, reinvention of many status quos has been a necessity. 

Where organizations had planned technical implementations over years-long periods, they’ve been forced to make those changes in weeks. The companies that adapt, test, and iterate on these changes are the future.  

This comes down to a shift in mindset. Recent events have forced years of transformation in weeks BUT, the organizations in the best position are those who began the transformation process years ago, then instead of starting from scratch, it was merely a ramp-up of existing focus. Learn from this; your digital transformation is not an all-at-once thing, it’s an embrace of the testing mindset. Always test, always consider, always be ready for your current comfort zone to fall away.  

Marcus Aurelius said it best: “What stands in the way becomes the way.” 

If digital transformation is currently your weakness, it’s going to end up becoming the key to your survival. 

 

“Resistance Is Futile”

The Borg’s insights about your organization putting off digital evolution. 

Sure, it’s from Star Trek, but the sentiment rings true. You can’t “resist” technology, you can only fail to take advantage.  

Rapid change is no cake-walk, but the investment in digitization now will prepare you for more effective development in the future. What’s more, what choice do you have? If not now, when? 

In the same McKinsey survey I mentioned earlier, they quoted a study that concluded that it takes human beings an average of 66 days for a behavior to become automatic. Now that most of the world has been anything but business-as-usual for more than that number of days, it’s time we accepted that there will be no return to whatever normal there was before. 

And that’s a good thing. The inertia of digital change isn’t slowing down and we’re in a unique place to ride that wave and become leaders in a rapidly advancing technological atmosphere for global business. 

Why fight it? Instead, use it to build something better. 

 

The Methodical Path Forward

There isn’t a fix-all software patch for adapting to digitization.

We all know it. Digital transformation isn’t an app, patch, or system. It’s a process of constant evolution, yet we still act like it’s something that we can either buy, delay, or resist. 

Digitization — the right way — isn’t merely a new tech firesale, it’s a foundational shift that considers the sustainability of technological solutions in a digital landscape that stands to look drastically different quickly. It means recognizing the need to adapt and having the foresight to weave these technologies and processes into your organization’s ongoing growth strategy.

Digital change is fast. If you don’t adapt and plan ahead, you’ll be left behind, antiquated as time and progress pass you by. Don’t be a fossil. 

Tim Ludwig
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