Since the onset of the pandemic, it has become increasingly clear that it’s not enough to overhaul existing technologies, as per the digital transformation philosophy. Many organizations have been working toward digital transformation for years. But in a 2020 Deloitte report, 77% of CEOs said they were accelerating these efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Given how fundamentally the pandemic has changed the nature of work, it’s clear that digital acceleration isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Digital acceleration is NOT the same as digital transformation
Today, businesses across industries recognize that to thrive in a changing landscape, they must embrace a digital-first mindset, no matter their core mission or approach. Digital transformation means bringing cutting-edge technologies into multiple facets of the operation. But digital acceleration takes this a step further.
Essentially, digital acceleration means speeding up and escalating the digital transformation process. More than that, it involves adaptability and accessibility, enabling companies of all types to transform at unprecedented speeds. This is critical for a number of reasons, from staying at the cutting edge of their discipline and core business to ensuring their employees have the appropriate skillsets to complete their jobs successfully.
Digital acceleration involves incorporating a range of technologies, including AI and machine learning, cloud services, and the Internet of Things (IoT), to radically alter the way organizations perform their operations and serve their consumers. Because of this, they can achieve more than they would have previously.
Transformation is at the core of acceleration — the concept’s foundation. But it takes the idea much further.
Does digital acceleration affect your entire company?
Frankly, yes — digital acceleration needs to be a company-wide effort for it to succeed and bring you numerous advantages, including:
• Greater capabilities
• Improved customer relationships
Why is this the case?
1. It’s a cultural shift — not just a technological one.
One of the common myths about digital acceleration is that it’s all about the technology an organization uses. That’s not true. While it does involve updating, upgrading, and modernizing your tools — and thereby your processes — it goes much further.
All team members at your organization need to shift their perspectives and gain new skills to adapt accordingly. Innovation must be embedded into every facet of the organization, changing your entire culture along with the tools you use.
2. It demands widespread buy-in.
To effectively change your company culture successfully, all employees at your organization must be on board, regardless of their responsibilities, departments, or titles. Employee buy-in may not come immediately or easily, but it’s necessary to attain it as you launch your efforts. You can’t run an organization where some team members rely on outdated, ineffective systems to carry out their work while others embrace the new, more powerful tools.
This may require incentivizing employees to be part of the change with you. You will certainly need to explain the benefits, train your workers appropriately, and show them how they will be advantageous to them and their work.
3. It’s about the numbers.
By employing a digital acceleration approach to implementing widespread change throughout your organization, you will gain access to an abundance of critical data. You will receive real-time insights about your performance, any technologies that must be updated, efficient or inefficient processes, and much more.
Then, you can use that data to take your efforts a step further, embracing new procedures and methodologies to move your business forward and make it even better.
4. It means staying competitive.
Digitization is no longer a “nice to have.” It’s the difference between staying viable and competitive and falling behind other companies in your space. This is true across personnel and departments. No matter what the skillset, area of expertise, or practice, modern technologies are a must.
You can even gain an edge over your competition if you transform rapidly and at scale. But you need to look at it as a form of survival, first and foremost — that edge is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. You simply have to assume that other organizations in your space are undertaking a digital acceleration, too.
5. It’s a step toward future-proofing your organization.
It’s laughable to suggest that digital technologies are fading in any way. We all know that. In fact, they will only grow and become more ubiquitous in the future, to the point at which we can expect that they will replace manual forms of doing business — from interacting with consumers to even going into a physical office — will become obsolete.
When you engage in digital acceleration, you are taking strides to future-proof your organization. You are ensuring that you will be able to withstand obstacles that come your way and adapt accordingly. In addition, you are equipping your staff across areas of expertise with the skills and tools to withstand and adapt to change and challenges.
Digital acceleration: A revolution
Digital acceleration is far more than an overhaul of your existing technologies. And it is far more than a digital transformation. It involves changing mindsets, optimizing skillsets and talents, and redefining how you do what you do.
You will still deliver the quality products and/or services your consumers have come to expect of you, but you will be able to deliver them at unprecedented levels. You will be better equipped to scale your operations and meet your goals. And you will deliver value more quickly and comprehensively. This is why digital acceleration is a revolution — not just a simple undertaking.