Digital transformation is not about technology, it’s about people


My company is already digital, we have bought a software!

Faced with this statement, one has no choice but to put on a poker face so as not to expose the interlocutor that in good faith he believes what he says. But is a company digital because it has bought software? Because we have a program of digitized processes, are we going to be digital?

The answer, in my opinion, is no. A company is not digital because it has software that digitizes its processes.

Today we are immersed in a world in which the obsession with digital reaches unsuspected extremes. But there is also an obsession on the part of many governments at any level that companies should be digitized … in a month or next year. Although this objective is commendable, it is first required that the company produce a change in its vision and in its culture where it is internalized what digitization implies and what it will cause in the way in which they are going to interact with customers, with suppliers and with their environment.

Digitizing does not mean transferring our current processes to be managed by a program, because many companies still do not have their processes properly structured, and in many cases adequately described. They are done because one knows what to do but it is not systematized. That is why before installing software or digitizing anything in a company, you have to know how the processes are. Some companies have quality manuals that describe the processes, among these companies, many have been certified in ISO9001 but of all those that did so, not all of them have been recertified today. Many of them because it became fashionable, or because someone asked them but they no longer ask for it. And what they do to lower their costs is not to recertify.

For this reason, it is recommended that companies that do not have their processes described as those that have not reviewed them for a long time make an updated description of how the company’s processes are. With this information, it would be necessary to analyze the process by process and see if the stages that are being carried out are reasonable and coherent or are the consequence of obsolete practices or exceeded needs. In parallel, everything that could be digitized should be indicated, such as automation of data entry into the system by scanning or by radiofrequency labels, a digital checklist, or the appearance on the screen of the assembly instructions.

This phase of the digitization process is a time when you can see the potential that digital solutions that are incorporated into the company could have. It is also a time in which to request the collaboration of the employees who work in each process so that they can express their opinion that they would need to make the process work with better quality or be more efficient.

It is at this stage where an internal marketing and communication plan is necessary because a change must be managed that for many can be relevant both because it forces them to change their way of doing things, but above all for those whose tasks are automated. And it is in the latter where the management of uncertainty is most important, that is, the need to know what your future will be in the company.

The digital transformation processes are one of the moments in the history of a company in which the impact that the decisions made regarding the various employees will have will mark its future as a company, and will establish a company culture that will influence in the work environment of the following years. Because digital transformation is not only dealing with technology but it is also dealing with people.

Once we have obtained the framework of everything that the company is now and what it should be or we would like it to be, is when we should look for that solution or those solutions that can cover the maximum of that framework. During this stage when we can find solutions that redefine one or some of the processes that we had established and that may force us to rethink existing relationships with other processes. The automation of processes or sub-processes are an example of this, that is, jobs that were done manually or semi-manually are now carried out completely by a machine or by a program. But also, this change may lead to other related processes that previously received manual information to automatically receive it, which would affect their needs.

And all this is part of what should be done before buying the software, because if we do it later, we may have made a mistake in the purchase.


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