Digital Transformation or Digital Vortex

Posted on October 7, 2017


You know that the world has changed fundamentally with the digital hyper-connectivity of our now ‘Networked’ society. A change that has and continues to challenge traditional business models, markets and thinking, so you have done the logical thing and commenced the Digital Transformation of your business.

So far so good, you think. But there is something in your gut that does not feel right, All the touchy feely, buzz words from the change consultants ‘Transforming’ your business, marching you diligently through their tried (on whom?) and tested (did it pass?) methodology to a Digital Transformation end game. Some of you will pick up on this early in the journey and regrettably most too late after the clouds of disillusionment have started to rain on your glorious Digital Parade.

The truth is Digital Transformation projects in organisations are a hijacking of a term that has little true association with what is in the tin. Digitization is the ongoing systemic and global processes of change in society. Whereas most Business Digital Transformation projects resemble little more than an old dog with some new tricks, a process of organisational adoption of Technology practices in a change program with a beginning and an end.

Things like:
• Re write existing policies and process to acknowledge Digitization – Tick
• Engage Cloud Computing – Tick.
• Roll our Mobile Devices – Tick
• Employee Digital Literacy (Train a workforce to use the new stuff) – Tick
• Cultural change – hmmm…
….. you get the drift.

The protection and encasement of all that is encumbering in corporate structures duly protected behind a Digitally Transformed façade and light plumbing. You have bought a dead parrot – Monty Python.

The Hyper-Connected society and world that business recognises it has to come to terms with to survive does not fit anything that has gone before. The influence of Hyper-Connectivity imposes a state of constant Flux at both the core and the periphery of the traditional structures we take for granted and base our understanding of business on. The duality of concentrated power and the expansiveness of its distribution into every nook and cranny of our lives.

Re-read that last sentence and get it. Think Uber and AirBnB in the business realm, Cloud (Utility) Computing at the infrastructure level and social media’s communication dimension.

An excellent illustration for any company is the Cyber Threat landscape that is running rings around traditional concepts of behaviour, social norms and timescales. Cyber Security is an exemplar of how a Business MUST adopt digitization paradigms at its core DNA level. Cyber Security at the core of its culture, business model and operational practices to the extent that it is autonomous. This is not achieved by plugging in some clever kit to act as your digital policeman, rolling a mandatory employee Cyber awareness program or monitoring staff to the edge of mutual paranoia. Sound familiar?

Now extrapolate the Cyber Security DNA paradigm across all areas of your business operations.

Welcome to the Digital Vortex, its not a cuddly ‘Transformation’, it’s a revolution in awareness that sees little relevance in the silo’d world of Corporate power play and traditional market economic thinking.

This is all being pulled apart, challenged by individuals, magnified by the network in so many inconceivable, unimaginably invigorating and frighteningly visceral ways.

So welcome to the Digital Vortex that Businesses (and other traditional structures) will either ride the waves of into a world of tectonic change or be consumed into insignificance.

Imagine travelling across continents reliant on the glacial speed of the geological engine rooms pushing and pulling the worlds continents into each other. Then reflect on the tectonic eruptions from the deep that express in terraforming majesty those undercurrents of change that manifest in unseen restlessness, an ill-conceived dormancy that cares for nothing but release. Tectonics that birth whole new land masses in hours, sculpting the surface of our world and modifying weather systems. The power of nature is truly inspiring and terrifying, think ‘Butterfly Effect’ in the science of Chaos.

The power of the network, of hyper-connectivity demonstrates similar characteristics in a vastly accelerated form to geological tectonics. The impacts changing the face of society as we have already experienced with the Arab Spring. The naivety of politicians who do not realise how close they are to the edge of extinction of their species with the current European migrant crisis and the Presidential reality show fiasco in the USA. Then there are the Banks, the financial institutions that are little more than tolerated as the world gets into gear to rip away the final regulatory vestiges of trust in the broken financialisation economics. No business, politician or banker can say they have not been warned. Its hiding in plain view, all out there to see for those who know what to look for society is experimenting with new trust models for value exchange and the sharing economy. As for the rest, their mass extinction event is inevitable.