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Is there a difference between business transformation and digital transformation?

To provide a better background when reading this article, we invite you to read: What do we understand by digital maturity?

Pablo Frindt, Chief Digital Officer, with over 19 years of experience in the Financial industry and Digital Transformation, invites us to converse and reflect on whether there is a difference between business transformation and digital transformation.

At this point, we question whether business transformation and digital transformation are actually so different, or if they are complementary.

Let’s consider that nowadays the vast majority of companies have integrated technology as a fundamental part of their operation and/or strategy, and for all of them, a digital transformation process will actually be a business transformation and therefore must be worked on comprehensively to achieve a complete and effective transformation.

How is it executed?

When executing, companies can always opt for one of the following approaches or processes:

Big Bang

As the name suggests, it implies that what is wanted is a complete and rapid transformation. But this type of approach will require significant investment in technology, training, and a change management process integrated throughout the organization.

Incremental approach

This process implies that what is wanted will be introduced gradually over time, allowing the strategy to be adjusted to the speed of change within the company and the market, which often brings the associated benefit of creating space to achieve even more significant cultural changes within the company, preparing for the next big change.

At this point in the discussion, ghosts or things that keep us awake at night usually emerge just by thinking about carrying out these transformation processes. The so-called “common factors” that make companies successful or fail in their transformation processes.

Some examples of these are: lack of clear vision and strategy, resistance to change (typically from mid-management), lack of talent and experience, excessive coupling of technology (inadequate evaluation of existing capabilities), and failures in defining/measuring key indicators.

While it is true that in most companies (including those I have advised) these patterns tend to appear, the reality is that many times they were already present in the company before the transformation process began.