1. It is often said that change is coming, change is unstoppable. It is like shifting sands – a situation that changes frequently, often in an unmanageable way. It seems a clear way to describe the transformation of all aspects of our lives through the inexorable march of digital innovation.
Who would have predicted COVID-19, who would have prepared for its consequences? OK that’s an extreme circumstance (possibly). But ask taxi drivers if they had thought about, let alone prepared for, the dramatic impact of Uber? And at $250,000 for a taxi licence, many owners have been left destitute. But there’s no doubt it’s been a great success for consumers – there is choice, there is innovation. But it needed visionary thinking plus the internet and smart phones to succeed!
2. What exactly? When? How far? How fast?
These should be the main questions pre-occupying your forward thinking. The answers will depend mostly on:
- the industry sector you serve
- your location
- your risk tolerance
- your pioneering spirit
- your state of readiness
The answers are highly variable. But you MUST ask them and come up with your own answers!
3. As a successful business operator, you will know and live by the twin opposing pillars of opportunity and threat. Opportunities are there for the open-minded, forward-thinking, analytical, observant, questioning business leaders, while threats are often ignored, ridiculed, or not even recognised. Kodak is one of the great examples of a business which was at the top of its game and perfected celluloid photography. In fact, they actually invented digital photography, but were blind to its possibilities and, yes, threats to its very existence. Now it doesn’t (really) exist.
4. Competition lies at the heart of our market-driven system. Being constantly aware of factors which can give you a competitive edge are fundamental to your survival. There is no better area to constantly look at than the use of well-chosen digital technologies in virtually all business endeavours:
- retail – clothing, gifts
- hospitality – food and beverage
- home facilities – furniture, furnishings, comforts
- personal and professional services
- transport – both human and goods
- food suppliers
- fuel and automotive services
- technology, gadgets and machines of all sorts
- sport and exercise
- the arts (immersive experiences are a really big deal).
5. The Customer is the real boss. Whether you really believe it or not you only exist as a business because of your customers. And they know it and drive the conversation in today’s world. the smart operators are obsessive about providing the best possible customer experience (CX or UX) to differentiate themselves in today’s world of unparalleled choice.
In each of these areas, it is digital transformation that lies at the heart of success.
But for many this is where the BIG problems start. What exactly should I do? What will it cost? What difference will it make? How can I manage the uncertainty? Who can help me?
Using the mantra Think, Act, Do might be a good mind-set to adopt. Sound planning is always critical to your success. If you possibly can, avoid adopting the FOMO (fear of missing out) approach – much better to be bold, lead, take the initiative.
And seek considered, unbiased help. That’s what we do at Shifting Sands Digital and you’re welcome to join many others on the journey and find out for yourself. In fact, that’s all we do – and we guarantee not to sell you anything, nor be a front for an organisation who wants to do just that. Visit shiftingsandsdigital.com and see for yourself