Does Digital Require Radical Disruption?

Digitalization is often associated with disruption. Because of this, managers believe that digital transformation means a dramatic change to their company’s value proposition. They therefore end up investigating non-existent customer needs and try serving them with a new high-tech product.

But this is not what digital transformation is.

Look at companies that successfully implemented innovative technology and you might see that despite the “high-tech factor”, they improved on non-digital business processes to bring more convenience to customers.

Let’s take an example from the taxi industry.

The world faced an inevitable change when Uber appeared. Taxi drivers were frightened. It seemed like this app will destroy a taxi driver’s profession.

But “call-in” taxi services existed before Uber. Find the number and order a cab. What then? The waiting time is unknown, the ride time is unknown and the fare/payment terms are unknown.

It’s not a surprise that Uber got popular. Sit back and Relax.The customer knows the waiting time, sees the car on a map, knows the arrival time, the estimate = actual fare, and payment is in a click. Drivers come prescreened and ratings are visible. And if you lost an article, it is quite likely that you’ll get it back.

Did Uber erase the taxi?

No. Customers wanted convenience and Uber provided that. It pushed the livery services to innovate. There are now more drivers and passengers because of it.

Successful digitization projects are exactly that.

Start by finding the best way to improve customer convenience. Technology comes next. AI enables that in ways that could not be done before. Now, a company can pay attention to the voice of every customer. In exchange, customers choose a company over another. Automatic price calculation, online rating, interactive maps… all driven by machine learning.

How did we even live without it?