When you hear the term digital transformation, what often comes to your mind? Technology? Digital age? Online markets? Change? In a sense, all these things are correct. Digital transformation is, basically, a technology-heavy process used by businesses, and even non-profit organisations, to adapt to the modern world and the ever-growing technological advancements.

So where do “people” enter?

Even if technology is a change agent, it is critical to comprehend digital transformation by prioritising people and processes.

Digital transformation is about using digital technologies to improve (and connect, and often radically change) processes, enhance customer experiences, focus on the area where business and customer value meet, and see new and better possibilities, all while utilising various and digital-intensive methods to achieve them. However, digital transformation is more than just using digital technologies to enhance or improve existing processes and methodologies. It’s a way to use digital technologies to change and even create new business models. In that sense, it extends beyond digitisation and goes to a digitally savvy skillset and capacity—both of which are essential in the age of the digital customer. 

It is true that digital transformation heavily focuses on the shift from manual, from paper to digital. However, what we do not realise is that it is also heavily focused on the people. From IT experts to other employees to consumers. While technology and its advancements are at the forefront of digital transformation, it is the people who are the catalyst for such change. 

With technology, customers turn online for their needs because it is easier and faster. So companies answer this by digitising and transforming their market approach and creating an online presence. In turn, the employees foster the change. And how well these planned changes are implemented are also heavily reliant on the people behind them.

This so-called digital culture, on the other hand, is neither the beginning nor the end of digital transformation. Responding to the changes that digital technologies have caused – and will continue to create – in our everyday lives, individual businesses and organisations, industries, and diverse elements of society is also part of digital transformation. These changes are clearly not the result of technological advancements. The human component is not only an important focus of digital transformation. It’s also a driver for very unanticipated implications in how we use and perceive digital technologies.

In the end, it is our response to technology, how we use it to transform, improve and adapt to our surroundings that is the cause for change. And digital transformation is no different.