Selene Diez
CEO
Forte Innovation Consulting
/
Expert Contributor

Transformation or Digital Evolution?

By Selene Diez | Wed, 04/13/2022 - 11:00

Let's talk about the future of technology, my favorite topic, although I think the most relevant conversation is the digital future of humanity. Today, more than ever, the most relevant part of the equation is us, the humans.

There are many aspects of the future that can be anticipated and a great deal of learning from the lessons that the evolutionary past has left us. Today, we can make informed guesses because what is most abundant is knowledge and information; however, we are also immersed in an evolution marked by various factors that have come together, as was not the case in any of the previous industrial revolutions, which took us from mechanization to mass production and electricity, from mechanization to mass production, from electronics to the application of ICTs and automation. 

Our Future as Humans in the Digital World

Perhaps, in a very subtle way, we see it in the new generations that are much more equipped for cognitive and less physical work, for creative and collaborative work. This has to do with the fact that, according to some experts, nature no longer controls our evolution, at least no longer totally. The technological, cultural and economic environment that we have built produces induced and selective pressures that are much more sophisticated than those faced by our ancestors.

Today, we are delegating more and more decisions that seem insignificant to computer algorithms and it is a reality that the digital code influences individual and collective behavior, which in turn is transmitted to future generations, in the same way that a playlist and an online purchase is defined.

We live in a hyper-connected world and with the largest volume of information available

than ever. High-speed networks are now a reality and the amount of data created, captured, copied and consumed worldwide in 2021 totaled 79 zettabytes, a new record, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expectation is that by 2030, that number will exceed 181 zettabytes.

We are experiencing a deep transformation as a civilization. The role of technology is no longer just the modernization or automation of industrial and business processes. It even goes beyond the concept of digital transformation, which tells us that it is the application of digital technologies that will transform services or businesses, replacing nondigital processes with technologically-enabled processes.

Above all, today, after two years of COVID, that is no longer transformative. We do it wrong or right all the time. So, it is now time to talk about a digital evolution.

Today, we are fortunate that technology can fundamentally change the economy of a company, even modify the nature of entire sectors, as is the case with the financial or logistics sectors, whose leveraging of technology is allowing them to transform the traditional business model to become more sophisticated and technologically enabled.

Currently, the information technology industry has proven to be one of the most resilient industries in the contingency and has a transformative potential for our economy like no other:

• The ICT market closed 2021 valued at US$5 trillion

• The US ICT market alone is worth US$ 1.6 trillion

• In Mexico in 2020, the market totaled US$20 billion

• By 2030, 80 percent of jobs will require STEM skills

• 5G networks will have 40 percent coverage in the world by 2024

And artificial intelligence alone is expected to add US$15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

Changing and improving technology is the key component for businesses to stay relevant amid increasingly aggressive competition. A great challenge for entrepreneurs is assuming that decisions regarding technology correspond to senior management.

The strategic plan of the organization must incorporate digital objectives and indicators; it is a mistake to encapsulate technological development issues in a single strategic line. The issues that are on the CEO's agenda today:

• Product strategy

• Competitive intelligence

• Customer acquisition

• Business performance

• Corporate development

• Organizational culture

All these points are intrinsically linked to technology. Today, they cannot be disassociated and the most successful companies are those that achieve the best balance in their technological adoption as the great enabler.

It is also important that employers understand that technological adoption must be organic in terms of its insertion into the organization but planned, measured, controlled and well executed. And there are phases that cannot be anticipated. The first: business continuity, the second: transformational.

This evolution is more of a journey than a destination. The further we go, the better prepared we are to adapt and thrive in the face of change and uncertainty. With technology, the future always starts now. But with this digital evolution it can be a daunting prospect for many organizations, especially to achieve maximum impact and value from investments in finance, supply chain and IT operations that require a holistic view of key business functions, from strategy to process design and technological enablement.

For this reason, digital evolution suggests continuous and iterative steps for improvement instead of a destination of transformation. And that is where the vision should be, where we are going, since the information technology industry has proven to be one of the most resilient industries during the contingency and has a transformative potential for our economy like no other.

Photo by:   Selene Diez

MORE BY THE AUTHOR