On the last episode of the Dropping Bars podcast, I spoke with Mr. Perry Douglas about Digital Transformation in the Caribbean. We spoke about the misconception that Caribbean people tend to have, which is that Digital Transformation is all about technology. As we discussed, digital transformation is more about a strategic mindset. The transformation starts in our mind, and once Caribbean entrepreneurs, business people, and government officials understand this, we can undergo true digital transformation. We do not have to create the technologies; the technology exists. What we need to do is transform our mindset to understand that we need to embrace and leverage the technologies which will, in turn, transform our business and government institutions.
I wrote a post recently about the five domains of digital transformation, with customer behaviour being one of the five domains of strategy that is changing because of digital technology. In this post, which you can read, I spoke about how digital technology is changing how we connect and create value for customers. Traditionally customers were seen as mass markets; we made one communication message and sent it out to a broad cross-section of people. There was no level of differentiation; however, in the digital era, we are moving away from mass marketing to customer networks.
Covid19 has forced many countries one can argue to undergo about ten years of digital transformation in one year. Something as basic as online learning, many countries, especially Small Developing States (SDI’s) in the Caribbean, have a hard time dealing with this. Both students and teachers alike are grossly underprepared for the “University of Zoom”. Then there is the over-focus on technology; we somewhat believe that digital transformation is all about the new technologies available to make life easier for all of us, however, it is much more than that. In the “Digital Transformation Playbook,” Professor David Rogers wrote that digital transformation is not about technology, but it is about strategy and a new way of thinking. He further went on to assert, that preparing for the digital age requires businesses and organizations to upgrade their strategic mindset more than their technology. Put simply, Digital transformation is about a shift in the mindset of the leadership of an organization.