Perils of Inaction and Mediocrity

Regardless of the industry, or economy, there is little doubt that digital transformation is the order of the day. Sooner or later, companies reluctant to embrace digital transformation for reasons known to them will get affected from not embracing this trend. Employing digital solutions has many benefits. For instance, digital solutions allow for the speedy completion of tasks as compared to legacy solutions. All in all, there is little reason for not transforming your business into a digital workplace. Here is more on why digital transformation is the perfect solution for companies:

Transforming how you do business…

It is true that companies that have gone digital are likely to benefit more from an increasingly competitive market. These companies ensure they do everything to increase their market footprint. They’ll use social media to interact with probable customers and partners. In doing so, they’ll produce updated product and service pages to grab more attention on the social media. Make no mistake; the social media is the hub of communities from across the world. By accessing social media, you get access to a market with billions of customers around the world. Naturally, to attract such a large market, companies invest time and money to prepare revolutionary business models. In the long run, these models prove pivotal to increasing their productivity. Also, these marketing strategies help seize the opportunity to turn ordinary products into powerful brands. Digital business models contribute to increasing business productivity. It is evident that companies that fail to stay put with this growing trend will likely cease to exist. Some renowned companies vanished from the scene only because they failed to evolve as they should have in the digital world. Some well-known companies that you may have heard a lot about once do not exist anymore:

For a good part of a century, Eastman Kodak, commonly known as Kodak, was widely recognized as the company that commercialized photography and camera. So much so that if it weren’t for Kodak, people wouldn’t have known about commercial cameras. Back in the 1900s, the company released its breakthrough product, the Brownie camera. Soon after, Kodak released its trademark Kodachrome color film. This handheld movie camera became an instant success and was widely appreciated in the market. The Instamatic camera was another commercially successful product of its time. In short, Kodak became synonymous with commercial photography and cameras and stayed so for most of the century. However, it failed to capitalize on rising digital trends in photography. The digital transformation continued across the world with third party apps, printers, file sharing and software became standard. But, Kodak failed to capitalize and endorse this emerging market trend. Instead, to reduce rapid shrinking of profits, the company began venturing into different businesses like pharmaceuticals, healthcare imaging, memory chips and document management without much success. After missing out on several opportunities, the company is on the verge of collapse and suffering significant losses each quarter.

What was once an icon in the IT industry and most visited website in the world, Yahoo has had its share of ups and downs? Over the years, the company is experiencing a severe slump in monthly visits and declining revenues. Like some of its contemporaries, Yahoo either failed or overlooked the opportunities to capitalize on the digital revolution. To this day, you don’t see it actively promoting its services in the digital world. This happened so because the company believed itself as a leading digital service provider. Back in 2009, Yahoo claimed to have visited by more than a billion visitors from across the world. A company once worth of $100 billion is old its internet business to Verizon Wireless for a meager sum of $4.9 billion. However, Yahoo will maintain its stake Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan.

Another promising company that perished for not making timely decisions and embracing changes. Motorola had many successful products to its credit. The Motorola car radios were the first of their kind. Soon, these led to two-way radios that were the first of their kind in the world. However, the company reached the peak of its fame when it launched the Motorola Razr series of feature phones. The first Razr phone was launched in 2003. By 2005, the company had sold well over ten million sets of this brand across the world. Such was the popularity of Razr that other mobile phone developers like Nokia and Samsung began focusing on phone aesthetics more than anything. The Razr was the best phone of its time, both regarding features and looks. The phone was quite a looker.

However, Motorola as a company was feeling the heat as the competitors were inching close fast. A huge drawback was that Motorola was among the last companies to launch a smartphone. These phones featured the ability to handle emails and other relevant data and timely collaboration. Soon, Motorola fell way behind its competitors like Research In Motion (Blackberry), Apple. Samsung and LG. These companies were launching and refreshing their smartphone lineups almost every year. In the meantime, Motorola kept brewing glorified versions of its once strong Razr lineup. Eventually, the company fell prey to its lack of vision, outdated software used in phones and not endorsing a digital marketing strategy over the course of its life. Google stepped in and bought the company due to its vast pool of patents and experience, not to mention its rich legacy.

The Cost of Legacy Systems…

Capital investments into legacy systems should be a thing of the past. The examples above are the end result of arguably poor decision making, inaction, lack of vision, mediocrity and definitely shortsightedness. However, what are the short-term effects of maintaining legacy systems? For a start, legacy systems in many cases are costly.

Organizations big or small cannot afford to lose access to their data. According to BCN, the Boston Computer Network, 34% of companies fail to test their tape backups (yes…tape backup), and of those that do, 77% have found tape back-up failures. Meanwhile, 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster.

What about companies growing at an exponential rate? What is the cost of adding one more user, one more client server using premise-based solutions and an additional IT department to support it? The inability to rapidly deploy solutions to meet the needs of your company to service a very impatient market is a death sentence. Legacy systems also cost you talent. How does one attract new employees to a company that doesn’t prioritize innovation, who doesn’t empower their employees to collaborate seamlessly in or out of the office, or who doesn’t invest in the likes of ERP systems to track resources and products?

Digital Transformation Is Here To Stay, Embrace it!

Digital transformation comprises of many things. The foremost of them is the technology. A cursory look at the demise of these companies will reveal that they failed to take a timely decision when it mattered. Today, looking at some of the recognized businesses and how they operate, you notice that they implement on a multifaceted strategy. They avoid obsolescence at all costs. They keep their systems and culture updated. They keep revamping organizational culture and incorporate new technologies when possible. Despite their tremendous success, the companies mentioned above fell to their miscalculation. They failed to accept the changing business environment and showed little to no flexibility. By failing to realize one fact that change is the only constant in the industry, these companies perished slowly. Today, companies that strategically invest more in quickly deployable robust solutions like cloud computing, and data sharing, will survive and prosper in the long run from the Associate to the CEO. Now you know just some of the perils of inaction and mediocrity, what are you doing to prepare your business for greatness?

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