It’s hard to define when exactly we entered the so-called “Digital Era”. Some pundits date back this event to the worldwide spread of the Internet (more or less between the second half of the Eighties and the whole Nineties, last century); some others place this trespass a couple of decades later, roughly between 2004 and 2015, when the social media kicked off and the Web 2.0 era spread rapidly all over the world.
In any case, in 2022 we are clearly fully immersed into a digital world, and every aspect of our lives is conditioned, settled and punctuated – in some cases even ruled – by digital devices and/or digital systems. Just think about the world of employment, the business market and the most common jobs: how much have they changed since the introduction of digital technologies, protocols and systems in their production processes? Some workers belonging to the pre-digital generations would even struggle to recognize the same job they used to do for – supposedly – several decades.
This is generally called digital transformation, and the most consolidated workflows are the ones that were affected the most by this “revolution”. We can sum up this cluster of radical changes in the following points.
- A “shattered” work group. Through a digital connection, we can gather up an ensemble of coworkers, consultants and external collaborators from all over the world in the same virtual environment at the same time. This allows a company to break any physical boundary and overcome any geographic distance, creating relationships between people with different cultural backgrounds and specific competencies. The enrichment for the company itself, in terms of skills, expertise, know-how and efficiency is immediately tangible.
- Immediate information’s availability. How much time did a company spend, on average, to get useful information, crucial for their workflow? Even the most minimal thing – such as the technical characteristics of a component or market research in a specific geographic area – used to imply weeks, maybe months, of “on field” research, detailed reports and a thorough analysis of them. Today, through the Internet, the majority of these information are immediately available or, in the worst-case scenario, easily obtainable within a short period of time.
- A knowledge network. An impressive figure comes out from market research: Fortune’s top 500 companies lose on average $31,5 billion every year because of a lack of knowledge sharing between them and even between their internal departments. A financial hemorrhage that only a different internal organization could ease up. And this difference can only be made by a digital system able to analyze scientifically every data and put them immediately at disposal of every professional involved.
- Productivity enhancement. Once they’ve got rid of all the “garbage time” spent to reach their workplace, gather information and sharing them with every coworker, the productivity of every single worker can only grow in a very high percentage. The improvement of this aspect is so astonishing and unexpected that it exceeded even the most optimistic expectations. That’s why the digital transformation is still ongoing, clearly oriented to a further refinement of small and large companies’ overall productivity.