The winners and losers behind digital transformation

min read | October, 2021
Enrique Topolansky, director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Universidad ORT, was talking in one of the episodes of our podcast Ur about digital transformation processes and the a
The winners and losers behind digital transformation

Any digital transformation process implies a paradigm shift in the way companies are daily linked to each other with customers, employees, suppliers and all the actors that are associated to the organization. This change necessarily implies an impact on the business model, especially at the level of value chains. Due to changes in the business model, different roles have become obsolete on account of streamlined processes. “The aggregated chain is broken, and intermediaries disappear,” says Topolansky, which means that we connect with services directly. A clear example that Enrique brings is that of online shopping, where we have direct access to the services or products we want to consume, avoiding a series of intermediaries that only make access to products more expensive.

Every digital transformation process, Enrique tells us, generates winners and losers. Actors who benefit from the transformation and others who reduce their activity, when they should not fail to do so.  A clear example of losers is all those who, during the development of products or when providing services, were mere intermediaries that went through this process without providing added value. They lose because the system becomes more efficient and discards them. ”They are the big losers,” says Enrique. The winners are all the small startups and organizations that allow themselves to connect with these new models and stand on them to provide a value-added service. They are those who position themselves in the business chain to give value to the service, to enrich the experience, and not to be merely another link in the chain, which opens a margin of value just to generate a profit.

Enablers of digital transformation

Going deeper into the transformation processes, Topolansky sees it as something necessary, especially in the context we’re living in. Assimilate these processes not only from the technological point of view, but also from the tools and roles that are carried out to achieve this transformation. Communication actions, organizational criteria, operative roles. All these features work as enablers that make the transformation, and on which we must focus in order to make it happen. Transformation is not possible without tools (Topolansky highlights data analysis and prediction as a way of defining the path for companies), but neither is it possible without certain corporate roles, cultural perspectives, changes in board profiles, integrated structures predisposed to development. Without these enablers, transformation does not exist.

Digital transformation is not only necessary but is becoming more essential every day for organizations that want to occupy a competitive place within the structure. If they do not take on this process and do not assimilate transformation processes, they will fall by the wayside, and these are, in the end, the real losers.


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