Over the past few days I have been reading and listening to quite a bit regarding the Digital Transformation, and how users are adapting to new technologies at a pace at which (still) very few companies can keep up. In fact, we at Paradigma like to say that the Digital Transformation means eliminating the barrier that stands between traditional companies and new digital clients.
I try to set examples for myself that go beyond a nice sentence to tell our clients, in order to confirm to myself that this is real. To set up the stage for these new digital clients, we usually make reference to our children, nephews and nieces, and how aptly they handle a Tablet, in order to show the way users are changing. But, often, these users still need a few years to become clients…
So I try to find closer examples, something that can convey the urgency of this change to other companies. The first thing I do is think about my everyday routine, and there is digitalization. Even if I am right at a restaurant’s door I would never go in without first visiting Tripadvisor to see if the reviews are good.
The supermarket is less than 100 meters away from my house, yet I do my shopping on Amazon Prime. I only turn on the television set to watch Netflix. I have even started to feel lazy about going out shopping, and that is certainly serious! Why go out if the shopping can come to me?
It is easy, from my perspective, to see that this is how things are. I am just over 30 years old, I work and live surrounded by technology; my view of reality is biased. However, last Saturday when I paid my compulsory visit to my parents, I found the example I was looking for.
For the family meal my mother wanted to buy a cake in a “good bakery” in Madrid; so far all was normal. What surprised me was how she got to the cake: she used Google on her cell phone to search for “the best bakeries in Madrid”, found an article on a digital newspaper and was convinced by one of the places it mentioned.
She used Google Maps to trace her route there and, of course, she took a photo and sent it to us via Whatsapp. She also uploaded it to Facebook.
I am completely astonished: My mother? A 65 year old who never used a computer in her life, regardless of how many times I have tried to teach her… used Google, Google Maps, Whatsapp and Facebook without anyone telling her how to do it.
And my father tells me that it is not only that: when she gets bored, instead of watching television “she looks at Internet”, searches hotel reviews for the summer holidays, checks out the bank account movements, reads the news… Now she is discovering Amazon and online shopping. Companies beware! Because, as it happens, all users, no matter what their education or age, adapt to new technologies faster than technologies can do so.
There are no more excuses. There is no X-year margin until the native digital generation grows up. All users are digital. Will non-digital companies survive?