Technology, innovation, and digitalization: three convergent forces

The union of technology and innovation leads to digital transformation, which is not a recent trend. Many forward-thinking companies have spent the last few years making the transition.

These transitions have been all about reinventing themselves and adapting to modern times, understanding that innovation and technology are the keys to changing and introducing digitalization from the beginning. All of this has catalyzed the birth of a powerful environment that drives major breakthroughs, where transformation is no longer the goal but the driving force to generate value.

In this digital era, organizations need to ask themselves how they can respond effectively to the increasing digitalization in our society, not only to avoid becoming obsolete vis-s-vis their competition but also to adapt and lead digital innovation. Schreckling & Steiger, 2017

According to Schreckling & Steiger, the way people interact, work, consume, and purchase is changing completely, and organizations are called to respond in the most streamlined and efficient way to society’s evolving needs. This is why companies have undertaken the task of embracing new digital strategies that respond to societal needs and lead them to new and innovative ventures that, in turn, will allow them to expand their scope of services. To embrace this reality, they need to start implementing new technologies. But as with any process, this transformation must be progressive and go hand-in-hand with internal efforts that involve new innovation models, creativity, and knowledge management.

Key Concepts for
a true digital transformation


Technology:

Thanks to technology, we have a series of opportunities that seek to adapt to the new environment. Therefore, reliable, accessible, and simple processes need to be in place to support business operations.

Currently, this concept has become a major supporter of innovation and has become not only a tool but a strategic feature, since companies depend greatly on the proper use of information technology (IT) for productivity and to obtain results.

Technology is an integral part of the organization, providing, among its many features, the flexibility to plan, generate productive scenarios, and predict possible results. In this sense, being effective and efficient in the implementation of new technologies is highly recommended, since knowing how to use them properly is as important as having them in place.

Innovation:

“Innovation is the process of improving existing elements, ideas, and protocols or creating new ones that have a positive impact in the market” (Rosario, n.d., p. 1). It is an indispensable strategy to achieve business effectiveness, with creativity and research as key components.

Technology is, in one way or another, available to all. Nonetheless, it is not enough to just implement tools; what makes the difference is innovation, the creative capacity each person has to select the right solutions for their business, ensuring that these solutions address the challenges that might have seemed impossible to tackle before.

“Digital transformation is more human than technological. Technology is always there, always available, and increasingly accessible, but without innovation, it will lead to the ‘robotization’ of reality” (Argenis Bauza, 2022).

Innovation models should be people-oriented because it is people who understand the need, problem, or opportunity. They should be developed in a streamlined and flexible manner, making the most of technology in order to build solutions that help people lead better lives. The organization will strategically expand and accelerate the acquisition of potentially compelling ideas to expand visibility and offerings in the market.

Digitalization:

While digitalization by itself is capable of transforming companies, sectors, and markets, even in a disruptive way, we cannot rule out that it should be accompanied by innovation in order to not only contribute to the country’s economy but also to new forms of human relationships.

The Capgemini Research Institute calls this new era of transformation the “Intelligent Industry”: it tries to promote synergies between the digital world and the engineering world in order to help companies create intelligent products, operations, and services at scale. The intelligent industry brings together engineering, innovation, IT, and digital technology, thus enabling a convergence of the physical and the virtual worlds.

That said, a clear example where we can see all these related concepts come together is:

Digital Gold:

New digital worlds are the future, from the metaverse to virtual and augmented reality, to cryptocurrency. To better understand this revolution, let’s go into the world of digital currencies. The first thing we need to ask ourselves is: What is digital currency? It is a digital, encrypted, and decentralized exchange resource. You can exchange services or products using digital currency, and it can also be used as an investment asset, similar to stocks or precious metals.

When you purchase or pay for something with any digital currency, this transaction is saved on multiple computers. This is known as a ‘blockchain,’ which consists of a transaction ledger connected to multiple computers where each transaction is a block that connects through a chain, consisting of all previous transactions made with the currency.

Digital currency is very appealing since not everyone has access to banks or credit cards, but you only need a computer to acquire digital currency. Decentralization is yet another feature that makes it more attractive. It allows people to make peer-to-peer transfers or transactions without the intervention of a third party, namely a bank, financial system, and/or the government. These are the reasons why many people think digital currency is equivalent to digital gold.

The way digital currency gets its value is different from how physical money does. The value of the digital currency rises when its demand is higher that its availability. Market triggers include the cost of mining using a supercomputer, the market value of other currencies, the sales and use regulations for the currency, and lastly, the prevalent news around it.

This is where everything comes together, and we start facing challenges as well as opportunities to access new business lines. Companies need to plan their transformation, using tools and solutions that go hand in hand with technology, innovation, and digitalization.

– Por Carolina Hoyos
Innovation manager


https://www.wipo.int/global_innovation_index/es/
Ramírez Bonilla, M. C. (n.d.). La República. Retrieved from “Colombia ocupa el puesto número 68 entre unos 131 países en el Índice Global de Innovación”: https://www.larepublica.co/globoeconomia/colombia-ocupa-el-puesto-68-entre-131-paises-en-indice-de-innovacion-3054604

Rosario, P. (n.d.). Econopedia. Retrieved from “Innovación”: https://economipedia.com/definiciones/innovacion-2.html

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