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A new dawn in digital transformation

When we listen to the term “digital transformation,” many of us tend to limit its impact and benefits to the business environment; we typically think of three prominent themes: processes, employees, and customers. Each of them receives an enormous benefit from digital transformation.

Processes from any company become much more agile, safer, and efficient, supported by the systems that execute them; you can avoid information recaptures and duplications in databases. Better monitoring tools are available, which gives visibility of all devices, networks, servers with a granularity never seen before.

Employees benefit as they have devices and tools that make it easier to perform tasks, which makes them more effective. Instead of logging in and out of multiple systems, remembering dozens of passwords, and navigating in different environments; today, it is possible to access a personalized and secure work environment from a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop, obviously from your home, office, or anywhere with some coverage, and depending on the type of application sometimes even without.

Customers can have an immediate interaction with a wide variety of devices through which they can intuitively solve their needs, generate a purchase experience and a strong relationship with the supplier.

One factor that has allowed and probably even caused this transformation is the democratization of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies). Not many years ago, a PC with 64K of RAM was a device that caused astonishment, and only banks, universities, large companies, and research centers had access to the famous mainframes and endless rows of disks which for sure did not reach a terabyte capacity, all this sheltered in monumental data centers with rigorous requirements, particularly in: temperature, electrical power backup, and personal access. In addition, you had to have a team of quasi-scientific engineers to make everything work perfectly. You had to make million-dollar investments to be one of the elite that could process and store large amounts of data.

The other significant element is the evolution of communications. Less than 50 years ago, large companies, world-class corporations, and governments ran their networks intending to increase the reliability of the voice and data they shared. In countries like Mexico, you had to wait months and even years to install a phone. Although there are still areas in the world without telecommunications coverage, where there is, it tends to be much more reliable than ever.
Today, thanks to the famous Moore’s Law, which has allowed a much greater computing capacity with the consequent reduction in costs, it is possible for anyone to have access to the computing and storage capacity required through any cloud service provider that exists. We can be working from anywhere, processing any amount of data by a highly complex Artificial Intelligence algorithm, obtaining the results in seconds, and then free that processing and storage capacity for someone else to use. We pay for what we use with zero capital investment.

The digital transformation has also brought great benefit to the “ordinary citizen,” which has been impacting our wellbeing almost without realizing it over the years; in fact, the pandemic that we have experienced has accelerated this process dramatically in a few months. How long has it been since you went to the bank? How many hours a week did you spend going to the supermarket? How many hours a day did you spend going to your office and going home? Suppose we are fortunate enough to live in an area with mobile coverage, wi-fi, or others. In that case, we have more time to do what we want: work more, set up an alternative business, study a course at a worldwide class university, play, paint, play an instrument, exercise, and live more with your loved ones, in short, the list is endless.

The elements to improve our well-being are already here thanks to the digital transformation. It is up to us to take advantage of them. How do we want to live, using technology to our advantage or letting technology use us to our detriment?

Carlos Allende

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