The term “digital revolution” is currently on everyone’s lips, almost as if it were something new, something threatening. Yet this ‘revolution’ has long since begun
While in the case of digitalization, one classically speaks of the transformation of analogue into digital data. And in the case of digital transformation of entire processes and procedures, the dig- ital revolution refers to the change that digitalization or digital transformation has on our working world and way of life.
The so-called digital revolution is basically the transformation of our way of life into a digital world triggered by computer and digital technology, much like the industrial revolution led us into industrial society almost 200 years ago.
The media sometimes speak of a “digital Darwinism” that reflects the principle of adapt or die. Advocates of digital Darwinism propagate that companies will either have to adapt to the radical changes of digitalization or they will perish.
Companies such as Kodak, Nokia or video rental service providers such as Tomin in Germany and Blockbuster in the USA have been affected by this. On the other hand, there are companies like Google or Apple that have been engaged in digitalization for years.
Ultimately, the question as to whether we are witnessing a digital evolution or revolution is a matter of companies’ past digitalization efforts and successes. For those who jumped on the digitalization train at an early stage, we are experiencing a digital evolution. That is, provided that the company has consistently pursued a good strategy and set the right course, instead of burning money in the context of bad advice.
Companies that have played down or even ignored the digital transformation, on the other hand, are most definitely facing a revolution. They should prepare for radical change.