You can tell a lot about how digital your life has become simply by examining the thirty minutes before and after you sleep each night. When I woke up this morning, the first thing I did was swipe the screen of my [digital] phone to turn off my [digital] alarm clock, which was blaring Your Love is My Drug by Kesha. Two taps later, I was looking at my customized [digital] bulletin board—Twitter—which featured a link to a new post in my favorite [digital] publication: www.keshadaily.com. All of this took place before I got up and adjusted my home’s [digital] thermostat, stepped on my [digital] scale, and brushed my teeth using [digital] toothpaste (patent pending).
In many ways, my routine is completely distinct from what it was two decades ago—just look at how many times I used the word “digital” in my description of it! But, interestingly, if you remove all instances of the D-word from that paragraph, it A) still mostly makes sense today and B) might even have made sense to someone 20 or even 80 years ago.
While acquiring a smartphone with access to social media and the ability to remotely control my home’s temperature is something I scarcely could have imagined back in the 90s, it actually hasn’t changed my morning routine very much. Why? Because my basic morning needs haven’t really changed. I still need to wake up, eat something, etc. In this way, digitalization isn't such a huge shift from our analog past, because the underlying needs change much more gradually than the means by which we address them.
Take a look a look at your organization’s business processes and see if my words ring true. You’ll probably notice that the core processes probably haven’t changed all that much over the years.
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