Is digital transformation successful every time?
After establishing our own successful business, we rarely feel like making drastic changes. We try to constantly improve the product we offer, but are much less optimistic about introducing completely new services, moving our business to the digital world or abandoning old, proven solutions. The very thought of such drastic transformations makes one’s skin tingle. Unfortunately, change does not wait for us to feel ready. Every digital transformation has a pivotal moment, after which it is simply too late to transform.
Of course, it’s difficult to speculate on when this small window will occur. It depends on many factors, such as the situation in the global market, the technological development of the area, as well as unpredictable events (such as a pandemic that made education compulsorily remote). What happened to them, and which ones were able to keep afloat through transformation?
Companies that missed the transformation moment and disappeared from the market
The lack of transformation and development was very impactful in its consequences for many companies. They have permanently disappeared from the market or been forced to drastically reduce their field of operation in favor of their competitors. These companies were doing very well in their industry just a few years ago. However, their failure to undertake the necessary digital transformation led to their demise. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Nokia – the company everyone has heard of. Its value at the best of times reached about $400 billion, and over time dropped to $35 billion. How did this happen? When new flip phone models began to dominate the cell phone market, Nokia consistently stuck to its single-body designs. It chose not to take on the challenge of transformation. The final blow for Nokia, however, came in 2007, when the first iPhones appeared on the market. This was the moment when it was simply too late to catch up with the competition and make changes. Once a leading cell phone manufacturer, Nokia had to leave the industry. And all this, thanks to downplaying the need for transformation.
- Blockbuster – the largest and most popular movie and video game rental company. At its peak, the company had more than 9,000 outlets and 84,000 people working for it. In 2010, the company was in debt and declared bankruptcy. How did this giant of the U.S. film market collapse? Blockbuster chose not to make a technological transformation. When Netflix or other services that allow people to watch movies online were gaining momentum, Blockbuster had its chance to make a change. But it didn’t make that decision, and soon began to incur mounting losses until it went bankrupt.
- Kodak – a brand that needs no introduction to anyone. However, not everyone realizes that the company was founded in 1888, and in 1976 Kodak owned 90% of the film market and 85% of the camera market in the United States. In the late 1980s they employed 144,000 people and operated in the market for 131 years until they declared bankruptcy. All those years, yet they went bankrupt, why? Kodak downplayed the technological revolution – the transition from analog to digital photography. It was attached to the old methods and did not want to make changes. The company was constantly improving its products, but did not want to make drastic, far-reaching transformations that would prove groundbreaking. This led to the giant’s downfall.
- Polaroid – another camera company that missed its transformational moment and declared bankruptcy in 2001. Just 10 years earlier, in 1991, it was worth $3 trillion. Polaroid also underestimated the impact of digital cameras.
- MySpace – a social networking site that has influenced the image of the Internet since the beginning of the 21st century. This service was founded in 2003, allowing users to create private profiles, exchange messages and music, text, and visual content. In retrospect, it would seem to have been an almost perfect way to make billions, like Facebook did. So why hasn’t MySpace managed to generate such revenue? From 2005 to 2008 it was the most popular social network. At its height, nearly half a million accounts were created on the site. The service focused primarily on music, and the Arctic Monkeys, among others, gained popularity thanks to it. But then came 2009, when Facebook began making its reference. Mark Zuckerberg was making a number of changes and improvements to his social network for better user experience. And MySpace failed to capitalize on its moment of technological transformation and is now a social network with much less popularity.
- Toys R Us, a toy store that was beloved by children in the United States and Europe, is now in a huge crisis and has gone into debt. Why? When online sales began to grow faster and faster, the company missed its moment to innovate and has already failed to regain its former position.
There are many more companies that missed their chance to make a technological transformation. They prove that to stay relevant in your industry, you must remain vigilant and stay with the times.
Bottom line, every digital transformation has a limited window which does in fact expire
Changes are constantly happening and they have a definite time. But what if we miss a perfect moment to close one chapter and start another? The opportunity is irretrievably lost and we are still stuck in the old way. In the market, we see many such situations, when a company gives up on transformation and disappears from the business never to be seen again. Because of lack of development, standing still is actually going backward. Current realities force constant technological changes. Although it is very difficult to determine the time frame of transformation when it occurs, that is one thing we can be sure of.
Transformation in the field of science and education has already begun and is happening right before our eyes. Therefore, all involved in the education process, including publishers, must be prepared for this transformation so as not to miss that crucial moment. It is only a matter of time before teaching will be done through a hybrid system, using both traditional methods, and interactive resources. The transformation of education is at an increasingly advanced stage. Therefore, to educational publishers who want to continuously develop and seize their opportunities, we offer modern solutions and tools. These will prove helpful when taking on the challenge of educational transformation and to give a chance to seize the pivotal moment.