Culture, society, and technology cannot be separated from human life as they have a cyclic dependence on each other. In our daily life, we take help of technology even to do a meager task; it helps us to communicate, learn and to do business. It also helps us to live a comfortable life but at the same time; it has caused many concerns as well. Making the most of Digital Transformation through Cultural Change.
For this, we need to determine what kind of future we need and then should create relevant technologies and regulations in order simplify our lives. However, in this entire race, we cannot forget that culture creates a huge impact on technological and digital transformations.
Making the most of Digital Transformation through Cultural Change
Digital transformation requires a cultural and technological shift. Digital Transformation and culture are directly related to each other in a way that change in culture impacts digital transformation whereas; a boom in digital transformation affects the cultural development of a society. When we talk about digital and technological transformations, Consumer, Vendor and Service providers are primarily connected to each other and in return influence digital transformation of a country.
Many tech experts refer to culture as the air to the road of digital transformation: you cannot see or feel it but it is very necessary and always present. Digital Transformation and culture are directly related to each other in a way that change in culture impacts digital transformation whereas; a boom in digital transformation affects the cultural development of a society.
Communication is the heart of socialization which is the key aspect in cultural transmission. Technologies impact manners of communication which influence our socialization hence, affecting our culture and building new digital habits. Nowadays as consumers are adopting digital lifestyle quickly, every society should mold itself accordingly and must adopt new ways to interact with people on daily basis. Many Tech gurus believe in changing technologies and infrastructure while forgetting the role of the human element. This will not bring positive results or lasting changes will not happen until a favorable culture for technology adoption is not created in a society.
Pakistan is the world’s sixth most populated country having 194.9 million people. Rural population in Pakistan is reported at 61.24% according to World Bank collection of development indicators. More than 50 percent of the population residing in rural areas creates a major hold up in achieving the status of a truly digital society due to the fact that many people don’t even know about new technologies. Despite such obstructions, mobile Phone penetration is very high in Pakistan with 90% geographical coverage and over 141 million subscribers since 2014.
The IT sector exports have reached over USD 2.5 billion and the Broadband penetration has jumped from 3% in 2014 to some 27%.The IT and Telecom sectors are also generating new jobs as businesses utilize modern ICT technologies such as e-commerce, e-education, e-banking, e-health, and business related to IT applications. Tech and IT entrepreneurship are on the rise for past many years. Public and private sectors are showing full support to young entrepreneurs to bring their innovative ideas into a reality. Therefore, the fact of the matter is although Pakistan is on the right track for technology development but requires a cultural change to achieve complete digital transformation.
Most of the Pakistani citizens do not know the full potential of internet despite being connected to the internet as for them internet still means access to social media alone. While there is also a section of society who are well-versed with the hi-tech advancements of internet and modern technology but are still unaware about the developments taking place in their own country.
Many Tech gurus believe in changing technologies and infrastructure while forgetting the role of the human element. This will not bring positive results or lasting changes will not happen until a favorable culture for technology adoption is not created in a society
The technology is there, but its use is still uncommon in the country. Government has started many mobile services to facilitate the citizens but people still follow the conventional methods of personally visiting government offices for solution of their problems. The reason being, either they do not know about the services or don’t know how to use such services.
While, there are also such kind of people who do not trust online services. All of this shows that from cultural perspective, we are not ready for a digital transformation yet. More than 50 percent of the population residing in rural areas creates a major hold up in achieving the status of a truly digital society.
With the quick transformation of technology worldwide, we terribly need to be futuristic and lay ground for adoption of upcoming technological advancements and overcome digital divide. It’s easier to change the digital culture because the digital market segment comprises of people who are open to change but incorporating the change in an actual culture of the society is a much difficult task that requires patience and constant vigilance. There are some key elements needed for Government to adopt digital culture. For this purpose, ICT policies must be made by keeping in mind the present and future waves of technological changes.
With the quick transformation of technology worldwide, we terribly need to be futuristic and lay ground for adoption of upcoming technological advancements and overcome digital divide. Hence, if we look at the developed nations, their policy makers are working on many futuristic areas that are overlooked in the recent policy draft formulated by our Government.
Creating awareness about the digital services is of vital importance. When KPK police started their online and mobile services it ran a huge media campaign on all platforms resultantly, not only the people of KPK are familiar with the KPK Police reforms but also the rest of the Pakistani citizens also know about that. In the same way, mobile financial services like easypaisa, JazzCash and Upaisa have reached the far flung areas of Pakistan; the reason once again being, effective awareness campaign. Creating awareness among people and sensitizing them with the new technology is extremely necessary for adoption of new digital services and digital evolution. Therefore, similar kinds of initiatives are also required by other provincial governments and federal government as well as private businesses.
Digital transformation is inevitable and the benefits are too compelling. The success of digital transformation requires more than just outstanding software and services. It requires a sense of humanity for the people being served.
Creating awareness among people and sensitizing them with the new technology is extremely necessary for adoption of new digital services and digital evolution.
The journey of transformation is hard, especially for a country like Pakistan where people and entities are traditionally maintaining less technology savvy culture and are more inclined to resist transformation process. Therefore, the biggest challenge of all is to sell the idea of change itself.
We need to build a culture that supports technology adoption. It will take time but the sooner we act, the more quickly we will be able to compete in today’s fast-paced, digitized, multichannel world. The bottom line is very clear: Culture is the most important and vital enabler of digital transformation. Without people, Tools will not make any difference.