The Best Future for Businesses: Digitalisation
Nowadays, digitalisation has become the core base of business resilience. For example, in the past five years, Amazon has become a threat to many businesses. It is mostly because the company was an influential early disruptive and most businesses were not prepared to see it go into an online bookseller. Business people often cite Amazon as the alpha male of disruption. However, disruption, in modern business parlance means digitalisation.
Besides, Amazon has taken the bookshops and removed the premises, the cashier and the journey to the shop. That is digitalisation. Even Uber has gone towards digitalisation because it took the taxis and removed the dispatch centre and the ride-hailing hassle. Digitalisation is essential for the business. If they use digitalisation, they will scale faster, work more efficiently and succeed better.
For example, even Andrew Duncan, who is the partner and UK CEO at Infosys Consulting, said that digitalisation is the future. He also adds that companies which are slow to start digitalisation will “go into the sink”. Today we are seeing a widened resilience gap between digital leaders and digital laggards. This gap will likely continue to grow during the coming months.
Digitisation vs. Digitalisation
Digitisation is a process, and digitalisation is a way of doing things. Digitisation takes things from the physical world and converts them into a digital format. For example, adding fuel receipts into a spreadsheet in the back office is digitisation. Digitalisation is the process of handing over of an entire approach to the digital realm. For example, in business digitalisation can also mean that during a meeting call, you can use Slack or Zoom.
In the supermarket, digitalisation can mean scanning your shopping and paying it via a self-service terminal. In the gaming industry, digitalisation also instead of going to a physical gaming store, you connect to an online store. Besides, in the casino gaming industry digitalisation was seen much more evident because of the technology advancements where a land-based casino has also moved online and became the online casino
For businesses, digitalisation represents an opportunity, but it is also a challenge because the challenge consists in going towards changing. When digitalisation is done on a larger scale it can create considerable efficiencies in costs and time. However, managing the transformation is difficult and to implement and integrate system it is costly. Leaders in IT have to weigh the benefits of early adoption against the cost of migrating to the newest technologies later.
In order to remain relevant, businesses need to use data to understand their customers and create innovations for them, where they can embrace it and be able to pivot where necessary. Besides, on paper digitalisation makes sense; however, companies who struggle to make real-world progress, and want to take the digitalisation route, they will face a road with cluttered obstacles.
Peter Walker is CTO EMEA at Blue Prism, and he specialises in robotic process automation
. His views on digitalisation are that it has to be led from the top. He is well aware that IT and technical leaders are vital in ensuring smooth rollouts and the ongoing running of the platform. However, it is down to business leaders who need to decide the best outcome for their business. They need to understand the operational challenges and demands to make the best decision. This also means that business owners need to take time to see the benefits across the organisation so they can educate the potential customers to turn them into optimistic proponents and adopters of the technology.
John Appleby, CEO of Avantra, said that today, digitalisation is imperative for any business to survive. For example, he urges a more cautious approach towards AI-led digitalisation. In addition, digitalisation needs to be approached holistically because the transition to digital is a collective-action problem, which means that businesses should welcome digitalisation as a company-wide solution. In the very beginning, a company needs a multi-phase transformation strategy and a detailed execution plan. Open communication is necessary for every department in the organisation.
Collaboration is the key. Andrew Duncan also adds that digitalisation is not about removing departments or bringing them together under a single umbrella. Digitalisation is about establishing a new mindset, that of networks instead of silos, flattened structures instead of hierarchies, and speed over precision. Many companies agree that digitalisation must involve employees too. Business leaders need to spend some time and tease the information out because the value that is locked in their minds is a large part of a core business advantage.
Also, companies shouldn’t forget their customers as well. Many companies think of digitalisation as a single project; however, this is a misunderstanding because digital transformation is an ongoing process
. Just because a company has to undergo digital transformation, they also need to remain customer-focused. To do that, companies need to create a data-driven strategy that enables deeply informed decision-making across each tier of the organisation.
The process is simple: companies need to put their customer first. There are even a few questions that may help with the process, such as: What are the customers needs? How can they be serviced? What digital approach is needed to help them out? If these questions are answered correctly, then the approach to digitalisation will be taken care of by itself.
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