Digitalization has become some of a buzzword in recent years. And while some industries like Amazon and BMW have obvious places they can replace analog processes with digital ones, many other companies struggle with the ongoing digital revolution.
As attractive as the benefits of digitalization are, how do you start introducing digital solutions to your organization? Well, we have 3 questions we always ask our potential customers, to understand their needs and expectations.
Why Do you Want to Start Digitalization?
While this may seem like an obvious question to ask yourself, having a specific plan before deciding which type of software to use or buy can save you many headaches. A survey by The Harvard Business Review shows a growing interest among companies to use technology. The survey also cements the importance of organizations identifying which core capabilities they wish to transform. After establishing the main goals, businesses can start to concentrate on finding the most suited technologies.
According to Mark McDonald from Accenture Strategy, a strategy is; “[…]* setting a direction, sequencing resources and making commitments.”* The why question above defines the direction a business should go.
By starting the digitalization process with the questions of why you want to digitize and what you want to achieve with the process, you specify what success looks like. This will make researching specific technology much easier. The why question will also often reveal a specific problem facing you and your organization.
As an example, say you are an HR manager in a medium-sized company, and any new ideas about the recruitment process have to be run through your department and the various departments you are hiring for. Asking yourself why you want to digitize this process, will probably reveal that you want to streamline the hiring process.
Now that you have a specific goal in mind, you can move on to the second question.
Who are your Employees/Colleagues?
You probably know your colleagues, at least enough to make small-talk. But try to think of them in a big picture context. How many are you? What is the average age? And what about their digital maturity?
If your company is filled with young whippersnappers who live and breath the newest technology, the digital learning curve is more of a molehill. The same cannot be said for older and less tech-savvy employees, who might need a bit more help and instruction.
Considering your employee’s strengths and weaknesses are incredibly important, as it can make or break your transition.
“Without employee engagement, you cannot execute on your business strategy or achieve your business goals” – Sandy Nessing, Managing Director, Corporate Sustainability at American Electric Power
Nessing also describes the transition from analog to digital as a continuum of learning. You should view digitalization the same way. Transitioning into using digital tools is not a sprint if anything this type of mentality can be harmful.
To make the transition from analog to digital as hassle-free as possible, focus on platforms with intuitive features and a simple approach. Tools that mimic social media or other already known platforms are especially worth looking at.
When the needs of your employees have been examined, you can subsequently go to the third and final question.
How Does your Organization Function?
This question relates both to the minutia of your office-life and the overall culture in your organization. Depending on what your daily challenges are, you should focus on tools, software, and technology that helps this. As an example, tools that facilitate cross-department and international communication would be perfect for an international organization that struggles with easy communication. Similarly, a tool that makes organizing and sharing ideas simply is perfect for a company that struggles with brainstorming.
In terms of organizational culture, focus on tools and platforms that match your culture. If you have a culture of risk-taking and experimenting, then, by all means, get creative with your digital tools. In an organization where change moves slow, tools that are intuitive to use are more appropriate.
In summary, when considering digitalization, you need to have a good understanding of the needs of your organization and your colleagues.
If you want to read more about business culture, why not check out “How Strong is Your Corporate Culture?”. Or perhaps you want to read more about digitalization: “Surprisingly, Digital Transformation Begins With Digitalization.