by Sandeep Nahata
With technology now available for everything from analysis and insights to mundane admin, digitalisation is more than just adopting a few automated processes. Today, digitalisation means integrating technology into almost every aspect of life and work.
While it’s nice to make life easier and be more efficient at home, the importance of efficiency of productivity is far greater in the workplace. Doing something quicker at home means more time to relax, doing something quicker at work could mean saving significant costs.
Innovations like cloud platforms, machine learning, mobile solutions and the Internet of Things (IoT) are improving everything from the breadth and speed of communication to the quality of data and insights at our disposal. Businesses are increasingly using these technologies to making better decisions, improve productivity and increase efficiency. This translates many being able to cut wasted costs, capitalise on profitable opportunities and streamline processes for a better working environment for all.
Of course, the biggest benefit of digitalisation today is simply remaining in the game. Whether you see the benefits of digitalisation to your business or not, no organisation today can afford to put it off any longer. More and more are taking on technology in the workplace with increasing success. Any business that ignores digitalisation is at risk of being left behind completely.
The foundation of any digital ready business is an understanding of the fundamental truths of digitalisation. Without an understanding of why and how to change, people will struggle to do so. While it is true that change can be seen as risky and something to avoid, people are usually happy to do so once they realise why it is essential. There are three main truths of digitalisation that everyone should be aware in order to take on the change.
Once everyone understands that regular and rapid digital change is essential to the progress and success of the business, you can begin to look at cultivating the characteristics of a digital ready organisation. The concept of an “organisation” itself is people forming relationships to working together with shared resources to accomplish common goals in their roles. Using technology to strengthen and enhance relationships, resources and roles is key to creating the characteristics of a digital ready culture.
The best digital organisations are the ones that use technology to break out of their silos. Where as previously businesses struggled against the inefficiencies involved with having one person at the top controlling resources while others had to report up and make requests, technology is now breaking down these barriers. Similarly, companies are no longer siloed in regional areas or even countries.
Today, digital ready organisations can see people reporting to a manager to a different city to the one they work in work with people and access resources across the world to achieve common business goals.
In a similar way to the ‘open-plan’ approach to geography and hierarchy, technology is also enabling employees to have more freedom and choice over how, when and where they work as well as who they work with. Digitalisation has enabled companies and employees to work together to redefine the job roles that are needed and how they work best so they are always evolving to better meet business goals.
Instead of being restricted to a single job title, employees can branch out and shift their focus to other projects and activities that meet the current requirements of the business. They can also more easily and quickly collaborate with each other to share ideas and skills, while accessing more resources than ever before thanks to innovations like cloud platforms.
While companies evolve eventually to have separate functions and roles to manage aspects of the business, every business actually just starts with people. Starting out with little to no resources and having made no profit yet, it’s people coming together to come up with ideas and strategies based on a shared vision that drives the initial success of the company. A digital ready company is one that uses technology to get back to this more agile state while retaining the important functions that now help manage the much larger organisation.
The CEO, CFO, CHRO and CIO and they respective functions should all be able to work together to achieve their singular vision while simultaneously utilisation technology to improve the operation of each individual function. Instead of the CEO and CFO having more importance over the other functions with their management of finances and focus on profit, digitalisation is allowing all of them to work as equals.
The key to being digital ready is simply thriving on the change that digitalisation demands. Understanding, accepting and driving change helps businesses stay agile and adapt to the ever-changing technological world. This essential to keeping a competitive edge and staying successful. By capitalising on change instead of resisting it, companies will adapt to more productive and efficient processes much quicker than their competitors.