Digitisation is transforming business models, processes and strategies, and it’s a process that’s not stopping any time soon. Those who aren’t digitising are surrendering to inertia that will eventually be their deathknell. Digitisation has become a competitive necessity, and for innovative companies, a way to quickly gain competitive advantage over incumbents too comfortable with the status quo. As with all changes, digitisation begins with it a change in mindset. Employees have to be convinced about its need and trained to deal with it. Digitisation transforms the way people work every day, and it is imperative that employees help advance this change. Company leadership must provide a vision around which employees can unite, while showing foresight and moving ahead with a confidence that takes the entire team along to embrace this new world order.
Meaningful digital transformation goes well-beyond simply mechanising a set of processes, as existing workflows are often too slow and not built to meet the demands of the digital economy. For a smooth digitisation process, it’s important to keep in mind the following:
- Understand that it doesn’t mean merely going from analog to bits. It’s a whole new world of far greater possibilities for expanding the company’s business, engaging customers in new ways, and accelerating how the organization does its work. People, processes, and technology will all be affected.
- Keep in mind that it’s a gradual process in which functions learn how to collaborate more closely around a common vision – particularly a customer-centric vision – and processes begin to streamline. It’s important to give this stage time.
- Accept the disruption that digitisation will bring. It’s going to permanently change the company’s structure, alter its cultural fabric, break functional silos, and build a completely new roadmap for any business. And, it’s a greatly rewarding journey. As disruptive as it may sound, it’s productive disruption, and businesses cannot move forward without it.
The banking sector is testimony to the massive boost in productivity that digitisation can bring. Of course, the process was long and has come with its share of challenges. But nothing beats the resulting efficiency. Remember those days when you had to visit the bank for every small request such as finding out your account balance? Now, every transaction is on your phone. Completely effortless. Our retail experience has also been greatly impacted by this wave of change, giving us access to more purchase options and products that are better aligned to our individual needs and tastes. Similarly, our classrooms are transforming. Blackboards are making way for smart boards, and teachers from all over the world can engage a handful of students, even from remote locations, in a virtual classroom setting.
Change isn’t easy, but as we’ve all experienced, nothing rewarding ever comes without disruption. Visionary leaders and their teams have made this transformation successfully. Employees have welcomed new skills, better processes, and far less friction in their workloads that digitisation has brought.
Digitisation is a shift in mindset for how we interact across all facets of life and business. It’s a journey that companies, governments and people need to take together. By putting customers and their end consumers in the spotlight, our organisations can be more profitable, our economies more powerful, and our everyday lives more enjoyable, safer, and better.