Given the rapid technological developments of recent years, it is no surprise that digital adaptation is not an easy challenge for organisations. Digital transformation is not affecting industries at the same pace, but in today’s connected world, it will eventually impact and gradually remodel all industries. Organisations in industries that have not been significantly transformed yet may lack a sense of urgency when it comes to embracing new technology, but they should be wary of this perspective.
Along with technological change, customer requirements progress as well, and businesses can fall behind on their expected performance. Furthermore, in larger organisations who do not take advantage of available technology (for communication, automation etc.), fragmentation can occur as different departments start to consolidate their own business practices separated from the whole, which can negatively impact performance long term.
A study by MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting demonstrated that executives and managers realise the importance of digital transformation for maintaining and growing their competitive position. However, many feel that their companies are not effectively responding to this need to adapt, mostly due to complacency or a lack of vision.*
Technology and people
Not taking advantage of new digital opportunities can also impact a business in terms of human resources. Employees are a company’s biggest asset, and technology can greatly help attract and retain talent, by offering flexible working opportunities, which are highly sought especially by younger generations. Moreover, managers can significantly benefit from digital transformation, which enables them to effectively monitor and analyse employee performance, through workforce management solutions.
Adapting to the digital world
Organizations who will succeed in the next 10 years will be the ones who embrace digital change as part of their ethos and culture. We are now in the era of more established platforms and the “storming” phase of mobile apps and IT is in the “norming” phase. Fully embracing technology can do more than just automate business practices, it can impact the entire business model of an organisation. The technological change in a business should begin with a vision and strategy from top management. The strategy should be clearly communicated to employees, and consistent small steps towards digitisation should become a priority. A flexible architecture that can be easily reshaped to match new digital options is an important aspect of maintaining a competitive position, as fixed structures are more difficult to adjust.
Companies which have digitised by focusing on low cost can find themselves using multiple disconnected providers, making integration problematic. A next step would be to focus on interoperability by adopting an integrated solution approach, which can solve issues associated with fragmentation and help manage change efficiently.
Organizations burnt by previous experiences need to self-assess and learn from them but not be put off. The digital transformation undertaken needs to match the direction of the altering industry and consumer requirements. Not responding to the digital imperative could put their future existence in peril, as they are likely to lose to competitors who adapt.
Mobile Worker Plus delivers a next generation software platform with a number of off-the-shelf and customisable apps plus a number of complementary products and services that are geared to help our customers increase efficiency, embrace technology, reduce costs and remain competitive in a rapidly changing world.
* MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting study: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/projects/embracing-digital-technology/