Recently we conducted a survey among company leaders and decision makers in tech companies in and around Sweden. In this survey we asked them about their ideas on digitalization, how it is affecting their companies and how it is or is not implemented in their business.
Results show that many are aware of the benefits that come with digitalization, and see that it is a crucial part in streamlining business and improving customer experience. However, along with this notion many also state that they lack the competence and know-how to make these changes happen within their company. In fact: while the advantages of digitalization were largely acknowledged, only 33 % stated that they had an appointed digitalization expert within their organization.
Previously in this blog we have talked about the rapidness of change and the need of staying relevant in order to survive. One of the ways digitalization is changing things is that it allows companies to mix, merge and expand different services and go into new areas of business. If we think about the integration of services or the addition of new functions, historically these were time- consuming processes because it included integration of different systems and the use of physical wires. These days with content, systems and infrastructures digitized, these things can happen more seamlessly and painlessly. If you’re running an e-commerce business and want to add some holiday spirit to your site, this can often be done in a matter of minutes by changing the colors around, you don’t have to climb on the roof to physically install the Christmas lights.
The point here is that with content and systems digitized a new world of opportunities arise and the real challenge is figuring out what to do with it. Netflix makes for a good example: once movies and series got digitized and people started to watch them on their computers, they figured they could start streaming them through an online service. Once the market for DVD’s rapidly declined Netflix stayed relevant not because they had digitized all those movies but because they figured out how to use them. Fast-forward a couple of years and Netflix is establishing itself as one of the key players in Hollywood as they are now producing their own content, read more here.
In the survey mentioned above the company leaders listed improved customer experience (37 %) and more effective processes (32 %) as the 2 largest benefits gained from digitalization. One could easily argue that Netflix did both by eliminating the need for customers to visit a video store and making their catalogue instantly available with the click of a button.
To tie back to where we started it is quite easy to make examples of companies that benefited from digitalization and say “wow we should do that”. But it’s also very easy to fall back and do what you’ve always been doing. The point is though, as many opportunities as this creates it also leaves a lot of companies in the dust to disappear (read blockbuster). With the increased opportunity to quickly transform and transcend your business, customer expectations have also risen in terms of functionality and accessibility. The thought of getting out of your house to rent a movie is a farfetched idea for many today, but it was common practice only a few years ago. With that in mind, hiring somebody with the tools and the know-how of how to leverage your company into the near future, might not be such a bad idea.
Start by measuring you digitalization index, and see what you can do to become more digital.