In this field I think there is a lot of confusion and it is the great opportunity of the SMEs, but I also detect a great lack of knowledge
To begin with, it should be noted that digitization must be a tool at the service of the strategy. Or, rather, as a way of making profitable information assets available to the strategic initiatives of the company in question.
Also, digitization must be part of the set of levers of transformation of the company. Transformation of what we usually do, modifying “ways of doing” and, in turn, creating new activities. On the one hand, it is about doing new things (for example, manufacturing products or providing services with new functionalities) and, on the other hand, doing the usual things in a more efficient way starting from the application of principles such as standardization and integration of information.
A business management professional feeds the engine of these transformations by supplying raw materials such as financial assets (you have to invest and you have to manage the cash, among others), human assets (employees must want, power and know how to do what the implementation of demand strategy) and, of course, information assets of the company.
All these information assets must become organizational capital that, in turn, constitutes a valuable intangible generator of differentiating attributes and sustainable competitive advantages. These assets and intangibles are the object of digitization and the management of them, their reason for being.
But what is it? Digitization, IoT, CRM implementation?
The digitalization can confuse us taking several forms, but its essence is always the same. Thus, the satisfactory exploitation of the mentioned information assets can lead us to endow our products with new value layers. If, for example, we are a manufacturing industry that wants to react to a movement of competition or position itself in a new market. Therefore, digitization can take the form of “IoT or Industry 4.0”.
We can also get to integrate all the information about the relationship history with customers when we seek to improve their user experience. For example, if we are a company interested in solving quality problems in delivery and after sales. In this case, we will talk about integration solutions for the information that is scattered by the different functional silos of the company. The digitalization in this case will take the aspect of the “GPR or CRM implementation”.
We may experience the pressing need to take the growth bull by the horns and, therefore, the urgency of meeting the challenge of generating demand. This could be carried out through the execution of an inbound marketing strategy capable of integrating online demand and offline demand in an efficient and automated flow.
Digitization is not launching projects to implement certain technological recipes pushed by the different actors located on the supply side. Digitization must act as a lever of strategies and, as such, must be activated with clear “for what” reasons: to accelerate business expansion, to increase customer satisfaction, to better evaluate the quality of suppliers or to put in the market more innovative products / services, to give some examples.
How to face the inexcusable challenge that digitalization is?
Digitization needs to be directed and governed: the person in charge of doing it must not be other than the CEO; everything else is milongas. What is delegated is execution, but never responsibility or government. In terms of digitalization we can not abdicate by excusing ourselves in the supposed complexity of technology.
Digitization begins at a point established by the level of maturity of each organization: it is not the same to digitize a company that still does not have ERP that a company that already has data to be exploited. In the first case, digitization may enable certain strategic lines and, in the second case, it may enable others.
And (oh, surprise!) The digitalization does not go with technology: it is about business transformation. If we do not interpret our organizations as the sociocultural entities that they are, we will fail in our attempt to transform them in a meaningful way. Digitization must be another means, but never an end in itself.
When digitization is formulated, evaluated and controlled by corporate governance, it is guaranteed that it is embedded in key initiatives. When expressed in the language of the business and referred to through expressions such as “improve quality”, “increase demand”, “reduce operating costs” or “reduce time to market” we have the certainty of what strategy and technology.
This is the reason why the benefits obtained by digitization are directly proportional to their ability to go unnoticed. And I explain: the more imbricated is this in each of the strategic lines of the company, less need to create an isolated project of digitization of it (ie the “well-known” systems plans) that obeys fashions or initiatives designed from outside the business. These projects “patch” or “placebo” lead us to disastrous results obtained by pure intellectual laziness (or clouding caused by technology and its infinite possibilities, what a terrible trap!) Of not facing digitization as what is plain and simple is : the exploitation of a wonderful opportunity to transform our companies here and now.
Digital workers: companies are committed to ultramobility
70% of companies will bet next year for ultramobility as a strategy to improve productivity.
In a scenario where digitalization combined with agility and flexibility is a new concept: ultramobility. It is a new way of understanding the job position where workers can have everything they need in a single mobile device, such as the smartphone.
This fact transforms the way of working because it incorporates new digital tools so that the productive processes are more efficient and the work is optimized,
besides improving the user’s own experience. Ultramobility offers new possibilities when it comes to combining the mobility of a smartphone with the security provided by virtual work environments.
In this sense, and to know the current state of mobility and ultramobility in Spain, the consultancy IDC and Telefónica have conducted a study based on a survey of 202 multisector companies with more than 50 employees. The purpose of the analysis was to help companies improve their productivity to reach new markets, optimize production processes and improve the experience of workers.
The keys to ultramobility
First of all, 70% of the companies surveyed affirm that ultramobility provides them with great benefits, among which are: versatility, improvement of the TCO, simplicity of management, and greater efficiency and security.
On the other hand, we are witnessing the era of the digital worker, a challenge for many companies, since it supposes a substantial change in the way of working: this profile develops its activity, mainly in a much more flexible mobile environment. In this way, the report reveals that the main characteristics of the digital worker are:
Possibility of working from anywhere (72.3%).
Access to information at any time (60.9%).
I work in a safe environment (47.5%).
These conclusions are the result of the digital transformation that companies are living to adapt, which “forces their employees to work from anywhere, accessing large volumes of information and with a high level of collaboration between them”, according to statements from Diego López Román, digital workplace manager at Telefónica, collected on the IDC blog.
Regarding the professional profiles where ultramobility stands out the most, IDC points out the following: commercial (60%), managers (55%), professionals of the structure (45%) and field strength (31.3%),
New mobility strategies
The companies immersed in the now famous Connected Industry 4.0. they are beginning to define new mobility strategies focused on improving productivity (54.4%), optimizing the use of resources (39.1%), and achieving more work flexibility (39.1%). In addition, by 46%, the mobility strategy is the result of a decision that has a global impact on the company.
Virtualization of the workplace is another of the initiatives to find ultramobility solutions because, according to the report, it simplifies management and facilitates security in an isolated environment. In fact, 60.8% of the companies surveyed have already implemented, or are beginning to do so, a strategy of this type.
However, “the process of change will not be easy because companies have to face a series of challenges, such as change management or the calculation of return on investment. What we can confirm is that, in 2018, 75% of digital initiatives in Spain will be co-led by IT departments “, detailed Laura Castillo, an analyst at IDC Research Spain, in statements made in the same blog.
Digitization is reaching all sectors and these are just a few more steps to reach the new technological ecosystem.