The digital revolution is accelerating day by day, changing the reality that surrounds us – including the business environment. If we recall the world 10 years ago when the iPhone and Facebook were brand-new and exciting, it is even more difficult to answer the question: how to run a business to enjoy its success in the next decade?
Every revolution has its winners and losers, so the digital transformation must necessarily lead some companies to bankruptcy, but it will also create new leaders that will take the opportunities provided by digitization in both hands. So instead of asking how my company will look in the future, it’s better to ask how to act now to survive the digital transformation of the economy.
Digitization In My Company
First and foremost, you need to be sure that digitization means something specific at your company. It can’t be just another buzzword that is used, but doesn’t mean anything in practice. Define what it means here and now – for this reason, it is a good idea to take a look at your business as a whole.
Consider how to use technological advantages to:
The digital transformation of your company can be a new idea for a product or service, or can provide new value to your offer. It can also be new sales and communication channels, or a completely new way of utilizing data that already exists within the company, but has not been fully used so far. Digitization can also mean a change in the way the company operates: streamlining processes, using tools that improve work, increase efficiency or reduce costs.
Digital transformation can be a business strategy or just another tool to improve the company’s operations. Digitalization can be used on many different levels, which doesn’t necessarily mean a radical change of the business model, and not every company must become a technological company today or tomorrow.
If a company belongs to a traditional branch of the economy, for example a producer of combs, it doesn’t have to immediately create an R&D department that will work on a prototype of an intelligent hair styling tool. But it also doesn’t mean that digitalization will not help such a company in other areas of its operations, for example in reaching new groups of clients using a mobile application for hairdressers, or in optimizing production lines using ERP and predictive analytics. Even in such an industry, the possibilities are limitless.
A Company With Traditions Versus Startups
Traditional companies don’t have to start off on the back foot in the contest with startups, because they also have strengths which startups are missing.
Among them are:
However, all these advantages shouldn’t mean that such companies can fall asleep at the wheel. A revolution in the industry can cut down even the biggest players, regardless of whether they try to keep up with changes. A good example is Fuji Film, whose troubles began with the replacement of classic cameras with digital cameras; when the company had already switched to the production of its own digital cameras, these were replaced by cameras in smartphones in turn. Examples can be magnified – the disappearance of video libraries, the problems faced by phonographic companies or taxi corporations. Times are tough and every industry keeps an eye out for its own Uber.
On the other hand, there are still sectors which are dominated by traditional companies with an established position on the market, of which the best example here is the banking sector. To a large extent, this is due to the huge entry costs for companies that would like to enter this market, but thanks to the sharing economy it is also starting to change as well. So even in this industry, there is a huge level of investment in innovative solutions – banks and insurance companies do not want to miss the moment when their advantage, resulting from the scale and trust of customers, will no longer be an engine with sufficient power to drive the business.
Economies Of Scale For Everyone
Undoubtedly, the digital revolution is a huge opportunity for business. For example, thanks to cloud services, we gain access to the unlimited computing power of servers without the need to invest a single penny in infrastructure. The cloud also brings a significant reduction of the initial costs of both starting a business and starting a new project or creating a new product. This means that nowadays everyone can benefit from economies of scale which until recently were only available to the largest players.
Today’s business environment has a wide range of innovative solutions and tools that can be used in every area of the company, including systems to support sales, marketing, finances, operations and supply chain management, business analytics or PR activities. All are available at affordable prices, sometimes even for free. Utilizing them requires only enough effort to keep abreast of the technology, trends and news in the industry, as well as perseverance in testing subsequent versions of tools.
Digital transformation requires effort and the constant search for:
Success in the digital economy depends on “digital heroes” who are constantly curious, and are not afraid to give things a try or make mistakes. Digital transformation is a continuous process, so it requires constant curiosity, commitment and the measurement of its effects. Of course, in every company that has been operating for some time, there are processes, systems and methods that seem to be impossible to change at first glance. But the digital hero should face those challenges head-on, take action and do as much as he can. Good luck!
Author: Piotr Zyguła, is the President and CEO of JCommerce SA, a Polish IT outsourcing provider specializing in custom software development and nearshore teams delivery.