We live in a time of great change, a time when possibilities seem to be boundless. Technological developments change society faster than ever before. Just think of it, we are the last generation in human history who has experienced a life without the internet.
Norway is well-established as a nation: we have a highly educated population, good and stable economy, flat structures in society, access to world-class technology, and perhaps the most important of all: we trust each other. Everything is in place for Norwegian businesses – both public and private – to succeed in digital development. And many businesses really succeed! International measurements put Norway on top when it comes to digitization.
Nevertheless, there are still many who think of digitization as pure efficiency, and not as a driving force for transformation of business. There are already today infinite many products that can streamline work processes and create new services for users. Technology is there, but it is often challenging to use it in an organization. The most demanding in this process is to go from abstract words and conceptual descriptions of what digital transformation is, to actual action.
So, what is the most important thing for businesses to think about in order to succeed with their digital transformation?
Management plays a key role in digital development. Digitization is business development and the responsibility for it cannot be delegated to an IT department, it must be at the top of the organization. Digital management is about ensuring that there is good cooperation and trust between business and IT, so that you work together to drive innovation.
There is no one who expects senior management to be technical specialists, but they cannot be completely unaware either. In order to lead their business into the future, managers must challenge themselves, learn to understand and see the opportunities digital technologies provide.
Create a long-term business plan
Call it a strategy. Clarify the goal with digitization in the business. The purpose may be new business processes, new ways of serving customers, more efficient processes, new and more satisfied customers, new markets. This must be clearly defined and rooted in the organization. The focus should be on business development and not specific technologies.
Establish a systematic approach to innovation and digitization
The difficult digitization processes are transforming the good ideas into practice. This is especially true in big businesses. How do you succeed in growing digital innovation in organizations where new development must fit into rigid management processes?
It is important to acknowledge that it is today’s business models that account for today’s income, and it’s quite stupid to relinquish everything you do well today. At the same time, today’s business models are not viable in the long term, and it is absolutely necessary to have a thoughtful commitment to the future.
Put the user in focus
Digitization projects that have thought about too much technology and too few people usually do not work well. User orientation and user experience is the very essence of a digital transformation. The characteristics of the businesses that succeed in digitizing are that they know who their customers are, they talk to their customers and understand their needs.
Make plans for how your business will win the battle for the talents
Critical factor to succeed in digital development is to get the right skills. Here’s both to get new wise heads and to further develop the old ones. Everyone knows it, but few businesses have a systematic approach to their employees learning new skills that they will need in the new digital world.
Apply methods and tools that already exist
Do not start re-inventing the wheel. There are many methodologies, tools and tips on how businesses can succeed in digital development.
Make better use of data
Information is one of the most important resources in business development. A clear majority of companies and businesses have great potential in leveraging their data better. Digital development, user involvement and good data management are connected.
Make better use of market and management data, and tidy up data that are currently in your business systems.
The most important thing for digitization is that IT and business are linked together. Businesses must dare to take the necessary risk to try out new ways to work on, deliver services and products. Transcendent Group has experienced consultants that assist businesses with digitization and business development, please feel free to contact us for more input.
Written by Victoria Elkina