Everybody is talking about digitalization. However, many people are still unaware of how it will be implemented. If I know where I want to go and where the greatest value creation potential in my company is, I can develop a strategy and define concepts for implementation. This article describes how this can look like.
Digitalization, the need for adaptation
The relevance of technological change is undisputed. Neither does the need for companies to adapt to or use this. This phenomenon is not new. Companies have always been under pressure to use innovative technologies to improve or at least secure their own market position. Today, this pressure is stronger because technological development is advancing faster and is being felt more quickly in the globalized market. Strong innovators such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, Spotify or Netflix are transforming entire sectors of the economy in record time, changing our consumer behaviour and pushing other companies to change or adapt. Such radical and rapid development requires a whole new level of flexibility, or rather: agility, from companies.
How does digital transformation work in my company?
We have given this need for adaptation a name: Digitalization. I also always associate the term digitalization with a lack of technological enlightenment within companies and the necessity to change this. Companies must increasingly use modern technologies, in particular IT solutions for the storage, transmission and analysis of data, in order to be able to act more agile and more efficiently. In this way, we will be able to maintain our position on the world market in the long term, it is said. It is quite easy and reasonable to talk about the meaning of digitalization. The question of implementation becomes more difficult and vague. How can companies approach digitalization? Where should I begin to carry out the much-vaunted digital transformation in my company?
Process analysis as a starting point
My strategy is clear and I know exactly what I want to digitalize. In which areas are there potential for improvement? At this point, I would advise you to consider the business processes. By analysing the individual process steps, it becomes clear which way information (data or documents) is used by my company, when and where it is generated, how it is processed and forwarded. It shows which departments carry out which activities and which existing IT solutions are used for them. Processes that require predominantly manual work are of particular interest here, as they can often be easily optimized by using an IT solution. But the „blind“ implementation of additional software to reduce manual work steps alone is not enough. I have to make sure beforehand that the new software solution completely maps and supports my processes. If there are any breakdowns between my IT systems, I risk redundant and inconsistent data storage. Such a suitability test is also recommended for my existing IT systems. Furthermore, a business process analysis reveals whether important information for the company management (e. g. evaluations) is stored at all and whether it is prepared in a target-oriented manner.
Digitalization yes, but please with concept
It is recommended to formally model the business processes and to extend the presentation by the IT solutions already in use and to be introduced. Furthermore, suitable scenarios for the integration of the new IT solution into the existing infrastructure should be outlined. It is important that the target state is mapped. The result is an individual digitalization concept that forms the basis for the selection, development and implementation of a new IT solution.
Three guiding principles for the creation of a digitalization concept:
- Identification of the digitalization needs by means of a process analysis.
- Evaluation of IT systems (old and new) with regard to their process support.
- Definition of interfaces to avoid process interruptions.
Apandia has many years of experience in the development of individual digitalization concepts. Further information can be found on our Digitalization.
The blog article Integration of digital solutions – Turn Change to Chance describes how employees are involved in the change process and are motivated to contribute to the solution.
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