Innovative ideas are not enough to make a company successful. For success, you need to implement these ideas in a consistent and profitable way. The most important thing is to be fast. With 2019, what is needed now is to accept the possible disruptive effects of the innovations that come quickly, focus on solutions and accelerate the digitization processes within the company.
Closing the Eye to New Developments is Often Deadly for Companies
It was in 1975 when Steve Sasson, an engineer working at Eastman Kodak developed the world’s first digital camera. However, the company he worked with did not give this new and groundbreaking technology the value he deserved and sent useless ideas to the dusty shelves of his history. As a result of this decision, unable to keep up with the digitization period, Kodak found itself on the dusty shelves in the history of unsuccessful companies, and eventually in 2012, the company declared bankruptcy. However, today’s digital camera is still based on Steve Sasson’s first patent.
At the time of these developments, Kodak took into consideration the demands of its customers for better colors and higher image quality. And of course, the first digital camera couldn’t even get close to the quality of analog cameras. For this reason, it was not seen as a sufficiently competitive and innovative product for Kodak. At this point, what the company ignored was this: New technologies characteristically lag behind existing technology when they first appeared, until they gained the necessary momentum and left all other alternatives behind them. Therefore, it will certainly not be beneficial to ignore new technologies due to some deficiencies.
Digitalization has become a must for companies for a long time. Here are five rules that must be followed to realize this transformation:
• Culture exchange
• Customer orientation
• Take action quickly
• Process integration
• Being ready to sacrifice your own business model
These five rules show us that digital transformation must first of all rise on the basis of the way of thinking and management methodology within the company.
1.Allow Cultural Change
Having a good strategy for digital transformation doesn’t work well if your employees don’t want to implement it. The media presents digitalization from time to time as a negative development that will cause many people to lose their jobs. Therefore, it can be considered normal that your employees are not too enthusiastic in their digital transformation journey.
What managers need to do is not to force the transformation process, but to inspire employees for this process. Decision makers must first realize that the mentality must change in order to overcome the strongest barriers before them. To achieve this, you should involve your employees and address their concerns. What needs to be done with digitalization is not to eliminate some positions or jobs, but to give employees more sensitive and value-creating jobs and to be more customer oriented. When you proceed in this way, the company culture you will create will allow you to be fast, increase your risk appetite and try new things.
2.Focus On Customer
In the last 15-20 years, many companies, especially large companies, have significantly increased their productivity with their rapidly developing IT infrastructure and tools. What needs to be done now is to focus more on digital platforms and generate more benefits for their customers. Instead of constantly following the trends, “What do our customers actually want?” We have to ask. When you have this mindset, you will get more market share and organic growth.
As a good example of this, thanks to EASY Service Application, Ritter Energie- und Umwelttechnik GmbH & Co. By working with, we can show a project we have realized in the field of customer service. Ritter previously followed processes related to machine maintenance and controls with analog documents and mostly manual operations. This situation not only caused frequent errors but also caused problems for the customer. Many work orders or customer requests could be included in the system days or even weeks later.
Now Ritter uses a mobile application for customer service, so technical staff can respond to requests much faster, and errors can be significantly reduced.
This pilot project has evolved ever since, making it its current state as the EASY Service App. It has been a great success for the field and customer service as it has been developed according to direct customer needs. Please click to read the progress of this process in detail.
3. Get Started and Improve Yourself
Decision makers do not have the luxury to experience indecision, because digitalization will definitely not wait for you. However, you don’t have to make a revolutionary move at once. You can also adapt digitalization step by step. Along with customer needs and market dynamics, new technologies are constantly changing, while long-term strategies are losing their meaning. It will be much better to make short-term plans and adapt them according to your goals. The motto of agile and dynamic companies is “learning by doing”. Leaders of the digital ecosystem, such as Facebook, Amazon and eBay, have shown us all how to start, test and then change and improve continuously.
The value of innovations that are quickly implemented and based on frequent measurements and trials is indisputable.
It is necessary to see technology as a tool that will produce tangible benefits for customers, rather than seeing technology as an end in itself. Create the processes necessary to act quickly within the company and focus on bringing out MVP. The 80% availability of the product or service is often sufficient to get started and develop customer-oriented solutions.
Integration 4: Start Small, Think Big
In order to become more agile and reduce costs, companies should not only implement comprehensive IT projects, but also digitize individual business processes and ensure integration. Data, products and applications must work together to demonstrate digital transformation. At this point, it is important to highlight a holistic strategy by breaking the company’s technology warehouses. In order to reach a meaningful level of automation, it is necessary to think about which interfaces are suitable.
One step beyond the paperless (digital) office is to use technology to make data-driven decisions on our behalf. This technology can be a software that sometimes checks customer complaints and gives the appropriate response, and sometimes it can be a software that will follow the production line in the factory and start the necessary raw material supply.
5.Destructiveness: Question Yourself
Tradition cannot be a business model. Today, it is inevitable that everyone understands this very well. Many rooted companies have been erased from the market by innovative enterprises, as they have not been able to reach this understanding. In order to survive in this devastating competitive environment, every company must be ready to question its business model and be able to self-renew without someone coming and eliminating them.
Leading companies of the digital age are nothing like the old ones. They develop much more agile strategies and learn a lot from their experience.
As a result, identifying when to begin digital transformation and how fast the change will take place is a challenge for those who have a clear and strategic approach and the determination to act quickly.
With the five rules we consider here, I hope you will accelerate the digitalization in your company and be successful in the coming year.
Dieter Weißhaar – EASY SOFTWARE, CEO