Digital revolution starts in your head! Digitization in companies means much more than just the introduction of new technologies or business models.
Many companies have now drawn conclusions from their initial analyses and realise that digitization means more than just the implementation of new processes and the use of modern techniques but also requires strategic mental models.
The success of digitization presents many companies with major challenges.
The digital restructuring of individual processes and areas in order to keep up with the digital competition and compete with other companies is often the digital alternative to doing nothing and waiting. One thing should be clear to everyone, however: doing nothing and waiting is not an option. But looking at digitization merely as a new technological approach is a mistake that should never be made. It is far more promising to realise digitization as a culture change and to sell the idea to all employees to enable a holistic implementation.
According to a recent study by McKinsey, some businesses have acted on the results of their first digital false steps. The biggest mistake that has emerged so far is a lack of cultural change within companies. Added to this are the frequent silo structures and also insufficient digital strategies or even a complete lack of understanding of digital trends among the staff. Many companies ask themselves a number of questions at the beginning of their digitization strategy: “What does digitization mean for our business?”, “How digital is our company already?” and “What kind of potential exists for our industry?”
Companies need to define whether and what kind of digital maturity is already in place and also to what extent the existing employees can sustain and implement the challenges.
The best employees for successfully realising a digital transformation are not necessarily the most technically accomplished IT staff.
It is important that those who are involved in strategic planning not only have the necessary level of digital competence but also the will and the corresponding staying power to identify the relevant issues, to push them forward and to persevere and not to give up – even when the going gets tough.
Where feasible, companies should designate a strategic digital team with members from different departments. When putting together such teams, neutral ‘digital talents’ from outside the industry should also be considered. They are often able to offer the company a new – and mostly also external – vision and can contribute significantly to the success of digitization.
The most successful teams see the changes required by digitization as a chance and a challenge. They have fun developing new things for internal and external customers and are driven by their affinity to new and especially digital themes.
For a successful digital implementation in the company, it is crucial for management not to delegate responsibilities from the top down and while themselves waiting in some kind of holding position. Rather, it is necessary to ‘digitise’ the entire corporate culture so that the implementation can be carried by the entire staff. Digitization should not simply be handed over to specialist departments, but carefully considered at the ‘top’, thoroughly planned and, above all, embraced by the workforce.
Martin Krill has been working for Hager Unternehmensberatung for more than fifteen years and was made a managing partner in 2004. He fills top sales and management positions in the technology industry as well as a number of other sectors.
Hager Unternehmensberatung is a partner of Horton International and offers customers at over 40 locations in the globally most important economic regions solutions for issues throughout the working life cycle: Employment Lifecycle Solutions®.
These targeted solutions for the working life cycle are mirrored in our individual divisions: in the placement of the right candidates, the evaluation of staff potential, during training to develop the personal skills of employees and supporting individual change processes.
With nearly 90 employees working in small specialist teams, a fully digital workflow and over 20 years of experience in the technology sector as well as other innovative markets, Hager Unternehmensberatung brings together the performance and process quality of the industry’s big names with the speed and flexibility of a start-up.
Hager Unternehmensberatung is one of the top 15 recruiters in the DACH region and the well-known executive search consultancy for digital transformations.