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Surviving Digital Disruption – Practical Steps That Your Organization Can Take

Digital technologies are having a profound effect on practically every business. Certain industries like communications, media, finance and insurance, and wholesale trade have been quick to adopt digitalization, making use of new tools and approaches in a short amount of time. The impact on other sectors, notably government, health care, construction, and agriculture has been comparably less. Some units within these areas are at the forefront of digital change while others are clearly lagging.

By now it is very clear to every business organization that its success and even its survival is dependent on its ability to get a grip on digital change management. But how can this be done and which are the areas that a firm should focus on?

Is your workforce digitally enabled?

Many companies make the mistake of focussing on technology while neglecting the people who will be using it. Remember that your firm’s digitalization process will produce the best results when your workforce understands how it functions and the manner in which it can be used to gain a competitive advantage.

New firms, which do not have to contend with the legacy systems and procedures that incumbents are saddled with can quickly gain a lead and take away market share from established companies.

How can a firm ensure that its people are part of the digital change management drive that it is implementing? One important step that you must take is to get the entire company involved in this initiative, not just the individuals in the IT department. Because digitalization is more than just implementing a new tool. It’s a new way of business.

Using digital technologies

Buying IT assets and increasing your budget for implementing new systems is the easy part. But the only way that your organization will be able to reap the complete benefits that digitalization has to offer is to increase digital usage within your company and its different departments. Because what use are the best tools, if nobody uses them?

The transformation should include utilizing the advantages that new technologies have to offer for improving the manner in which transactions are carried out. Firms will have to relook at the way in which they deal with their clients and their suppliers. The digital change management program should touch every function in your company.

Establishing a roadmap for your company

Many activities that have been carried out using traditional methods will need to be changed to take advantage of digitalization. Your digital change management roadmap should prioritize customer-facing tasks. Priority should be given to those areas where the competition is ahead of you. So take a look at each of your departments and facilities. Which are the ones who make the most out of the available tools? Which aren’t and why? What marketing software is your competition using and which are the latest data management tools available for your customer relations department? These are just two questions you should ask yourself when drafting your roadmap.

Digital tools can also help your company register great increases in employee productivity. They can lead to an extraordinary level of improvement in the service levels that you can provide to your customers. It is up to you to harness the benefits that digitalization has to offer.

Adopt digitalization or perish

Every organization’s efforts should be directed towards stepping up its digitalization efforts. Those firms that can rapidly incorporate new technologies will have a chance to grow and prosper. The companies that cannot manage the change will find it hard to survive.

Cisco, one of the world’s leading technology companies, estimates that in 2015 there were 15 billion devices in the world that were connected to the internet. They project that by 2020, this number will rise to 50 billion. Every organization needs to position itself in a manner in which it can take advantage of this exponential growth.


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