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Why fear the digitization

19 juni, 2014
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Thomas-Honore

Chief Executive Officer

Why fear the digitization?

Many small and medium-sized companies daily reject improvements of the company’s efficiency, profitability and competitiveness. Despite the fact that there are great gains by digitizing the company’s vital processes and linking the business closer together by innovative use of IT, only few companies dare to go all the way in digitization of the whole business.

And that damages the company’s competitive position. Thus businesses right now have a gigantic untapped potential in terms of improved competitiveness and optimized earnings.

Calculations made by the Danish Government’s Productivity Commission showed that 36 percent of Danish small and medium-sized companies today have digitized the basic areas of their business, while 40 percent have a more widespread use of IT, however it is still mainly single core processes which are based on IT.

What is essential for any responsible leader to know is that the value of the digital investments - including optimization, efficiency and increased sales - only really occurs when all key business processes are linked together with innovative use of IT solutions.

The fact is that the companies which are reluctant to invest in improvements will be surpassed by competitors. Denmark lags behind many other OECD countries in terms of productivity, and although it is a challenge that must be addressed on several fronts, there is no way of getting around the digitization and the potential it entails.

There is everything to gain and nothing to fear. McKinsey Global Institute has documented that for every job that is lost in the global digital economy as a result of the Internet and digitization, there are 2.6 new jobs created due to the growth and business opportunities that arise. And those jobs that are lost are among the companies that do not participate in the digital race. The companies which adopt the digitization, become part of the development.

So while most companies wait, instead they would reap the benefit of going all the way having all important aspects of the business - or the business as a whole - based on IT. 

Some of the biggest barriers to investing in a stronger digitization of the business is the lack of resources to make the necessary investments or that the cost is too extensive to be able to defend such an investment. Lack of knowledge of the effects and lack of internal skills are also well-known barriers.

The best advice you can take is to use consultants to get started, look at the technological trends in the market and start investing in standard components. In addition, it is always worth learning from your peers and best practices of others, learn and steal from trends in other industries. Form unconventional relationships. 

With the right guidance, even companies that today hardly use IT, will quickly be able to meet a very high potential with an entirely new approach to internal processes, e-commerce and customer dialogue. At the same time, the 40 percent of businesses that have a widespread use of IT should strive for additional digital efficiency of the core business processes.

Kategorier Digitization

Om forfatteren

Thomas Honoré is Chief Executive officer and President of Columbus.