How to master digitization with all its stumbling blocks

How to master digitization with all its stumbling blocks 05.06.2018 - Nicole Basel is Digital Director and reports on about her experiences with digitisation as well as her views on this topic and on the reasons why companies fail because of digitisation. Nicole Basel knows the typical mistakes that are made time and again in the various digitisation processes and wants to prevent companies from repeating these mistakes with her article. In the following we summarize her text for you:

Keeping an eye on more than just technology
Concentrating solely on technology is a typical mistake that many companies make. The impulse is understandable: there is a new computer program that suddenly offers new, great possibilities that inspire all employees. Even the decision-makers sometimes get so carried away by amazing software solutions that they buy a software that is truly remarkable, but actually offers little added value for the company. Do we really need an internal chat for our employees or is the company already sufficiently networked and there is no problem at all in internal communication? Do we need a new database for our customer data or is this software no better than the existing database? Does it perhaps only have a more attractive surface? So when deciding for or against the purchase of new technology, don't lose sight of the actual goal!

Better test once more
A digitization process without repeated failures or setbacks is actually not possible. Continuous testing, failure, modification and re-testing is part of the process, even if it sometimes puts patience to the test. Never give up after the first test.

Better a sparrow in the hand...
Many companies fail because they simply take on too much and, as a result, may become increasingly frittered away because a non-functioning idea is not discarded at an early stage. Nicole Basel quotes a sentence from Silicon Valley that says: "Fail fast, fail cheap". She likes the strategy of testing all prototypes and projects directly on the user right from the start, because errors can be detected and repaired faster in this way. The founder of LinkedIn even went so far as to say that the first version of a great idea must always be embarrassing, otherwise one would miss the connection. This philosophy stands in stark contrast to the idea of carrying out a huge project unswervingly from start to finish in order to come onto the market with a big surprise and a bang at some point. However, the surprise may be on the part of the responsible project team and often unpleasant, because the project has long since lost its reference to reality or, in the worst case, never had it.

Fighting Actionism
Many companies are under pressure to move with the times as soon as possible and to belong to the modern, digital companies - therefore, in some places superfluous or inappropriate innovative programs and techniques are bought and installed prematurely. Don't let the pressure get to you. Think for a few more months with experienced consultants about a good, meaningful solution for your company rather than simply driving a strategy just because it is new and sounds good at first.

Simply delegate digitization?
If you are under pressure, it seems a pleasant solution to delegate the digitization of the company to someone else. Are you even thinking about creating a new position specifically for someone who then has to deal with digitization in the company? Caution is called for here. Ideally, digitisation should not be an independent project carried out by an experienced lone fighter in his own office. Successful digitization requires the involvement of all levels and departments of a company. The process of change must be gradual and, above all, shared by all. For Nicole Basel, only the head of the company can be the head of digitization, because this question affects the entire company. Of course, however, experienced people can be called in for this topic either internally or externally. This is absolutely advisable if you want to set up a separate department on the subject of "digitization" in the long term, which will support the entire company.

Leaving out the competition a little bit
Of course, it is allowed to look around the competition. What do others in the industry do? What are they doing good and what bad? But don't concentrate too much on the competition, because it's changing all the time. Just as a supermarket in the city a few years ago would not have thought that its competition would soon come from the Internet, entrepreneurs can never be sure what happens next in this direction. Focus on solutions that benefit your business.

Always thinking of the customer
Never lose sight of the customer, because of course it is still primarily about him - despite digitalization. The digital strategies that have been successful in recent years have been because they have inspired a large customer base. Test new ideas on your customers. Observe and analyse the behaviour of customers and do not hesitate to ask concrete questions, because questions do not cost anything. Try to find out what your customers want, what they like and what they are currently still missing.

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