Digitalization – Where should we start?

Tracking your customer needs

Topics like data analytics, virtual reality, internet of things, robots, etc. spark the interest of many companies. The combination of these technologies provides countless possibilities to improve business processes or even to develop new business models. Customer needs and business requirements should always be the focus and not the fascination of the technology. If digital transformation is tackled the right way, it generates a significant added value and increases the competitiveness of the company.

Companies feel the pressure regarding the topic digitalization. You often hear: “those who cannot keep pace with digitalization, will disappear from the market”. That’s why the interest for new technologies increased and companies are coerced into using such technology. In many cases this might make sense, but the approach seems to be questionable.
The best technology does not work, if it does not fulfill a customer need or a business requirement.

How should you proceed?

In the center there is always a customer need, a business requirement or a change in law, that urges companies to change the status quo. This might be with a process improvement, a new product/service or even a new business model.
Therefore, you should always ask the questions, what problem must be solved or which customer will benefit from the solution.
Based on specific requirements can one address possible solutions and only then the question is raised on how to implement.

What should you avoid?

Just because the topic digitalization is on everybody’s lips, this does not mean, that a new technology is necessarily the solution.
It is interesting, how many problems can be solved efficiently and sustainably with existing applications and processes.
Do not forget to keep an eye on the maintenance costs and the time it takes to recoup investment costs.
Why should a new technology been used if it does not provide an added value, it is not cost saving or does not generate more revenue?

Conclusion

Keep the fascination and curiosity with new technologies alive, ultimately always focus on the customer need or business requirement when considering implementation.
Also, applying digitalization has to generate an added value, this can only be reached through saving costs, increasing efficiency or creating new business models.