These days, it’s a necessity for companies
Digitisation if often understood to mean the Smart Factory and the Internet of Things (IoT). All devices are networked with each other and exchange data. The production process is monitored continuously, while processes and workflows are accelerated by automation. Many of these technologies are already available for monitoring and controlling the production process. The new technologies of the digital economy go beyond Industry 4.0 and affect all areas of the company: Big data and smart data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and understanding natural language will have a massive impact on the way companies operate today and how they interact with their customers and suppliers.
Digital change has different effects on the industries
Digital change is divided into the following phases: conversion (data/processes become digital), transformation (critical success factors for corporate success shift => data and knowledge become more important) and disruption (new business models replace existing models). The timing and degree of impact vary depending on the industry sector: While massive changes have already taken place in retail, the travel industry and banks in a short period of time, a somewhat longer lead time is expected for the production and chemical industries, for example. Whatever the case, one thing is certain: the change that digitisation brings about will massively transform every company.
It’s essential to deal with the effects that digitisation has on your company
Just because there is a slightly longer fuse for production and chemistry until there’s a bang, it doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax. One can assume that business partners (customers and suppliers) in the B2B sector are awaiting what they are experiencing in the B2C sector today: speed, agility, competence, the consideration of individual requirements and an excellent price-performance ratio. This can only be achieved if all divisions contribute their share to value creation and maintain a strict focus on customer value. In his keynote speech at the 2016 Hannover Messe, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella introduced the term “systems of intelligence”. It considers the entire company, its employees and the tools used to be part of a mutually influencing control loop.
Here, the new technologies that are used for the “digital” company support these goals: cloud (or hybrid) infrastructures, mobile solutions, use of social media technologies, analytics/BI in a secure IT environment in the company.
What can I do to take advantage of the opportunities that digitisation offers?
To take advantage of the opportunities, gain experience in using the new digital technologies (cloud, social, mobile, analytics) as early as possible. When doing so, it’s much more important to take steps in a small, limited environment and learn from experience rather than search for a large, all-encompassing solution.
You should consider the following guidelines in the process:
- Consistently digitise data and processes
- Permanently measure and analyse your business processes
- Take a look at digital business models of other industries (start-ups) and check which aspects could be relevant to your current or future business
- Network with your customers and suppliers! Understand their future requirements and retain them by working together to find joint solutions early on.
With our different software solutions as well as reporting and business intelligence solutions, our know-how concerning data and processes, and our ability to both optimise business processes and integrate data and applications, we are the right partner for you.