Does technology change or think things

Digitization: speed or perfection?

The digital transformation is crucial for business success. Of course you want to do everything right from the start. But what's going on: speed or perfection?

The pressure to digitize customer-related processes is enormous. Regardless of whether it is a matter of forecasting behavior with the help of predictive analytics or using AI-controlled chat bots to provide an efficient and competitive service - as a leading company, changes are inevitable.

But it is not an easy task. Company processes need to be revised and that means energy, time, money and personnel. All of this needs to be invested in the user experience to be competitive in the digital age.

Those who shy away from redesigning processes that are beneficial for the company should ask themselves why this is so. Are you worried that you will not be able to implement changes seamlessly and that you will make mistakes? Are you facing increasing time pressure, a shortage of skilled workers, or even both? You may be concerned about this to some extent.

On the one hand, given the valuable resources you are investing in the company's digital transformation, you want to do everything right from the start. How else can you justify the cost and maintain your reputation in the industry?

However, if you postpone the digital transformation for too long, more innovative competitors will be one step ahead of you - to the point where you lose your position in the industry. Is it worth it?

Digitization: Immediately or do you prefer to implement it perfectly?

The world is changing faster than you might think. Things that you thought had a few years left are indeed urgent. You will also be dealing with new technologies and ways of working that need to consider both how your business works and how projects are carried out. In addition, you need to take advantage of new technology immediately and reconsider certain aspects when better solutions become available.

Remember: It is not the companies that take the time to get everything right that are successful, but the companies that are willing to take risks and accept mistakes - even when time and budget are tight.

A new corporate culture brings about change in companies

Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft, believes that a corporate culture with a "growth mindset" is best. He also sees this in relation to the digital transformation of Microsoft itself.

The approach has fundamentally changed the way the company works. The employees now work closely together, without any strong competitive thinking. This mindset creates new ideas. It's about being willing to take risks and realizing that you can learn from mistakes. Perhaps most importantly, willing to listen and learn from everyone on the team and across the company. This mindset is essential for digital transformation.

The path to digital change is reminiscent of the era of Business Process Reengineering (BPR) - i.e. the redesign of business processes - in the 1990s, when companies were fundamentally redesigned and customers continued to be served at the same time. Such a change in corporate culture and processes inevitably leads to mistakes.

Therefore, you need to redefine lack of success and convince your employees that risk is not necessarily a negative. The right culture in the workplace is extremely important. Employees should be prepared to deal with change. It should be clear to you that not everything will always run smoothly and that there is much more to it than that. When employees see themselves as part of the digital transformation process, they will understand that things will not be perfect from the start. In this way, you promote an iterative cycle that optimizes both tools and processes in the context of digital change - even if something goes wrong.

Digitization affects everyone

In order to implement changes successfully, all teams must be kept up to date at all times. You have to explain to them what is happening, how and why. Good communication is the be-all and end-all of user-centric changes, where users are seen as part of the change process. You will recognize a lot in new and unexpected ways, and you will also be able to better understand the expectations.

Communication is not only from top to bottom, but also in the opposite direction. Be open to ideas (and questions) from everyone involved in the process. By including users in your change process, you open the door to many different opinions, which are a very good source of innovation.

The integration in the digital transformation creates new possibilities and helps you to better understand different and diverse requirements and needs. The implementation of accessible functions can also serve a broader user base, which makes it easier to work with you and your services.

This flexible approach is widely accepted in the industry. "A truly diverse environment has proven to be an important indicator of the quality of a risk culture and is also an efficient way of building a relationship with an equally diverse customer base," says Mike Corbat, CEO of Citigroup.

Growth thinking helps

The digitization of a company is a complex matter. In order to be able to implement them successfully, you have to shift the main focus from your overarching overall goals to smaller projects with hypothesis-oriented development models, such as those used by Expedia.

Don't be afraid to change processes that don't work. But if change doesn't work, you need to be willing to rethink your approach. With a “hold on and let go” philosophy, you can justify your point of view and try out ideas. If you fail, you should be willing to learn from your mistakes and apply those lessons in the future. A “trial and error” culture is crucial for an effective digital transformation.

By introducing modern development processes and integrating agile competencies into your company, you can react quickly to problems and learn from them. When you create prototypes and evaluate hypotheses, you get to know your business processes and you can better understand what your company is doing and how it all fits into a modern, customer-oriented way of working.

Suitable skills for digital transformation

The skills that you need to build a modern, digital company will probably not be found within your company. The technologies in question are often new and not easy to master.

In order to be able to close qualification gaps, new employees have to be hired and numerous competencies have to be built up, which can be developed internally and shared with other employees. Even with appropriately qualified new employees and a mix of internal and external training programs, building a team of experts for digital transformation will require exactly one thing that you don't have: time.

An alternative would be to hire specialist contractors to help you build your team. Says Steve Weston, our CIO: “Contractors can help you overcome this hurdle - not just with the skills they bring, but also with the experience they have gained from multiple digital transformation projects for different companies and possibly different Industries have collected. This is not only of great benefit for your projects, but also for your existing IT teams. "

Experience from other industries can benefit you in your digital transformation process and ensure a greater variety of ideas and considerations that are necessary for a successful implementation.

Focusing on the process is critical to the success of any business change of this magnitude. The digital transformation is a great opportunity for companies that want to modernize and expand their business processes. However, extensive digitization should be avoided.

Instead, analyze processes when you first start using them. “Simply using software in a faulty process doesn't make you digital. The biggest challenge is redesigning the process from the ground up, rather than building software, ”said Aaron Levie, CEO of Box.

Digital transformation requires agility and the ability to stand up again when you fall. And that's sure to happen.

Olympic gymnasts are just as unsuccessful as companies are. By leveraging the newly acquired skills, your company can learn from mistakes and deliver the digital services that your users and customers demand.

How have you dealt with the digital transformation so far?

About our colleague Dirk Hahn

After graduating with a degree in business administration, Dirk Hahn began his career at Hays in 1997. First as a department head, then as a division manager and finally as a sales director. In January 2008, Dirk Hahn was appointed Chief Operating Officer to the Management Board of Hays AG and is responsible for sales in the Specialisms Engineering, Construction & Property, Life Sciences and Healthcare in Germany, the area of ​​recruitment management and our national companies in Switzerland and Austria. He has been a member of the international management board since 2017.

Our colleagues

This is where Hays colleagues blog who are not regular blog authors. The employees come from the most diverse areas of the group and express their personal opinions - the topics are as diverse as the people themselves.