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Digital transformation in business: The future is now

The Corona pandemic is rapidly driving digital transformation. We explain what is changing in the world of work 4.0, how companies are successfully digitalizing processes and what the digital transformation has in store for the industry.

Geschrieben von
Anne-Laura
January 4, 2021
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Inhaltsverzeichnis

  1. Digitalization of work
  2. How does the digitalization of processes succeed?
  3. Digital transformation of business models
  4. Digitalization and the economy: Industry 4.0
  5. Step by step towards your digital business
  6. Conclusion

The year 2020 has shown that companies still have a lot to do when it comes to digitalization. Home office options had to be created for employees virtually overnight. Contact with customers and buyers is suddenly almost exclusively contactless. The pandemic relentlessly exposes the digital divide. For too long, companies have failed to recognize the signs of the times. But Covid-19 shows: If companies want to keep pace with the competition and design internal processes with the future in mind, they need to think in new ways and, most importantly, tread new paths. While we have long been using efficient digital solutions in our private lives - from voice-controlled refrigerators to family chat groups - many companies are still finding it difficult to take the first successful steps into a digital future.Yet the shift toward digitalized processes is inevitable in 2020. We explain how digitalization is changing the world of work, how processes in companies can be digitalized, and what the digital transformation has in store for industry.

Digitalization of work

The Coronavirus has turned the world upside down - and tested the digital maturity level of companies worldwide. While companies with existing IT solutions for working from home were able to react agilely to the crisis, digital laggards were hit particularly hard. Covid-19 put the need for action for digitalization projects at the top of the agenda. More specifically, the Corona crisis accelerated digital communications in companies worldwide by 7.2 years, according to a recent study by cloud service provider Twilio. You don't have to look into a crystal ball to know: Even after the pandemic, the working world will be characterized by location- and time-independent models.

This is what the workplace of the future will look like

A powerful intranet is indispensable for the digital workplace of future-oriented companies. Smart technologies and suitable software solutions are the basis for this. The great advantage of an intranet is that data can be stored centrally and internal communication can be simplified. This enables employees to work at any time, regardless of their location. Another important component of the modern workplace is communication and data transfer via mobile devices. Not only the American software manufacturer Zoom, which posted profits in the billions thanks to the crisis, has the right solution for this. With Microsoft Teams, Microsoft also offers a reliable tool for successful workstream collaboration. Finally, the workplace 4.0 embraces a smart document management. Archiving, sharing, editing, searching and organizing - what used to require a great deal of individual time and costly IT infrastructure is now all in one place. And thanks to the cloud, it can be edited and shared in real time by employees in all departments and countries.

How does the digitalization of processes succeed?

A digital workplace is only one side of the coin. If the digital transformation in the business is to succeed, processes must be rethought at all levels. After all, they are the core of every successful business model. Although process types and their execution vary from company to company, one thing is certain: Without a process, no output. The more efficiently processes are designed, the greater the profit for the company. But how can deadlocked processes be reorganized and an efficient process structure be established? The magic word is: hyperautomation. Just imagine if all your business processes were accelerated to full power and maximum efficiency. Three intelligent technologies form the basis for this hyper-drive:

Day after day, numerous processes take place in a company. From customer applications to employee sick calls. Business Process Management (BPM) helps automate business processes, thereby increasing efficiency and reducing time. At the same time, BPM enables companies to respond to processes and their benefits in an agile manner.

The importance of automating monotonous routine tasks is also demonstrated by the example of controlling. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technology has proven to be particularly profitable in the finance department. Tasks that were previously performed manually, such as the collection and processing of large amounts of data, can now be performed automatically and without errors thanks to software bots. This has many advantages: Thanks to the automation of processes, the controller can invest more time in the future in providing strategic advice to the management.

Now imagine having all your business processes always available at a glance. Weak points in the processes could thus be uncovered and problems eliminated in a timely manner. Process Mining makes all this possible. Processes are recorded and analyzed as well as optimized. This saves time and costs in the long run.

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Digital transformation of business models

Can my business model be digitalized at all? This is a question that smaller companies are often asking themselves as they have previously reached their customers via traditional channels. No matter what your business model currently looks like. The answer to the question is always yes. However, it is not enough to move sales channels online. Today, the focus is increasingly not on the product, but on the customer's desire for solutions to individual problems. This is precisely where digital transformation comes in, as it creates cost-efficient opportunities and suitable technologies to address individual customer needs.

Once you have your customers' problems in mind, you can take the next step and develop a new, digital business model. The final step is to create a digitalization concept and introduce all parties involved to the new direction of the company. Success or failure is now primarily determined by whether management consistently stands behind the vision for change. The CIO can act as a link between the existing and new IT infrastructure and play a key role in driving the digital vision forward.

Digitalization of the economy: Industry 4.0

We are in the midst of an industrial revolution. The entire production process is taking on a completely new significance in Industry 4.0. What used to be processed by hand or commissioned manually functions completely digitally in the smart factory. Digitalization therefore represents a particular challenge for industry. Only if companies fundamentally expand their digital infrastructure will they be able to participate in the growth in value added in the economic sector.

How will industry become digital?

Whether vehicle manufacturing or mechanical engineering, the core topics of the factory of the future are always the same, regardless of size and industry: Networking and self-control. Products, logistics and machines form a networked, smartly acting system. This offers companies completely new opportunities in terms of productivity and efficiency. To do this, companies need suitable software solutions that enable them to link devices with each other and network all available data. The basis for this is a cloud, which makes it possible to access processes from any location. Additive manufacturing processes are also a key driver of Industry 4.0.

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Step by step towards your digital business

1. Develop a digitalization concept

Your digitalization project starts with a digitalization strategy tailored to your company. Because, let's face it: Implementing digital processes throughout the entire company at all levels doesn't happen overnight, but is a project that will take several years. A clearly defined strategy with achievable goals and intermediate steps must therefore be at the top of your agenda.

2. Make digitalization a top priority

If you think companies can leave digital transformation to colleagues in the IT department alone, you're wrong. Digitalization must be thought about at management level and from there find its way into all departments. Only where digital culture is exemplified can it grow.

3. Create the technological infrastructure

Modern software solutions form the core of the digital enterprise. Don't shy away from technological progress - embrace it!

4. Train your employees

In order to successfully implement the digital transformation in companies in the long term, you need the commitment of your employees. Far-reaching changes in structures and processes must grow in the minds of employees. Change management helps with this.

5. Check your steps and goals

All eyes on the price - this also applies when implementinga digitalization roadmap. The company that shows staying power and a willingness to innovate will ultimately take home the trophy.

Conclusion

Covid-19 has rapidly accelerated the pace of digital transformation in companies. And it has fundamentally turned the working world upside down. Across all industries, management and executive suites must define corporate digitalization as the primary goal and create a culture that understands digital transformation as a holistic concept. To successfully implement remote working solutions, companies need the right hardware and software. Today's workplace is more connected, smarter and more digital than ever before. This gives companies and employees more flexibility and freedom. Digital strategies also make it possible to automate processes within the company. Innovative technologies help to successfully implement hyperautomation. In addition, companies must digitalize their business models in order to survive on the market in the long term. Manufacturing SMEs are the backbone of Germany's economic power. If industrial companies want to remain competitive, they must invest in new plant technologies and smart IT solutions. The company of the future is digital. In order to survive tomorrow, managers must lay the foundations for a digital future today.

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Inhaltsverzeichnis
  1. Digitalization of work
  2. How does the digitalization of processes succeed?
  3. Digital transformation of business models
  4. Digitalization and the economy: Industry 4.0
  5. Step by step towards your digital business
  6. Conclusion
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