In my previous two blog posts I shared a base view and two examples. In this post I will share some ways to get to a state of the art level of digitization in your business.
As stated in the previous blog post, computerization or digitization 1.0 started in the 1960’s. With rare exceptions, most businesses are fully computerized. Computers, smartphones, Internet and the corresponding software are simply the underlying infrastructure for digitization. In my follow on blog post, Digitization is a mindset, I described the effects based on the two examples: Amazon and Uber.
Find out your degree of digitization
The degree of digitization today, can also be seen as a collection of individual and unique competitive advantages. If you like to further explore full digitization of your business you may want to use the following guidance:
- Think in degrees of digitization?
– Digitization is not a have or not have. It is a sliding scale from basic to medium, to good, to excellent
– Can you identify the degree of digitization in your business?
– Do you have a customer advisory board you can work with to increase the level of digitization?
- Modern Business Culture?
– Digitization is a mindset and requires a modern, open minded and transparent company culture.
– Do you have an executive team or business owners who don’t want more transparency and rather keep everything close to their chest?
– Do you have an old style sales and marketing culture that prefers to deliver information only on request and see it as a special value rather than an obligation to freely provide it such as pricing etc.
- What is your logistics integration look like
– Do you still need to manually enter orders, requests or anything else?
– Are your customer and business partners able to access any record of their transactions online?
– Can your customers see the order or return progress at any time online
– Can your customers access business history with you online?
– Are there any rewards systems for customer activities?
- How deep is your sales channel all the way to the individual consumer integrated in your digital presence?
– Are your direct customers, business partners, vendors, supplier all the way to the individual end user of your products or services fully integrated in your digital presence?
– Can any of your customer access their own data easily in your system, maybe change their names, email addresses etc? Can they see the products they have and the services they can acquire?
– Do your customers have access to all the manuals, service descriptions, pricing, spare parts etc.?
– Do you have a customer community where your customers can meet and exchange experiences?
– Do you know if your final end consumer is interested in finding out more information from you?
– Do you have any form of relationship escalation between the end consumer, sales channels, yourself and maybe suppliers of yours?
– Are customer rewarded when they mention you online on public networks?
- What services, knowledge and information can you provide completely paperless?
– What is the degree of paperless information flow from brochures, to orders, invoices, or contracts?
– Do you still require a hand written signature on any document?
- How many technological channels do you support today?
Is all the information available on classic websites, do you support mobile devices, do you have dedicated mobile apps, is information exchange possible via social media?
Each and every act of digitization 2.0 should be considered a unique and individual competitive advantage. If it is not a competitive advantage it is probably just a regular digitization 1.0 measure to run your operation.
Obviously the above are only some samples of obvious digitization measures to increase your degree of digitization and creating unique competitive advantages. True so called “disruptive moments” in your business model, network effects and other topics are rather individual to your specific business case.