It’s the chunky elephant sitting at a corner in boardrooms and proliferating at an alarming rate as everyone pretends not to see it or it’s progeny. The moment discussions go “digital”, many business savvy, smart and hard-working individuals suddenly cringe. This has even gone as far as ideas from well-meaning tech companies getting shut down in companies or institutions due to the fear that the moment things go digital, people get fired and corridors get filled up with weird-looking, spectacle-wearing nerds with no idea of what it took to build our great country.
I came across some technological advancement TV programme over the weekend where the host made things so difficult for everyone watching including me despite the fact that I did consider myself a “digitally-aware” sort of guy. This in my opinion is one of the main issues we were facing today with going full-on digital across sectors, businesses and as individuals. People go through great lengths to complicate the true face of “digital technology” peddling words like “Digital Inclusion”,”Big-Data”, “XaaS” and so on making it difficult for new converts to tow the path. Enough of mystifying this “Digital” thing. Digital is fast becoming a lifestyle and no longer a concept and the earlier the “digital-guru’s” and “Non-Digitally Compliant Companies” realized this (which i think they already do), the more we would start seeing it as an enabler rather than “an ace up your sleeve” or “inhibitory red-tape” respectively.
In adopting digital technology as an individual or an organization it is important to note that in the absence of an all-inclusive approach, no company/individual will experience a positive commercial impact or see an improvement in productivity. With an intention to keep this piece simple and sweet, I have listed three main positive impacts of Digital Technology in today’s work-space for anyone who is still struggling to accept its relevance and a fourth which sounds more like a subtle suggestion or advice.
1. “Digi-tech” Is Just like Money- As mentioned earlier on, digital technology is just like money, an enabler. It amplifies what you already had in there. If your company operations were already taking a walk among the tombstones, digital technology would be the death of it but if on the other hand you have over time set up non-automated processes that still managed to efficiently run your day-to-day business operations, Digital technology would only amplify that efficiency and widen your audience range, solidify your operational effectiveness and provide more room for innovation.This would help you cover more ground and almost immediately play catch-up on lost business time.
2. Improves Overall Performance – Over the course of my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve had the privilege of asking managers, senior executives, CEO’s and Founders what they felt in their opinion was one of the main impediments to running an efficient business or organisation and 65% of them in diverse verbiage said the same thing, “Having the wrong People on the Right Job”. You could go all out and blame the HR department but I’m also guessing that it’s their fault the individual after getting the job stopped improving themselves? Research has revealed that companies that rate digital technology high have a work-force with a learning mind-set. They always want to research, raise the bar and challenge themselves personally meaning that if you kept a record of an intern’s skill level on joining an organization which valued digital technology and compared it to his skill level after a year, the overall improvement would outmatch that of an individual working in an environment with little or no digital technology culture.
3. Frees Up More Time – No one enjoys wasting time doing mundane, repetitive tasks yet most companies unknowingly indulge in this till tomorrow. Time for any business is critical and not applying the power of digital technology into your business means that you have wasted and still continue to waste time on certain crucial aspects of your business. Digital technology in whatever form it’s application concerns a business saves time and time in the global parlance “is money”. If you are sabotaging your money-making chances, which happens to be one of the main reasons you are in business, then I believe by now you have to rethink your stance on digital technology.
Lastly, this point is for the real “Experts” at whatever business level they find themselves.
4. It Either Makes Or Breaks “The Expert” in You– We’ve all heard statements like “It was someone who created the computer”, “why use technology? My brain works just fine”, “We have always done business the real way and still doing it till today” and so on. Yes, those are the experts who believe that though digital may have its pros, it still isn’t a necessity. In actuality I discovered over time that there’s a generation very much still in our midst who are really trying to wrap their heads around the wonders of the “television remote control” despite seeming comfortable in it’s use as with many other things around them and they sit at the Directorship, Founder and Upper Management levels in big organizations. These fine gentlemen and women are go-getters and achievers who have learnt how to conduct profitable business the golden age way, building multi-million dollar enterprises in the process. However, they are not comfortable in trying out something that not only is foreign territory but is equally moving at a pace unrivaled by anything they have ever known. This is the zone most digitally-inclined ideas pitched by tech companies die out. I think this is a problem that could be solved with simple open-mindedness and a willingness on their part to either accept that “Digital Technology” is here for the long haul or simply look for young tech-preneurs to hold their hands and help them navigate this terrain. It starts with asking google the simple question. “What is Digital Technology?”.
On a brighter note, some businesses are currently adopting various stances to ensure that they are not left behind in this digital revolution that has according to a recent Dell Research only 5% as Digital Leaders i.e (digital transformation, in its various forms, is ingrained in the DNA of the business) with other companies either tidying up their digital act or simply far from it according to the following statistics. Digital Adopters: 14% i.e. (have a mature digital plan, investments and innovations in place), Digital Evaluators: 34% i.e. (cautiously and gradually embracing digital transformation, planning and investing for the future), Digital Followers: 32% i.e. (very few digital investments; tentatively starting to plan for the future), Digital Laggards: 15% i.e. (do not have a digital plan, limited initiatives and investments in place).
Digital technology is here to stay for a very long time and it is indeed a wise investment to make it a core of all operations across business units rather than an almost non-existent unit comprising of confused-looking interns, located at the office levels where the elevators do not get to. It’s become more of a lifestyle rather than just a concept in its test phase. It’s affecting the way we communicate, work, commute and connect business sectors. It’s an exciting new world that would take you beyond your wildest imagination and most importantly reduce the associated complexities of both work and life with either the click of a button or by simply voicing a command. Get involved, it’s really not as hard as they’ve made it look.
Hope this piece helped and if you actually do need to have a soft-landing as regards going digital with your business feel free to send your questions and I would attempt to provide you with all necessary assistance. Till next time business people.
Written by Temple Obike