Digitization is the most basic step in the digital transformation of an organization. Customer demand, innovative technologies, and greater economic benefits are some of the major factors that drive organizations towards the transition process. Recent studies claim that ongoing digitization of every industry will impact the global economic value by $12 trillion to $15 trillion in 2020. The process results in automation of business operations (with software solutions), scanning and indexing of paper-based documents, shift from newspaper and magazine ads to digital advertising campaigns, and many more.
Digitization in Real Business Scenario
Some applications of digitization in a real business scenario include:
- Helps in implementing a data management system, with shared drive or a software system
- Making online policies and procedures, benefit plan descriptions, and employee related materials
- In the conversion of employee newsletters from paper form to electronic form such as conversion to pdf and in its transfer across internet
- For implementing e-learning programs with the help of pre-recorded video or scanned written documents
- Helps in electronic conversion of forms such as new hire paperwork, benefits enrollment, requests for time off, purchase orders, and expense reimbursement
Digitization should ideally be implemented with new tools and techniques such as biometric devices, advancing robotics, drones, and 3D printing, by which enterprises can stay in line with the changing technology and innovation. However, managing the spread and scope of total digitization is not very easy, as we think. Well-defined approaches and strategies are often required to manage the effects of total digitization.
As identified in an interesting blog in the Harvard Business Review, enterprises can follow three approaches for managing total digitization.
Convergence: In this approach, the control and coordination of the digitization investments and efforts are included under a single executive. The Boeing, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, etc are examples of firms having achieved reduction in cost and improved customer experience through this approach.
Coordination: In this approach, some mechanisms are implemented to increase the coordination of digital investments across groups such as engineering, operations, or product owners. Without disturbing the organizational structure, the mechanism facilitates working together across the units.
Digital Innovation Stacks: Those organizations that prefer innovation via local management, welcomes this approach. Each of the separate stacks such as business units, geographies, or product groups is allowed to function as detached units, without control and coordination of the digitization process.
Managing total digitization is one of the biggest opportunities and challenges faced by organizations today. Selection of a suitable approach can be done after identifying the strategic drivers of the enterprise.