Digitalisation raises a host of questions: How to start and where?
The successful digitalisation of a company requires strategic planning and long-term thinking. Three basic steps are useful here, i.e. orientation, strategy and implementation.
This process first identifies the available financial and time-related resources as well as the area with the most urgent need for digitalisation measures. The second step analyses the optimum IT products and service providers for the company. The third and, for the time being, last step is the integration of new systems and processes.
Service offers, support programmes or other advisory services are available in order to support companies on their digital journey.
How to start and where? The digitalisation of business and work processes raises many questions: Which interfaces with customers and suppliers should be improved? Which business area is the easiest to digitalise? Which software and hardware is suitable? Who has the technical expertise to support the entire transformation process?
A first analysis of the given situation is a helpful starting point for orientation purposes. This analysis should identify the company’s internal resources, such as competence, budget and time, that can be released for digital projects. What’s more, the business fields and processes that are relevant for the digital reorganisation should also be identified. A crafts business, for instance, which still makes its appointments by telephone, should first implement an automated online schedule management system before investing in costly digital technology.
Besides an analysis of the company’s own operations, it is also important to analyse the given situation of the market. What is the position of the company’s products and services in relation to its competitors? Are there any new business models on the market that offer the company’s customers benefits due to digitalisation? Can new business models make the company more competitive? The first analysis should identify the digitalisation measures necessary and suitable for the company and also provide a first overview as to how they can be implemented.
Throughout this process, medium-sized businesses can rely on the technical expertise of various points of contact to support them on their digitalisation journey with initial meetings, hands-on knowledge, information events and concrete recommendations: the four digital pilots of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg.