CFO need-to-know in a digital world:
Digitalisation affects all organisations, in all industry sectors, in several different ways. These days everyone realises that rapid change is necessary in order to be able to make maximum use of all new opportunities that are on offer. The question is how prepared your organisation is and where you should embark on the process of change?
Organisations can differ significantly from one another in their “digital readiness”, which simply means that they are more or less well prepared for embarking on their digital transformation. Cognizant has several large customers with high aspirations in respect of digital transformation and what is really striking is how different their situations are.
5 factors help identify level of digitalisation
Many organisations are currently having to address the matter of their “digital readiness”. I have identified five factors that show how well prepared an organisation is for digitalisation:
A heavy, manual load that has to get done
Customers with a long history usually have many manual processes and structures – and they often have a complicated task ahead. They are frustrated because they have seen the enormous profits that await them following digitalisation, but their chances of achieving this quickly are poor. Too much data will need to be collected, digitalised, analysed, many processes will need to be redefined, many organisational charts will have to be revised, and new competencies will need to be recruited.
Strategy for a digital world
There are also customers with an entirely different level of “readiness” in place: the data is there, as is the facility for analysis. They already have digital relationships with customers, partners and other interested parties in the ecosystem, and applications and functions are already in place. For them it is more a question of developing a strategy for a digital world and deciding what the first step should be.
People in focus in the digitalisation journey
We invited both enterprises and behavioural scientists to our Snapshot Talks, and they uniformly agreed that the more digitalisation progresses, the more human behaviour must be taken into account. This applies to customers as well as staff.
How to proceed?
One tip for checking the situation in your own organisation is to measure the organisation against the five variables listed above. Follow this up with new measurements every six months or so. If you find it difficult to assess your position in a particular area, then hire experts to help you.
Important to know why and set goals
Next, you should map the most important goals for your digitalisation project in business terms. Is improved customer satisfaction a goal? Better margins? Increased sales? Rank your goals in order of importance. Then imagine that you have a matrix with two axes. Place your “digital readiness” on one axis and your business goals on the other. This makes it easier to select a reasonable strategy for achieving your goals. It’s a simple fact that you can't get very far if you don't have access to data and analysis, so this is where you have to start. But there are different ways of achieving the defined business targets and you can navigate through the matrix in different ways.
There is a famous video advert by an IT company that shows two men sitting in a meeting room, working. One of them looks up and says:
“We must have an Internet presence!”
The other one asks:
“I don't know.”
This is the worst strategy imaginable for embarking on digitalisation. So be clear about what digital transformation should achieve. Also make sure that you are clear about what your digital starting point is.
Hans Hasselgren, responsible for Cognizant’s Business Process Services in the Nordic region
Cognizant-report People—Not Just Machines—Power Digital Innovation, which was implemented with the help of the Economist Intelligence Unit and comprises more than 420 decision-makers, shows that most companies have to reformulate their tactics when it comes to the ability to attract, retain, reward and get people to work in our revolutionary, digital age.