Microsoft Envision is a conference for management to understand how technology will be the driver for innovation and changes in the day to day business. The focus is on how digitalization will affect most organizations, and how to enable your organization to take part in the digital era.
Challenges and questions our clients are facing
I attended Microsoft Envision to understand what challenges and questions our clients are facing in the search for digital transformation in their businesses. As I am working for a technical consultancy company, we see the technological benefits, but it is sometimes hard to connect these benefits with business development. At the same time, we see how important the technology is for companies and organizations that put digitalization on their agenda.
What is digitalization, anyway?Picture borrowed from: https://news.microsoft.com/ignite-envision-2017
To be frank, what is digitalization anyway? There are many people that have been trying to describe digitalization. To me, the following quote summarizes what Envision was all about:
It is not about being the strongest or the most intelligent, it is about the ability to master the changes that occur in your environment.
This could easily be said at the conference but is actually the words of Charles Darwin.
If the changes outside your organization are greater than the changes in your organization, chances are that your business or organization will face a hard time staying relevant in the time to come. Because changes will occur in a pace we have not seen before.
The new Uber or Tesla
I am not saying, nor am I believing that everyone must be the new Uber or Tesla. I believe all industries will be affected, and that there will be a “Uber” in your industry. At the same time, I don’t think the more traditional organizations will die because of disruptors. Every one of these disruptors is dependent on more traditional organizations and industries to deliver their services. The difference is in my mind how traditional organizations can interact and share markets with the disruptors.
In most cases, the disruptors are new, 100% digital organizations. They carry no technical legacy, and their “go to market” models are highly digital. They use marketing and advanced analytics to be able to target their customers and potential customers much more precise than their traditional competitors. On the other hand, the traditional organizations have products and services these disruptors are 100% reliant upon.
If we look at Uber, they are 100% reliable on cars and roads to deliver their services, just as traditional taxi companies are. They have just found a new and more reliable channel to connect to their customers.
A digital strategy
What I believe will define organizations that will live or die is their ability to connect through digital channels towards other industries or thirds parties.
An example is the finance industry: they will be faced by a new directive in 2018, PSD2.
PSD2 will break down the banks' monopoly on their users' data. It will allow ‘merchants’ businesses like Amazon to retrieve your account data from your bank - with your permission. That means when you buy something they can make a payment for you, without having to redirect you to another service (like PayPal or Visa).
In short, banks that have good digital interfaces will be able to support a wider range of services through third parties than the ones that are not seeing the possibilities that lay in front of them at this point. Yes, the directive states that all banks within Europe has to do this by law, but what if your APIs are better, your internal processes are faster and more digital? The better services a third party will deliver, the more reliant they are to work with you to create and develop new services towards your fellow customers.
A digital strategy is not about implementing one solution or one technology. Too many people focus on the customer-facing part of the business but keep status quo in internal processes. A digital strategy needs to go in parallel; internal vs external processes. We must understand and challenge every existing value chain within our organization.
Before thinking of technology, these are questions you should ask yourself:
- What is the difference between the most digital organization in my industry and my organization?
- How easily can external resources communicate with my organization
- B2B, B2C, M2M, etc
- How modern is our technical platform?
- Are IT developing or maintaining?
- Are IT developing or maintaining?
- How easily will my organization adapt to new markets and communication?
As said, I work in a technological company - we do not have the answers to all digital questions. But we know this: To be able to change rapidly, you need a digital foundation.
We have been creating that foundation for the last 3 years, towards all kinds of clients, in the cloud. Our Cloud Journey is the framework we use when we put digitalization on the agenda. This framework combines laws and regulations, processes and the latest technology to provide you with the best starting point for your digital transformation.
Ola Risheim, Business Developer at Lumagate. He is very passionate about giving customers insight and understanding of how technology can drive innovation and give added value to businesses and organizations.