Digitalisation, or digital transformation, as it is sometimes also called is an important subject matter as well as challenge for businesses today. Therefore, I find it strangely confusing that sometimes aspects are lumped together under this umbrella that are not or only tangentially related to what digitalisation actually is about.
So, here’s my – perhaps opinionated – take on what digitalisation is actually about and what it entails. In a nutshell, digitalisation comprises these aspects:
- Rethinking and being willing to change existing processes.
- Making data available via interfaces (APIs) in order to open up information silos.
- Automating processes.
Processes in turn are directed sequences of interdependent, preferably repeatable and uniform steps required to accomplish a task in a value or supply chain.
Commonly, the largest potential for digitalisation is to be found where:
- processes are either completely or partially paper-based
- Excel spreadsheets and email are used for capturing, processing and transferring data
- physical presence is required (or claimed to be required) for accomplishing a task