Often it would be good to just go for it instead of planning for a long time. The business strategy should always include digitalization. However, many SMEs find it difficult to implement their digital efforts and usually see a high time and cost investment, this doesn’t have to be the case.
Many SMEs see digitalization as a compulsory exercise and underestimate the opportunities for their business model. Mostly only existing processes and products are considered for digitalization and the business model is excluded. Some, however, are struggling with the implementation of this homework themselves, either because of a lack of know-how or resources. The study on digitalization provides further information on this topic. It is essential to deal with it fundamentally and build on the right foundation. If only because it involves major process improvements and a high potential for savings, for example by closing media gaps and ensuring customer access.
The gap between the “early-movers”, i.e. companies that are intensively engaged in digitalization, and the “latecomers” is widening due to the faster technology cycles. This speed requires new methods and working practices. Agility is the buzzword of the hour and has long since found its way into project management. It’s all about getting results quickly so that they can be tested with real users, instead of having to pour everything into a long, theoretical specification sheet. This is especially true for new products, which is the rule for individual software. Often appetite comes with food, the needs show up when using the software and the agile methodology allows a flexible development according to the new needs.
Prototype instead of specification sheet
This apt title sums up another trend in digitalization: the high speed of technology cycles allows the strategy, conception and implementation of vision to merge into one another. Digitalization in theory is not very useful, the decisive factor is that the implementation and delivery is also guaranteed. The best solutions are created with a focus on customer benefit and different perspectives. A better customer experience is one thing, but it is also important that many stakeholders are involved in the process right from the start to avoid unpleasant surprises. This way, many options can be coordinated already in the concept phase and the risk of mistakes in the implementation phase can be greatly reduced. As a company, it is of course not possible to change the organization and processes immediately and implement a new business model overnight. In this case, however, it can be useful to take the first steps with workshops and prototypes. Take a concrete question, an interdisciplinary team and some external support and work out the optimal solution together. From this you build a prototype or a so-called MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to validate the theoretical solution. As an SME you will probably learn more than from any strategy paper and already have a basis for further steps. Another advantage is that the solution becomes tangible and is broken down into small steps.
If you consistently push digitalization further, sooner or later you will get the solution you are aiming for and the changes in the business model. You are constantly learning and can therefore incorporate new findings directly into your own development or coordinate them with the implementation partner.
Would you like to create a prototype, learn more about the possibilities, implement or develop a digital product? Please contact us if you would like more information.