Our experience and studies show that the will and positive attitude towards digitization is present in many SME management teams.  And most companies also know indirectly where things are going well and where they are more difficult. What is often lacking, however, is a precise inventory and the further, concrete steps in implementation.

It is to be hoped that every SME has already thought about the terms digitization and industry 4.0. But even in companies where the opportunities view predominates, uncertainty often prevails. Finding the starting point is difficult for many SMEs. 

The keyword is initial assessment

As a first step, an inventory analysis is usually unavoidable. Benchmarking your own digitization maturity with the market and trends. To do this, you can take a look at the market study – Digitisation and IT succession planning – digtialstudieschweiz.ch

The main aim here is to convert these existing feelings into facts and to prepare them in a consolidated way. The most important elements from the company’s point of view are the consideration of the customer process and the IT system architecture. It is also worth taking the digital environment into account when taking stock.  Here the following questions arise

  • How are other companies positioned?
  • What do start-ups do in my industry?
  • What are the technological trends?

An external partner can help to take an external view and also to point out weak points – e.g. with a digital check/verification.

Formulate target image

The second step is to define the next steps. First and foremost, we need a coherent digital alignment – a North Star, which will have to overcome one or two hurdles along the way, does not matter. It is crucial that everyone has the same goal in mind and is walking together in the same direction. If in the KMU management the “why” is clearly and together defined, that is where it is to go the logical next step and to communicate also opposite the coworkers simply. 

Furthermore, it is necessary to deal with the future customer process.

  • How would the customer of tomorrow like to interact with our company?
  • What is his core need and how can our company best support the customer?
  • Which digital channels are relevant for the customer and improve cooperation?

After all, the IT landscape is also part of this. How must the systems be set up in the future so that the customer process can be optimally supported? It often turns out that existing systems are too rigid and that the system landscape needs to be made more flexible in order to be able to react more quickly to new requirements.

One step at a time

The gap can be identified very quickly by the two previous steps. The concrete measures can be derived from this and prioritized and distributed over a time horizon. There are usually dependencies between the measures, especially with regard to the IT landscape. These must be uncovered and taken into account in planning. Identifiable immediate measures should be implemented immediately. No long planning is required here, only consistency in implementation. Thus, initial successes and efficiency gains are achieved directly or during the inventory analysis.

With these steps, the often overpowering and intangible term digitization can be divided into small steps. In addition, the planned steps can also be provided with a cost-benefit analysis and a pretty accurate estimate can be made of what the company will face. Have fun digitizing your company.

We are happy to support you with our team to a successful start. Contact us without obligation.

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