How Digitalization works – and how it doesn't

Michael Wilp08/24/2020

When someone tells us that we’re living in the digitalization age, we tend to dismiss the idea with a tired wave of the hand. Not only is this nothing new, it’s practically the norm. It’s a topic that has become ubiquitous – everywhere you go, people are talking and writing about it. But what does “digitalization” actually mean, and what does it entail?

A question of attitude

If you work intensively on digitalization projects, you’ll often find yourself dealing with two extremes: skepticism and euphoria. The skepticism is typically due to the fact that many companies don’t really know how to properly tackle the issue. It seems like the only thing that’s certain is that you have to constantly stay on the ball or risk falling behind. On the flip side, there's the euphoria of imagining how simply implementing digital technologies can drive a business forward. Both sentiments – fearful hesitation and unrealistic expectations – stand in the way and prevent digitalization from reaching its full potential.

More than “just” IT

At the core of the confusion is the misconception that digitalization merely consists of AI, big data or cloud. Sure, the technological aspects are a big part of the whole – but digitalization is definitely more than just an IT issue. Strategic aspects such as accessing new markets or maximizing customer value through digital amenities are just as much a part of it. So are the workers involved, the business organization and, above all: the business culture.

Getting down to the nitty-gritty

Digitalization is not a product that works at the push of a button. Digitalization has to be “lived.” It’s a process involving major changes – one that requires shedding old ways of thinking and getting accustomed to new ideas. Not only can target groups change in the process, but entire business models can, too. Many companies don’t even realize this, yet. And the ones that do often lack the necessary resources. One thing is for certain...  Changes this profound require stamina, as well as a solid concept, a digital roadmap and an experienced partner that combines industry expertise with digitalization know-how and change management.

What’s the best way to get started?

To help you find your own unique path to the digital age, COSMO CONSULT has developed what we call the “digitalization check.” The idea is to offer businesses a simple way to take stock of their individual digital inventory. The COSMO CONSULT online digitalization check lets you determine where your company stands in comparison to your immediate competitors, before you take on more advanced planning or projects. Users learn which areas they are already doing well in and which ones they might need to improve. The results are instantly available, both for individual areas or for the entire company.

Conclusion: Get a check-up!

There’s no reason to be afraid of digitalization. But you also shouldn't assume that the whole thing will just take care of itself. “Digitalization” is a profound transformational process that affects the whole company. It’s a long journey, and it’s easy to get lost if you don't have a way of telling where you are. That’s where the COSMO CONSULT digitalization check comes in.

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Michael Wilp
Product Marketing Manager | COSMO CONSULT