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Going digital - it starts from the top

The internet, the most relied upon entity since oxygen, is a non-stop portal of entertainment and information that never stops, and with the development of social networks, the chaos has only increased.

According to Excelacom the following occurs within one minute online:

Want to know the scary part? That’s not even all the digital channels one has access to on a daily basis. Now with all of this happening in the space of one minute within the digital world, the question you should be asking is “How can my business benefit from all of this engagement?” Digital innovation is taking the business model and reshaping it in every which way, and it’s time you start capitalising on this if you haven’t started to do so already.

Go digital they say, but what exactly does that mean? Going digital doesn’t mean you build a fancy website, create profiles on all social media channels and then hope for the best. Going digital means you need to completely change the mindset of your operations. It means thinking about the best way to deliver your product or service to your customer in the way that they want it. It means changing the way your business operates and it means incorporating it into every possible function of your business.

How many times in the past few years have you opened up a phone book and called a company to find out information about them, versus taking out your smart device and checking online? In a study conducted by A.T Kearney and Efma, 85% of executives have stated that mobile is a key focus of their digital strategy, as mobile is the first point someone will use to engage with a business. According to DeviceAtlas, by 2020 it is expected that there will be 6.1 billion smartphone subscriptions. This startling figure should be a key indicator that if your business has not incorporated part of its operations to cater to mobile, you may be left behind.

The excuse of being technologically illiterate is no longer acceptable in today’s day and age. Every senior member of a company needs to be able to compare ideas about technology and its relevance in the business.

It doesn’t mean that they need to have a deep understanding of the technology itself; however, they need to know its capabilities and an appropriate application. Just as every board member needs to understand the financial reports and have discussions about the standing of the company, so too does this understanding need to be present with technology. Not every board member needs to understand the accounting standards and the steps involved in preparing a financial statement, that would be the role of the CFO, but they do need to understand what the CFO is trying to tell them. The same goes for the technological capabilities and functions of the company, not every board member will need to know the intricacies of the technology being used – that would be the role of the digital team.

To maintain your digital reputation efficiently in such a fast paced environment, your business is going to require a new department. Just like finance, logistics and HR, digital is its own department within the business world. It requires the institution of new personnel, division heads, and to some degree, equipment and software. The division head should be a member of the board just as the CFO is. The head of digital should act as the subject expert, leading and guiding the company in the right direction however they can’t be the only person within the organisation who understands the topic.

The embrace of digital culture is something that needs to happen from the top down. Board members ultimately are the big decision makers, thus it is their choice to implement the correct digital systems. Once this digital embrace occurs at the top, it is vital to get managers and staff from all areas of the organisation, comfortable with conversations revolving around technology. Without this shift in mindset across the organisation, it is very likely that your competitors are going to leave you behind. This shift should not be scary, as with it lies endless opportunities to expand your business in ways that may have never been considered.

As Winston S. Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

If your company is ready to take the next step in its digital journey but does not know where to begin – the Firewater team is ready to talk you through the process and guide you along the way. Contact us on 011 262 6056 or email info@firewater.net and see that going digital can be easy.