5 ways to get your organisation think (more) digitally

How computerised an organisation is, does not mean it is thinking digitally. A culture shift, and change in mindset, is required first, which explore in today’s article.

Although many of us might pride ourselves on owning or working in tech-savvy organisations, it does not necessarily mean that the organisation thinks digitally. Thinking digitally is not solely about the technology that is being used; or how tech savvy a firm or its employees are. Essentially, it boils down to the ethos that has been established, which hopefully will permeate throughout and guide the approach that the team uses across a broad range of situations. Below, we outline five things an organisation can do to think more digitally.    

1.  Focus on outcomes

Frequently, and in the work setting, individuals tend to focus on a product, process, service or experience, and rarely the impact of those elements. Instead, the true emphasis should be on the outcome, and therefore whether or not, and thereafter how, a particular product, process, service or experience will improve a customer’s life. It should be noted that the customer could be either internal (within the organisation) or external, as the same principle – to focus on outcomes – should apply .

2.  Measure everything

Thanks to technology, we live in an age where, to a considerable degree, we do not always have to guess – to fill in the gaps because the required information does not exist. There is the potential to make more informed decisions, by accessing and applying the needed data. However, data does not exist, or is available for us to use because we want it. The requisite systems must be implemented to not only generate that data, but also to collect it, analyse it, and ultimately produce outputs that are of value to the various teams within an organisation.

3.  Focus on the experience

In today’s market, there is a growing trend towards ultra-customisation. Products and services are being designed so that customers can have their own unique experience based on their preferences and personality. Many of us take it for granted, but it is evident in the recommendations made when we are on Amazon, YouTube, or even Netflix, to name a few. However, it means that that organisations must continue to recognise that “experience is the currency of digital commerce, the one with the best experience wins” (Source: Accenture}.

In order to become more customer experience-focussed, data must be collected, as emphasised in the previous point. Organisations must implement the requisite systems to collect relevant data, and process it to produce meaningful results. However, the systems and processes must also be complemented with the appropriate mindset and culture that truly wants to foster the customer’s experience.

Foster teamwork

Interestingly, in a more digital organisations, the culture that is promoted is not one of being isolated – that individuals are just staring at their computer screens all day. Instead, the emphasis tends to be on openness, connecting and collaboration, Hence nurturing teams, especially multidisciplinary teams – to benefit from a broad range of expertise and perspectives – has become increasingly important. These types of teams not only drive the creative process, for example for product development, but are also crucial in stress-testing concepts, quality assurance, and can be important in contributors to the strategic direction of an organisation

KISS – keep it simple, stupid

Finally, and in competitive markets that now exist worldwide, organisations can no longer languish in their product (or service) development processes. Consumers’ attention spans are getting shorter, novelty is in, and so shorter product (or service) release cycles have become the norm. It therefore means that today’s business ought to be leaner – to be more agile and responsive to the market and to consumers. However, it also implies that internally, the organisation is trying to keeping its processes simple, in order to avoid needless costs and complexity, and to increase its competitiveness and its longer term viability.


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