Who Drives the Digital Transformation?

The Nordic countries are reluctant to adopt the digital transformation compared to the rest of Europe. Here are 4 ways to speed the process up

Original article by Future Growth Director Natasha Friis Saxberg in Finans, April 3, 2017. http://finans.dk/debat/ECE9475211/saadan-goer-vi-danmark-til-digital-verdensmester/

The Nordic countries seem to have adopted an almost Trumpian approach, when it comes to Digital Transformation (DX): We genuinely believe no one does it better than us, but we are in fact behind the rest of the Europe in terms of adapting to the current technological reality and initiating the appropriate steps.

That is the overall conclusion in the latest report on the topic from the International Data Corporation.

According to the report, Nordic organizations are more reluctant to change status quo and slower to start DX initiatives than the rest of Europe. We more often see DX as a risk than as an opportunity.

Statistics from World Economic Forum and the European Commission corroborate the IDC findings. Denmark, for instance, is number 17 in the EU when it comes to use of sensor technology and use of customer data (big data).

The fact is that we can no longer afford to view digital transformation as a choice. If the Nordic countries are going to compete in the future global market, we have to stop viewing current technologies, such as AI and IoT, as ”trends” and instead view them as an integral part of creating value in companies and organizations.

The tools are there — use them!
The growth potential for companies willing and able to seize the opportunity now, is huge. Bain, McKinsey, IHS og IDC all predict exponential growth in both investments and number of devices in the coming years. In a new report on Digital Transformation, World Economic Forum estimates that Denmark alone can gain 50 billion dollars by transforming e-commerce, travel and transportation.

Take retail brands: By implementing digital tools to collect data, retailers can tailor their customer experience on all channels. Together with Nespresso, Atea Future Growth recently developed 13 solutions for the future of retail.

Another case is Lufthansa that uses analytics to predict when a plane needs new parts, saving money on costly repairs and unnecessary check-ups.

And in one of the most recent developments, Huawei entered a partnership with DHL to optimize DHL processes with IOT. The project can demonstrate how a potential value of USD 1.9 trillion can be realized in transportation and logistics.

Who drives the transformation?
The Danish government recently put a so-called ”Production Panel 4.0” in place with the purpose of speeding up the transformation in Danish companies.

An step in the right direction, as it all begins with the investment and the right legal framework. But the real transition happens in the companies themselves.

More and more companies are establishing innovation units to get ahead in regards to the latest technological developments and new profit pools in their sectors. Positions like Chief Technology Officer, Chief Digital Officer and Chief Information Officer become more influential. But if the companies are to benefit from these efforts in a substantial way, the results and value must be adopted across the board as a tool with the potential to transform the entire business model.

The are no quick fixes in completing the digital transformation. But before you initiate the process, here are 4 criteria for success:

-Invest in the appropriate technological infrastructure

-Ensure that the transformation has ownership across the board and supports the overall goals of the company

-Update processes to support a digital model

  • Create channels of communication across the organization to ensure that all employees have the required knowledge, skills and ownership to reach the target