Digital transformation – more than just a technology change

The term “digitisation” or “digital transformation” is currently on everyone’s lips both in corporate and the political world. There is no clear definition of the term, so everyone understands it differently.

Digitalisation is usually equated exclusively with a technological change. The technological change, which today makes it possible to be “online” everywhere, to have one’s entire office on one’s laptop all the time, which makes it possible for teams to communicate and work with each other from everywhere and to automate further processes, is certainly an essential core component of digitization. But these examples immediately show that technological change must be accompanied by a change in working methods, organizational changes, leadership and even corporate culture changes.     

The most important prerequisite for this is that the top-management of the company is prepared to embrace and support these changes. A company must no longer be a rigid construction that is divided into several hierarchical levels and managed from top-down. It should become a living, complex system that breathes and works independently and by itself.

Having this as a foundational basis, it may require adjustments to the organisational structure: flat hierarchies and “bottom up” instead of “top down” are the new preferred structures. Self-organized project teams with maximum responsibility assigned to the team within their work areas are created.

Due to the adjustments in the organizational structure, the mindset of every individual in the company also changes. More and more employees will want to develop themselves according to their interests and personal aspirations. They want to know where a company is going, take responsibility and be actively involved in the decisions.

With all these changes and adaptations, it is possible for a company to be sustainably successful and deliver positive financial/economical results. To put it in a nutshell: Satisfied employees who get the opportunity to be involved, to look beyond their own horizons and to further develop themselves can demonstrably bring a company forward.

It is quite evident that successfully “digitally transforming” a company requires a change process that goes well beyond a purely technological approach and requires intensive preparation and support.

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