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Let’s explore the concept of digitization.  When we refer to the digitization of a business, we are talking about more than having a website, a Facebook presence and an e-commerce site.  Digitization refers to taking every process within a business and redefining them with the use of technology where storage takes place in a cloud environment.  We like to use the example, if there was a fire tomorrow, would your business be able to continue functioning the next day?  The same is true for staff leaving an organisation.  Do they take the knowledge of the company away with them, or are there processes in place for this intelligence to be retained in the business?  This problem exists both within small and big business, and with current rapid technological change, the danger exists that they could be left behind.

What are the biggest obstacles?

A general understanding of technology within a business begins with the drivers of the business, whether the CEO, CFO or Chairman.  Leadership must drive with the appropriate mindset if they are to cope with the changes and steer the organisation into the clear.  This understanding involves amongst other things, the understanding that digitization takes away risk within the organisation.  Digital transformation essentially starts with leadership transformation.  When digitization becomes core and is woven into the DNA of the concern, this will result in a much bigger success for the business.The forming of a digital department with the objective of unifying the entire companies digital initiative can move the company beyond a situation where information exists in silos to the formation of a congruent goal.

The third piece of the puzzle for consideration is the people and skills within the organisation and how they fulfill their tasks.  South African businesses need to up-skill or find replacement skills to stay ahead.  Employees are in a position where they need to self-educate to get comfortable with technology and gauge how this can affect their jobs.   Tuit has structured itself to offer training, even the Facebook Live sessions we stream every Thursday is aimed at educating our clients with regards technological changes.  Tuit Training assists with best of breed software and how to digitize with the use of a CRM system.  The use of Outlook is a risk as the client relationship information exists in individual pockets, using a CRM creates a central hub where all client knowledge and communication exists for use by many individuals.

Taking a business into the 21st century will be a little painful but the obstacles are not insurmountable and the rewards are worth the effort.  Keeping an open mind is critical to successful adaptation.  Microsoft is a great example of an 80’s company that has been very successful in adapting themselves to new trends.

Recent research has shown that the most important skills for the next working generation will be to be digitally literate.  We have launched an initiative known as Coding for Kids, where young children can learn how to code. The launch will take place in September and the first intake will be in January 2017.  A similar initiative will be launched for adults, not to change careers but to aid in literacy and so doing, break barriers.

This article was put together from excepts on our Facebook Live video, where we conducted a Dual Stream Video, we believe to be a first in South Africa. 

Please click HERE to view the video.