At the latest when "digitalization" is on your company's to-do list, you as IT manager are the first person to contact when it comes to implementation. But where to start? After all, you have to implement processes step by step and must not forget or overlook anything along the way.
Analysis. What does digitalization bring to your company? What is the status quo, what are the specified goals, and how can digital processes help you achieve them? Specifically: Where would a digital process help you become more efficient? What are the benefits to operations, colleagues, products and services when digital processes and tools are implemented? First examine each use case per stakeholder individually, and then link the results together: It is not just about individual areas such as a product, but about interactions with all departments and all processes. In other words, everywhere where digitalization helps to become faster and more efficient overall.
Important: Digitalization should be a means to a precisely defined end. It is not primarily about using technology, but about selecting technologies that fit the company and its goals.
Authority to act and make decisions. Get backing for your analyses and the measures derived from them. Convince the management: Only if the company's top management perceives digitalization as useful and recognizes a positive change in the company will they support and promote your project. This is where implementation starts.
Check resources. Are there enough people in your company who understand and can support you and your plans? Are there resources and skills that can contribute to the implementation? Often it is easier to fill missing know-how temporarily. External specialists can help quickly to set up the basic strategy and to initiate the first steps together.
Tools, products and services. Based on the initial analysis, you now select the appropriate tools and products. It has proven useful to start with the paperless office and accounting. Experience has shown that this is where there is the greatest approval, as it usually affects all departments and the changes are quickly effective and clearly understandable. Such a project is always a positive, joint starting signal. The basic rule is: quick successes through pilot projects for as many participants as possible create a positive climate for change - including digital change.
Monitoring to remain agile and flexible. Digitalization is fertile ground for constantly new ideas, technologies and products. It is therefore the task of IT management to track and evaluate trends and, if necessary, integrate them into the company's own strategy. It is easy to lose sight of the big picture. Therefore, the following applies: Within the selected solutions, there must be enough leeway to be able to react flexibly to changing conditions. Only in this way can changes be implemented as flexibly as possible, especially in the case of applications that have to be available again immediately after updates. In the end, it is perfect when capacities adapt to current demand.
Ensure data security. Company and customer data is sacred. Misuse and system attacks must be averted by all means. A comprehensive security concept is essential, including raising employee awareness. Together with a professional partner and responsible employees, data scandals and the associated consequences can definitely be ruled out. After all, simply storing and protecting existing data is no longer enough. Intelligent software that understands connections between data, draws conclusions and analyzes irregularities in such a way that your business data stays where it belongs - namely in your company - can help.
Rethink models. Do you see the new opportunities and innovations yet? Like the personalized athletic shoe that would be unthinkable without a digitized process. Digitalization opens up an infinite number of doors for us, and in almost every industry and field, it allows us to think in new directions. Lead the way as a CTO. Accept the challenge, don't shy away from conflict, because: The future is digital, with or without your company.