What do these three people have in common?
All 3 were very early digital leaders, Turing for his “Turing Machine”, an early general purpose computer, Flowers for “Colossus – the first programmable computer used to decrypt German military messages at Bletchley Park and Vaughan for spotting the potential of NASA’s first IBM mainframe and leading the way in programming the device to compute spaceship trajectories.
Closer to today
All of the above are Digital Leaders who founded exciting, new and very disruptive tech companies in the early naughties. Omidyer founded e-Bay, Musk founded PayPal and Lane Fox founded LastMinute.com.
But what is Digital Leadership?
Digital Leadership is the strategic use of digital to achieve business goals and uses technology to gain competitive advantage in both internal and external operations.
Companies and individuals can be Digital Leaders.
Benefits of Digital Leadership
Although the people mentioned above were disruptive, introducing new concepts, thoughts and technology, a business doesn’t have to be disruptive to be a digital leader.
When a company looks to make maximum use of technology and IT solutions across their business – striving for Digital Leadership, they stand to make gains across many areas, including
- Process Simplification
- Reducing costs
- Minimising errors
- Increased Speed to Market
- Improved Competitiveness
- Market Advantage
- Increased Profit
Just look at the evolution in milking technology to see evolution in action. Think back to a time when cows were milked by hand and the revolution that an automated milking machine brought to the market, enabling a herd of cows to be milked at the same time, requiring far fewer people.
Now, the introduction of fully roboticized milking parlours mean that the cows can get themselves milked at a time that suits them, rather than just at dawn and dusk. Apparently, cows are happiest when they are milked between 3 and 4 times a day, alleviating the discomfort of full udders as required and happier cows lead to improved milk yield and the roboticized process significantly reduces workforce costs.
Transforming your business
If you want to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital and technological revolution, take a step back from the day-to-day running of your business and analyse EVERYTHING. Look at everything you do, ask who does what, why, when, how and invite others to contribute to your research. In other words, stop working IN and start working ON your business.
You could Post-It notes on a wall and capture the completed research using your phone
Next, look at ways of making everything “better”. The goal being to work Smarter not Harder so you’ll be looking to –
And you can investigate off-the-shelf solution or have bespoke solutions developed. The former will normally deliver a quicker fix but with compromises which mean you may not gain maximum advantage. A bespoke solution will take longer to develop and implement and will probably cost more in the short term. However, the benefits will be far greater in the medium to long term because the solution will be precisely tailored to meet your exact requirements.
When to start Digital Transformation
There’s no time like the present, you might already be lagging behind your competition!