Do you agree with comparing ongoing digitalization to the next industrial revolution?
Every day we hear about the digital revolution, yet few people truly know where and how it is actually taking place. No doubt technologies bring major changes to the lives of companies and the whole of society. They change entire industries and the lives of each and every one of us. I recently read about a global financial group which refers to itself as a “technological company operating in the financial services industry”. That is so very true! And, not just for banks and insurance companies. However, I understand the word “revolution” as a dramatic and one-off change. Although technological innovations bring revolutionary changes, I’d rather call it a never-ending digital transformation.
What is its specific content?
For us it is essential to understand the customer’s situation in the context of its scope, strategy, and individual needs. Only then can we design an appropriate solution. Offering technological innovations just because they’re trendy and everyone talks about them is nonsense.
We can afford a comprehensive and individual approach because we not only have experts with knowledge of these innovative technologies, but also the years of experience with the systems and businesses of our customers. In the context of digital transformation, we are talking about new customer-oriented technologies, new products and services generating additional sources of revenue, and the use of data and data analysis for decision-making. Together with our customers, we are also building new portals and self-service zones, and we unite and modernize their business channels and customer platforms. But you need to see further.
In the field of digitalization of products and services, I find the story of our customer who produces very complex, industrial machines both amazing and iconic. They have gradually added sensors, electronics, regulating and autonomous control systems. But then they came up with a really transformative idea to sell not only mechanical devices, but also a completely new concept of “machine as a service”.
Together, we have developed and expanded a platform that gathers all of the real-time data from control systems, and monitors, analyzes and compares everything with hundreds of similar devices. Over this platform, we have created a variety of applications that provide invaluable and previously unthinkable information and services. These are applied to improving the planning, management and optimization of the operation of the entire device, data analyses, and predictive maintenance. Here, it is not just about the technology used, but above all, a whole new competitive advantage, as well as a new source of revenue for the company from these services: a new business model.
Customer orientation and digitalization of products and services is just the tip of the iceberg. It is only the surface and often viewed as the priority part of transformation – the front-end part of the business. However, even the best customer application, new service, or product fails to reach its true potential if the company doesn’t manage to handle it properly within its internal organization and information systems – the back-end.
More and more of our customers realize this, and the leading industry analyst firms confirm it. For example, Gartner has come up with a multi-speed IT model, which highlights the conflict between the agility of modern, front-end applications and the stability of robust internal information systems. These internal IT systems often cannot be adapted quickly enough to the new changes due to their nature and technical obsolescence.
Does this mean that businesses will have to get rid of these older technologies?
All technologies used today have their role. Our customers have invested vast resources and effort into their core systems. Though they are less flexible, large companies could not work without these systems’ stability and reliability. The really outdated and unprofitable systems should be replaced. Therefore, we want to be a strategic “end-to-end” partner that helps businesses in linking the world of technological innovation and fast-changing requirements with the permanently necessary and needed world of stable and reliable internal systems. We have several global and local competence centers that are intensely dedicated to these topics.
In your solutions and services, you put emphasis on the employee experience with technology. Why?
Employees also want to have a good experience with their work and to take advantage of technological innovations, so their work is effective and enjoyable. If employees like what they do, this will be reflected positively in their engagement with customers. Motivated, efficient employees and digitalized internal processes are an equally important part of digital transformation relative to customer orientation. This is also confirmed by Forrester, which has previously predicted needed investment in the digitalization of internal processes and systems, in addition to the digitalization of customer technologies that has already been a focus of organizations.
What would you recommend to the companies that are held back by their processes?
Process flexibility is key for digital transformation, especially so companies can flexibly respond to changing market situations, customer requirements and new technological possibilities.
We build our portfolio on a new generation of agile process platforms, such as ServiceNow, that allow companies to get the necessary part of the logic of their processes from those big transactional systems into separate, flexible layers. Within it, the processes can be changed quickly, while being fully integrated.
Petr Mýtina, Managing Director, Czech Republic & Slovakia, Ness Digital Engineering