IT & Business 2015: Do Digital Transformations Still Require Analog Solutions?
The trend continues: digital transformation is THE most talked about issue at IT conferences. This year’s IT & Business in Stuttgart was no exception. CoreCompetence was interested in learning how vendors support companies in guiding their employees, sales partners and customers through the transition.
The 4th Industrial Revolution Is Coming
If you look at the history of the development of IT, one thing is particularly clear: technology was and is the conduit for change. In the 90s and the early 2000s, buzzwords like system networking, scalability and Web 2.0 dominated trade shows and conferences. Today, talk has turned to the 4th industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0. “The Internet of everything, everywhere and for everyone” is the focus.
In the business word, this is most evident in the fields of ERP, CRM, ECM and BI. Topics like centralization, easy access to customer data, cloud solutions and mobile computing were thus in the spotlight at IT & Business 2015.
Business-specific Consulting is on the Rise
With that in mind, it is clear that the primary emphasis of vendors is now the integration of IT and business, especially the combination of business processes and IT. To put it simply, it’s all about process modeling and the introduction of related systems. Business-specific consulting plays an important role in such cases. It ensures that the new technology yields the added value that contributes to achieving business goals.
Something else quickly became clear in this context: administrators or representatives from other “classic” business divisions cannot be permitted to halt the digital transformation. Instead, it must permeate the entire organization. In particular it must involve the knowledge workers and other specialist divisions.
For example, the independent consultancy Trovarit specializes in guiding mid-sized companies through the “systems jungle” by defining requirements in an enterprise- and process-relevant way and then providing support in selecting a provider. They took an interesting approach at the trade fair by offering a guided tour. This analog approach to showing a company the way and offering vendors matchmaking services functions well when it comes to matching needs and solutions with an eye toward achieving business goals.
The Training Concepts for the Digital Transformation are Anything but 4.0
If you ask system vendors how they plan to ensure that people make the leap from analog past to digital business processes, the answers are often very similar:
- “We leave that up to the IT or HR department”
- “We mainly train the key users”
- “Our focus is on train-the-trainer concepts”
- “We conduct onsite trainings at the customer’s HQ”
- “We provide training at our own facilities”
In the digital context, that sounds far too “analog”.
So we dug deeper. We wanted to know if the people involved in the transition would also be digitally trained. Only a few vendors made it clear that they currently take such an approach. And when they do, it’s often a matter of simple e-learning courses or system trainings that just make information about the new system available – that is, solutions that limit themselves to the question of “how to do X with the new system”. You could call training measures like these “Learning 2.0”.
Conclusion: Effectively Support Change Processes with Digital Training Solutions 4.0
In order to sustainably and comprehensively anchor the changes resulting from the digital transformation in the people involved, training measures must be up-to-date and relevant to the user. Whether it’s a learning nugget, a learning cluster or a comprehensive learning experience world, every digital training measure has a common goal: to make people enthusiastic about the change and to equip them with the appropriate competences.
The most important questions that must be answered by a digital training measure are:
- Why will the new system be implemented?
- What exactly will change?
- What are the resulting advantages?
- How do I apply the system concretely in specific use cases?
OTIS took this route when they introduced tablet PCs for 1,200 service technicians – with great success.
We are convinced that a successful digital transition within the entire organization must be trained digitally, enabling it to involve and engage hundreds or even thousands of people in the change process.
In the end, the way to achieve Industry 4.0 is with “Motivation and Training 4.0”.
Cover photo: © Vasin Lee/Shutterstock.com
About the Author
Christian Müller is the managing director and CEO Sales & Solutions. A specialist in training and coaching, his passion is supporting companies in managing their change processes, especially those relating to the digital transition.
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