Recent studies by Roland Berger and McKinsey showed that, where digital transformation is concerned, French companies are lagging behind their European neighbours. The report revealed that businesses in France have so far been reluctant to go digital and enjoy the associated benefits, but there situation isn’t hopeless: the drivers for change are within their reach…
Both consulting firms reached two firm conclusions: that French businesses – particularly SMEs and mid-caps – are slow on the digital uptake, and that digital technology is a key growth driver for the future.
The reports point out the various cultural and structural obstacles that are causing this delay: lack of commitment from Management, dearth of digital skills, organisational and financial issues, etc. It is precisely for these reasons that we launched the “Digital for All, Now” movement: to get beyond these obstacles.
In terms of solutions, both reports suggest government reforms in order to influence the ecosystem. Whilst this is obviously essential, there are also a number of other solutions to enable companies to take the digital plunge and realise their full potential: it’s the companies themselves that can – and should – drive change, now.
Companies: driving change
The growth potential for businesses is immense: the digital transformation will allow them to improve their operational results by between 20 and 50%, according to Roland Berger’s estimations.
A Big Bang is always triggered by something: experts recommend changing a company’s culture, mind-set, increasing Management’s commitment, and all these things are necessary. But something has to trigger that change: and this requires decisive action.
Both reports conclude that this action involves:
• Providing employees with more equipment (Roland Berger recommends that businesses “invest in new services […] or equipment (tablets, computing infrastructure, etc.)”
• Having the means to finance digital transition projects: many companies are put off by the cost of implementing a digital strategy.
The real game changer involves deploying the same level of digital technology and equipment within companies as people use in their private lives: after all, how can you talk about a digital transition when there is such a flagrant gap between professional and personal use of technology?
Financing is often a major obstacle, as the Roland Berger report points out, and says businesses “shouldn’t be afraid to tie up capital in order to fund new tools and processes, even if it means slowing down their existing business”. The sheer scale of such projects, the potential risk involved and the lack of flexibility are all some of the key reasons preventing businesses from going digital.
And yet our experience of large-scale digital projects has proved the opposite: it is possible to find solutions to implement digital projects immediately, without tying up capital or compromising business.
“Digital for All, Now” means taking action: not as a consultant, but as an entrepreneur.