October 7, 2016

Navigare necesse est – also in seas of Digitalization

Ari Hirvonen

Head of Enterprise Architecture Consulting, Tieto

Few weeks ago I was returning home from a business trip. It was a late Friday night flight and I wasn’t on the best mood. I was positively surprised when entering the aircraft – former minister and current Member of European Parliament (MEP) was sitting next to me. After introductions and a nice cup of coffee we started to talk about digitalization.

The MEP had a story to tell on an incident happened a while ago. A top management representative of a global hotel chain had requested audience with her to propose legislation to forbid AirBnB, the global private home accommodation broker, to operate in EU.

The MEP was furious that someone even dares to suggest something totally against of free competition and innovative entrepreneurial principles driven by her personally.

I think this is a good example how digitalisation impact today. Traditional businesses are getting desperate as digital competitors are taking share – unless the more traditional players adjust their business to reflect the modern world and the new competition.

In coming years all industries will be information intensive

The world biggest hotel chain has no own hotel rooms, nor does the world’s largest taxi company has own cars. In relief, one may think that this will not happen to my traditional resource intensive industry.

Traditional laws of business are changing in all industries. It happens sooner in information intensive industries but we see increasing number of industries becoming digital by IoT, business process automation, reversing value chains or by totally new and disruptive business models. The question is not will some industry become information intensive and digital or not, but when and how that happens.

It is time to start now!

Navigation was necessity in the ancient times due to many reasons. It was enabler of prosperity and economical success. Constant navigation also secured good navigation skills and knowledge what works and what not. It would have been too late start to build ships or start to learn navigation when enemy fleet was close to home shores. Starting early enough and learning constantly were keys to success.

If you are not yet taken steps in your digitalization journey, I recommend you to start today. One should not wait until established laws in the business and industry are dramatically and fundamentally changed. It will be too late then.

Digitalization is journey of experimentation, innovation and learning by lean digital start-ups and digital business change. Tieto is today digitalization journey partner for many. We have learned a lot with our partners about new laws of digital world and how one should drive and navigate that journey.

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Digitalizing your business is a must to stay ahead of the competition and to be a market winner.

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