Competition is different
This different environment, he argues, requires a fundamental shift in the way that businesses think - encompassing how they feel about other businesses in their market and how they see themselves as a competitive entity. Making that shift can lead to a number of collaboration and bottom line benefits.
"[Success] will start ... when you find one, two, three, four [businesses] coming together and ... everyone is doing what's most important to them."
Process is different
For Jeremy Keane, Managing Director for Injury Treatment - a clinical consulting service with around 300 employees - moving from analogue to digital required getting the right people in the room at the right time to ensure the thinking wasn’t just replicating inefficiencies in their analogue process.
"There's probably two major components of our business that are focused on this: one is a people and performance division and the other's the IT division.
"People in performance are focused on the relevant procedural requirements for each service we deliver [and] adhering to procedure is very important to ensure we're clinically compliant, but also we're compliant with the regulatory authorities.
"[So we got] people in performance speaking with the IT division to [identify] what solution we can put in place to eradicate some of these somewhat archaic process of utilising faxes and waiting a week or so for a response."
Rethinking the way they operate has seen significant benefits for the business - the average time saved according to Jeremy is around 30 - 45 minutes per case. With the business working through 4000 to 5000 cases each year, the savings add up to a conservative 2000 hours of work time every year.
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What's valuable is different
The other thing the digital environment changes is what's valuable in the eyes of business. Speaking at Vantage, Tony Clement said that for businesses to be successful in the digital age, they understand more about their customers.
"Businesses need to understand what their value proposition is," he said.
"They need to understand why their customers are doing business with them, and then they need to be able to figure out how to extend that value proposition through digital channels.
"If they can’t do that then someone else is going to do it, and they'll lose their place in the market."
Change is the reality of the digital era, and it looks unlikely to slow down any time soon. In order to maximise the promises of the technology, it's important to take a moment and reconsider your business, and the processes that drive it, right from the beginning.