Mike Doman
Technology Journalist

Mike Doman is a technology, lifestyle, industrial and education writer

Mike Doman
Technology Journalist

Mike Doman is a technology, lifestyle, industrial and education writer

To make the most of what the digital era has to offer, it’s important to go back to your business foundations and think differently. We look at why analogue thinking doesn’t translate to digital.

“Going digital” is something many, if not most businesses have done. At least that’s what they believe. Technology has become so pervasive in business that it’s inextricable from operations, yet for many businesses, the benefits are not being felt as much as they could.

Speaking at Telstra’s Vantage event in September, Principal Management Consultant at Telstra, Jesper Lowgren, said the reason benefits aren’t being felt is that many businesses are still thinking analogue, while acting digital.

 "Analogue thinking just doesn’t work in a digital world," he said during his presentation.

"The rules are radically different. What's possible is radically different."

a close up image of a circuit board

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.

Mastering your digital strategy can help you refine your public presence.

Read about the Importance Of A Digital Strategy For SMBs.

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