(Image courtesy Open Minder)
The digital gap doesn’t just refer to geographic regions that don’t have access to modern technology. Digital gaps also exist inside organizations, and between companies and their customers. These can be exacerbated by leadership gaps, knowledge gaps, age gaps – the list goes on.
To bridge the digital gap, companies first have to understand and acknowledge that it exists. Change can be hard, but it’s necessary to keep a competitive edge.
Below are a few tips we’ve seen work as a way to understand your gaps and stay ahead of the market:
While this seems obvious, many companies haven’t pinpointed the exact source of their gap. They might not even know they have one.
The symptoms of the gap may include lagging against competitors; difficulty to attract talent; inability to enact change; eroding margins; deceleration of growth; to name a few.
By applying root-cause analysis techniques, organizations can better allocate their resources. The root problem might be the existing leadership, or outdated processes, it may not even be a problem with technology.
A disciplined approach to identifying the root cause of the problem is essential, and much more effective than investing in new technology from the get-go.
You can use any metric as long as it brings in money.
Management will hardly approve any investment to bridge the gap if they don’t see a credible ROI. Quantifying the impact becomes paramount. The monetary impact is what determines the importance of bridging the gap.
One important consideration today is that in a networked economy, we live in an exponential world. Digital natives understand the power of networks, and are designed under the assumption that the return of investment is not linear, but exponential…that their profits may be pennies, whereas traditional companies are getting dollars in return.
The difference is that digital companies will get few returns, and even have losses for longer than traditional companies before getting a profit. However, once they cross the threshold, their exponential curve of growth will yield much higher returns than traditional companies growing at a linear pace.
Making the case for the importance of the gap requires a new and different mindset.
Identifying the gap without having a solution is like learning you’re sick but not having a cure. You know the source of your problems and that fixing it should be a priority, but now you need to know how. At Softtek we are applying design thinking techniques that complement our traditional root-cause-analysis capabilities. This is a combo that has yielded results for many organizations
Gustavo Gómez, Managing Director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Mexico, has a strategic partnership with Softtek, and sat down with us to discuss digital gaps at our recent Digital Innovation Summit in Cancun.
In the below video, Gustavo explains the challenge he faces in making his customers aware that there is a digital gap, and his hopes for the future: