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Will those who fail to digitise become irrelevant?

What does it look like for those businesses that are not looking to digitise themselves? What will happen to them? And what does it mean to work with digitisation?

These were things that were raised at Dagens Samhälles event called Digitisation of the public sector, which I reported on in the two previous weekly newsletters. Ending the series in this post.

These are five things I took away from the discussions:

  • Data should flow freely within Europe’s public organisations by 2030.
  • Closed systems go out of business.
  • Cloud computing is the way business systems will be delivered in the future.
  • Those activities that do not go digital will become irrelevant.
  • Digitisation equals business development.

So, we dive into the last two.

Those that are not digitised will be unimportant

It is becoming increasingly clear that digitisation is a must, not a free choice. For public services to be able to fulfil their missions, they must use modern technology and become more digital in their management.

It is unsustainable to spend energy and money on handling paper, transferring information manually over and over again, or having all handling done manually with few automated elements.

What emerged during the event was that the part of the public sector that is unable to transform itself to become more digital will eventually become irrelevant.

Alternatives emerge

This happens because there will be alternatives to that business which are better able to deliver better value to customers. “Better” in this case can mean more legal, faster, more convenient, more efficient, or a mixture of all of them.

We see in many places that many public sector organisations carry with them a backpack of old ideas and perceptions that things have to be solved in a certain way.

At the same time, others think differently. In a way that is not limited by these mental backpacks. This leads on to the last of the five points.

Digitalisation equals business development

To succeed with digitalisation, we need to work on business development.

Digitisation is not just introducing a digital way of doing the same inefficient and stupid management that we have always done. Digitisation should not be seen as paving roads.

We need to think differently.

When we think differently, we use digitalisation as a tool to become as much better as we really want to be.

We are not digitising for the sake of digitisation, but to bring about a major shift in business for the better. We will be better, faster, have higher quality, deliver better value, and so on, with the help of digitalisation.

It’s not forbidden to think differently, so why do so few?

In both of these points that I mention above, we can exemplify with companies like Kry or Mindoktor. They thought differently about how to provide a better service to patients, which is greatly appreciated by those who need medical advice.

It wasn’t as if it was forbidden for hospitals and regions to think that you could have a doctor or a nurse in front of you on a picture on your phone within 10-15 minutes. It was just that none of them did.

And if anyone thought of it, it never took root and had to be developed further. Probably because of too sluggish and bureaucratic structure.

And it’s not just in the Swedish public sector, it’s exactly the same in the US where the healthcare system is different. When the Minute Clinic started, it received a lot of resistance from the existing health care system saying “you can’t do that…” and hard attempts to stop it and get everything back to “normal”.

It’s just that in business development and digitisation there is no such thing as ‘normal’, we live in a world of constant change where we constantly need to evolve to keep up.

What does it look like at your place:

Do you have a plan for your digitalisation, which also means business development? Do you feel satisfied with it?
What is your experience and how do you see the things I mentioned that I took away from Digitisation in the Public Sector?

Contact me and tell me.