17 December 2018

How to increase business performance through digitalization processes

Technology does not only affect the products or services that the company sells and how it sells them, but also all the internal processes of the organization. The digitalization of processes is nowadays a theme that presents new challenges and opportunities to companies regardless the sector of activity. With rapid digital transformation, switching or not, it is no longer an option. Whoever does not adapt to the competitive and dynamic market that we live in today, faces serious risks...

Digital technologies as the Internet of Things, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data design a new setting within organizations around the world. From this new reality, the way of working has changed, and companies and employees, in addition to intensively using new platforms, need to think ahead of the technology curve, because only this way will they remain competitive.

What challenges do companies have? How to make digitalization processes a competitive advantage?

Through the digitalization of data and the Internet of Things, machines, for example, are connected to a computer network by sensors and devices, enabling the automation of production. The new revolution interconnects machines and people into an intelligent production system that reduces stagnant hours, improves production performance, reduces waste and promotes total business control.

Speaking of management and monitoring, Analytics and Big Data allow the identification of failures in the company's processes, allow analysis of different sources of information and make the use of productive resources more efficient. Everything in real time.

Recently, the Portuguese government announced a new set of measures and incentives so that companies can "scan" their processes reducing the volume of paper. The great goal is for organizations to track digital transformation, making it a competitive advantage. In addition to other benefits that we will later see, this measure helps companies to respond to the global market. As we all know, no business survives today unless it responds quickly and effectively to a global marketplace in a digital world.

According to a study by Xerox, about 2/3 of European companies place digital transformation at the heart of their business strategies. However, only 17% of Europe's businesses are in advanced stages of a digital transformation process.

But companies must adapt to a changing economy, where new ways of working and positioning themselves in the face of increasingly demanding customers and suppliers are required.

With digitalization, processes become faster and more efficient not just when storing but also when sharing information. We do not refer only to written documents, but also to photos, audio or video. Imagine, for example, a document that has to be consulted by several people. In addition to paper waste, you must take into account the time-spent filing, searching and consulting the document. With the right software and a few clicks, anyone can quickly find the document they are looking for.

Moreover, given that organizations are increasingly concerned with the environmental footprint, digitalization can reduce paper consumption and increase the level of security, because it can, for example, define that only authorized users will be able to access information. Access is thus made more quickly, intuitively and securely, ensuring increased productivity as well as reduced costs.

Intelligence platforms enable synchronization and integration of information gathered from multiple systems, and Analytics systems enable you to turn that information into value for the company. If you think time is money, a system that streamlines processes, monetizes time and increases productivity is critical for businesses. Thanks to the intelligent use of material and human resources, the Industry 4.0 brings sustainable gains.

However, it is important to note that the Industry 4.0 brings numerous benefits to organizations, but there are also challenges, starting with changing organizational culture and upgrading technology.

Portuguese companies and digitalization

According to the 2016 Global Industry 4.0 study by PWC in Portugal, 86% of companies expect to achieve high levels of digitalization by 2020, including horizontal and vertical value chains. In the rest of the world, 72% of companies have these expectations. The same document reveals that more than half of the companies that have already made significant investment in this area and, therefore, already have advanced digitalization levels, achieve significant performance gains with revenue increases and cost savings of more than 20% by 2020.

Without a doubt, digital is an opportunity for Portuguese companies: 57% of Portuguese companies expect an average increase in their revenues through digital up to 10%, 55% have a cost reduction above 10% and around 70% expect to achieve efficiencies above 10%.

Advantages of digitalization in companies:

• Reduction of paper (to produce 1 ton of paper, 2 to 3 tons of wood are required)
• Ease and speed in accessing and distributing documents
• Reduction of the time of the activities that require the analysis of documents
• Reduced costs
• Increased productivity
• Improved communication
• Integration of active and historical data
• Reducing the risk of fraud, for greater transparency in the exposure of these documents
• Digital security



It is thus vital for any company to remain successful, the need to bet each time more on digital, regardless of the business sector. Technology provides opportunities for companies to become more competitive and efficient in the analysis of data and how they use that data to their success.