Too short-sighted: Unused potential of digitization


Although most companies are digitizing, a lot of potential still remains untapped. Business leaders and business architects of Swiss companies can leverage this potential with the following thought model. Read here how the use of platforms for the digitization of business processes should be considered in order to exploit this potential.

An opinion piece by Christian Tübing.
It annoys me that discussions on the subject of digitization revolve around IT itself and not - which would be much more important from my point of view - around the big picture. And that is the business models of companies. After all, it's mostly about running them more efficiently. And yes, of course there are standardized tasks in every industry for which there are efficient IT solutions. But that's not enough. In my opinion, that is not sufficient support.

To have financial advantages, we need more. Value creation is becoming more and more complicated and requires more knowledge, more networking and closer ties with the clientele.
So we all collect data, because that's what everyone does. But data itself is worthless if we don't know what to do with it. And we're becoming faster and more agile. Because everyone is doing that too, we are transferring our solutions to a cloud.
Yet the "glue" that holds everything together is the employees. A lot of it is in the heads (I recently heard the word "head monopoly"). This not only has a negative impact on employees, it also slows down and damages all business models.

I would like to give a suggestion here to think through business models in a continuous and "end-to-end" manner. With IT support at the functional level and corresponding solutions to be classified as follows:

Functionally, three capabilities of solutions are needed:

1. Processes: business logic and technical processing and translation of workflows.

2. Integration: connecting existing solutions (applications, processes and services) and fully exploiting their value.

3. Portals: providing shared yet personalized access to data, expertise and applications from external parties (partners, customers, etc.).

Many existing systems partially map such capabilities. For example, specialist systems are capable of mapping processes and connecting other system solutions, but usually only internally for your specialty and within the boundaries of your system solution itself. An example are industry solutions, e.g. in the insurance or energy industry. Standard systems map the business logic for conventional company structures and in some cases have portals. Most of these lack a mature process component (e.g. store systems, HR systems, ERP systems, etc.). Integration-oriented systems allow portals to be implemented. However, these mainly have no or only very limited options for mapping business logic.

The (cloud) platforms available today promise to combine and map all three of these core capabilities. However, I see a significant difference in these, especially in the "vertical integration".

They exist as a majority collection of tool building blocks (AWS, GCP, Azure) that are almost as difficult to master "properly" as manually integrated standalone solutions.

And they exist as SaaS platforms abstracted from the technology (especially in the cloud) and focused on the technicality (ServiceNow and others). What's the difference? Both can be used to map technicality and processes, build portals and integrate with existing systems to map business models end-to-end. The difference lies in the speed and effort with which the solutions can be built and changed. This is exactly where ServiceNow's "sweet spot" lies. Many solutions are offered on the platform as «standard», but the real added value of «platforms» lies in the fast and flexible «triad» of capabilities: Processes/Logic - Integration - Portals.

And if we now radically change our perspective just for fun and think about the shortage of skilled workers in IT and other industries, what do you think is the right strategy to future-proof your business? Here's a hint: setting up video telephony and virtualizing servers is not it.

What do you think? Discuss with us!

I look forward to hearing from you.


Arctive Ltd.

Arctive Ltd. creates sustainable, powerful and efficient IT solutions for its customers that enable a pleasant working day. For this, as a Premier Partner, we rely on the ServiceNow solution, which enables us to inspire our customers and exceed expectations.

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