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Anni Ronkainen: Feeling digital? - Digitisation here and now

Anni Ronkainen | 05.09.2016

An increasing number of traditional businesses are taking significant steps on the path towards digitisation. What does digitisation actually mean? Why is it perhaps one of the greatest transitions fuelled by technology in the history of mankind?

There is no single definition of digitisation, but in general, it is used to refer to digital renewal – anything that can be digitized is digitized and integrated in our daily lives. Over the years, consumers have seized the opportunities enabled by technology, whereas businesses have a lot to catch up.

Digitisation has an overall impact on the operations of businesses and their existing structures. It challenges the current earning logic and the traditional operating models.

Digitisation concerns all sizes of businesses in all lines of business and businesses have only two alternatives in responding to this change: either they seize the opportunities enabled by digitization and build it into a competitive advantage, or they don’t and lose the competition.

Digitisation is not, however, a mere exercise in technology. Technology enables the change, but the change itself arises from somewhere else altogether, namely from us people. But the interesting thing is how we embrace new technology and make it part of our daily lives.

Digitisation concerns us all. It has irrevocably changed our behaviour at both work and leisure. New technology and digital services have permanently changed the way we are, live and consume.

Digitisation has a strong impact on business culture. It does away with hierarchical barriers and adds transparency and openness to the organization. Digitisation forces businesses to decentralise decision-making and authorises teams to assume ownership. A successful organisation responds quickly, tries out new things and is not afraid of making mistakes.

The digital transformation does not happen by itself, it needs active management. Above all, management is about managing change at all levels of the organisation. It means building new skills, demolishing rigid silo-like structures and increasing cooperation an all levels. Enabling fast response and action is the lifeblood of an organisation.

We have the privilege of witnessing this big transition – witnessing how technology changes the world and improves the quality of life for even billions of people. No similar transition will take place during our lifetimes. The work we do in the K-Group influences the daily lives of all Finnish people. That keeps our attitude humble.

Anni Ronkainen, Chief Digital Officer, SVP, Kesko


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