Almost every aspect of our lives incorporates a digital element, from the alarm on our phone to wake us up through to reading an e-book when we go to bed. But exploring and realising the potential of digitisation involves embracing a new mindset that challenges us to not only apply digital technologies to existing activities, but to ‘unlearn’ old reflexes and learn different ways of working. This is becoming key to maintaining efficiency, agility and competitive advantage in a digital age.
The courage to disrupt
Innovation and the disruption of entire business models is not a choice, but a matter of survival if companies wish to remain competitive. This is not simply a case of shifting bricks and mortar business models online, but reimagining ways of doing business and engaging with customers. This changes the risk reward dynamics considerably, but how do you translate disruption into sustainable business models? We highlight three factors:
Tone from the top - Clarity and commitment from the leadership, and the ability to take calculated bets.
The spirit of innovation - Too often, innovation and digitisation is relegated to a technology department; however, the people who work with customers and understand the day-to-day business challenges often bring the best ideas. Being open to ideas, and creating a forum in which these ideas can flourish is essential.
Developing a digital mindset - Digitisation is less about technology, and more about mindset. It can be difficult to think differently when people are enmeshed in the day-to-day business, caught up in legacy processes, technologies and ways of thinking. To overcome this, we have found our dedicated innovation hub, SC Ventures, creates the space in which innovation, partnerships and new business models can flourish.
An innovative treasury mindset
Corporate treasurers are already embracing an innovation mindset by rejecting manual processes and constantly looking to increase automation, improve decision making and support the business in new ways. They are also instrumental in facilitating the company’s wider digital agenda by embracing digital payment and collection methods, analysing changing cash flow dynamics, helping to streamline, accelerate and reinforce supply chains, and managing “just in time” liquidity.
Digitising existing ways of working and thinking will deliver some benefit, but will not be transformative in its impact. Instead, by conceiving entirely new ways in which the company operates and engages with its wider ecosystem, with digitisation at its heart, treasurers can help shape the company, or even the industry, of the future.