All of us have been exposed to these sentences and many more that spell out the importance of digitalisation, but what do they really mean? What does digitalisation mean? Should all companies and organisations aim for a digital transformation? Why? How are the ecosystems they are part of evolving? And how is the current pandemic affecting these ecosystems and the way they operate?
I have seen firsthand how a company starts a digital transformation journey that supports their strategy. I have also seen how this journey triggers different ways of working and how it can incentivize key enablers such as cross-functional collaboration.
Before I embarked on the Copenhagen MBA, I worked on Digital Transformation teams in a biopharmaceutical company. During my time there, I experienced how digital solutions, applied to everything from ‘Research and Development’ to ‘Go To Market’ strategies, can not only improve efficiencies but also overcome limitations established by previous ways of working. They can also influence the strategic pipeline and resource allocation decisions while improving the position of the company in its ecosystem.
One of the first courses I and my classmates encountered in the Copenhagen MBA was – fittingly for our times – the core course in Digitalisation. Through business cases, my classmates and I were asked to make decisions on how a specific company should navigate the countless opportunities and threats that the concept of ‘going digital’ implies. From following a platform business models to partnering with innovative startups, we explored a wide range of different situations. In most cases, we started providing strong statements that were based on our previous professional experience. As the discussions continued, we added new perspectives and saw the interconnections between a company and its evolving ecosystem. Our professor, Rony Medaglia, was a key part in enabling this process, adding his expertise to every session and broadening our way of thinking.
In the course, we had the opportunity to deep dive into specific technologies which are currently discussed and implemented in different industries such as blockchain and artificial intelligence solutions. Focusing on the former, we had an insightful session with Rasmus Winther Mølbjerb, Director at Deloitte Digital. Rasmus took us closer to real blockchain technology applications, sharing with us his vision and experience in this exciting field.
It was also interesting to address some of the current challenges that companies are facing while aiming to become digital from different points of view. We needed to understand not only the role of the company but also what role others, whether they are public or private parties, could take and – perhaps most importantly – the role of the customer.