People as the foundation of business strategy in the digital world

People as the foundation of business strategy in the digital world

Today, the key success factor is people who have enough knowledge to be able to operate, creatively use and develop complex technologies – says Beata Drzazga – business mentor, founder and president of BetaMed S.A., owner of many companies, including Drzazga Clinic and Dono da Scheggia in Poland, BetaNest Electronics and BetaInvest LLC in Miami.

How to build a competitive advantage in a world dominated by technology?

Nowadays, it is increasingly difficult to gain a competitive advantage thanks to technology. The problem is that it is widely available. Meanwhile, something that is available to everyone, cheap and often free, cannot be a source of sustainable advantage. The advantage must result from factors that are unique or at least very difficult to copy. Investment in modern and efficient technology gives an advantage over the competition, but only for a moment – after all, everyone can buy the same devices.

It means there is a paradox. In the analog world of the late 20th century, success was determined by the efficiency achieved thanks to technology, and in the digital world of the first half of the 21st century, the knowledge and creativity of people became crucial.

So you’re saying that investing in technology is crucial for a company, but investing in people?

It must be assumed that at best we will have the same technology at our disposal as competitors. And we have no influence on it. But we can have better people to support this technology. We can already influence this thanks to the recruitment policy, training or creating an organizational culture that facilitates the absorption of innovations for better and also innovative conditions for the provision of these services. It is very important for the recipients that we also try to take care of their feelings.

Unlike technology, people cannot be normalized. And the fact that some corporations have tried to do so is irrelevant. Such ideas ended with the 20th century. At present, it is quite the opposite. Employers are increasingly realizing that creativity is the result of diversity, that teams solve problems better than individuals, even thanks to such simple techniques as brainstorming.

So the advantage is not based on technology, but on knowledge about technology?

Today, the key success factor is people who are knowledgeable enough to operate, creatively use and develop complex technologies. Therefore, one of the most important skills of modern organizations is project management. Code writing is outsourced to countries where it can be done cheaply, while the headquarters of global corporations employ specialists in translating the needs of the organization into the language of technology. This process must work in such a way that the use of technology allows you to build a competitive advantage.

And believe me, it can’t be done cheaply. At least for now. Such people are very valuable, they are hard to win and easy to lose, and sometimes it is difficult to work with them. Therefore, the organization’s skills in the strategic management of human potential have become more important than ever in the past.

So people are always more important than technology. Meanwhile, many enterprises are stuck in the pre-digital world and for some reason they are doing so well.

Technology performs several extremely important functions. It enables automation – thanks to this we can do things faster and cheaper, it facilitates learning, which allows us to do things better and finally supports the organization’s strategy, thanks to which we can gain an advantage over the competition. This means that under no circumstances should you give up on the use of modern technologies, if only because your competitors will do it sooner or later.

In a complex organization, all changes are difficult, but changes related to the implementation of digital technologies are even more difficult. The entire organization needs to start working differently. In order for the digital transformation to be successful, such features are needed as: constant development of employees’ talents and skills, especially in the field of digital competences, the ability to assess risk, the ability to work in teams or focus on the needs of buyers.

Digital technology is now the basis on which the success of an organization is built. In the language of management specialists, it facilitates planning, organizing, motivating and controlling. Only the use of technology allows you to fully unleash the potential of employees.