Romania has the chance to strengthen its economic performance if digital technology and solutions are integrated at each company level. Only that technology investments and the implementation of digital solutions are decided by each company’s management. So, I asked the executives and managers of the companies in Romania what is their opinion about digitization. The answers provided by them in the study The barometer of digitalization in Romania, by Valoria consulting company, denotes differences of perception that are worthwhile.
- The impact of digitization on the company
If 53% of executives say the business they manage was greatly influenced by digitization, only 39% of managers have this perception. On the opposite side, 13% of top executives believe their business was influenced by a small degree of digitization compared to 19% of managers.
When it comes to the company’s relationship with digitalization, 48% of Romanian business leaders are confident that they have the necessary knowledge and only 23% say they do not know about digitalization, while the percentage of companies in Romania which do not have a website or social media account is 58%.
- The Impact of digital business models
In the opinion of 59% of business decision makers, digital business models have greatly changed their industry, but only 35% of managers have responded likewise. On the other hand, even if 70% of executives expect the digital business models to change radically their industry in the next 1-3 years, 52% of them say that the digital business tools, channels, and / or models are not the central component of the business strategy. Moreover, 89% of general managers and 80% of managers do not consider digital business models a th the eat to their company.
- Assignment of digitalization responsibility
At the level of the companies in Romania, 66% did not give the responsibility of a top management leader for the digital business development, and 35% of the general managers say there is not enough top management expertise to assess and develop a digital business model. Asked if they expect digitization to change their company significantly over the next 3-5 years, 44% of executives and 53% of managers say yes.
In this context, what are the concrete measures that company managers take to manage digital transformation? The answer of CEOs regarding what digital products or services they plan to adapt to generate 10% more revenue over the next 5 years are the following: intelligent operational management systems (77%), big data and data analytics (67%) and Internet-connected devices (57%).
- Benefits and challenges of digitization
Top management respondents in Romania see the following three key benefits of digitalization: process simplification (63%), improved decision-making with data analytics (36%) and better operational efficiency of the company (35%). However managers have another perspective and look at other key benefits: better measuring company performance (55%), cost savings (48%), and increasing business efficiency (35%).
At the level of challenges, the three most important for CEOs are the following: resistance to change (59%), the perception of “no digital consumers” (58%) and lack of digital competences among employees (31%). The top barriers to digital transformation seen by managers are the following: the belief that they have no “digital” consumers (48%), low digitization potential in their industry (27%) and resistance to change (21%).
The picture given by the top decision-makers in the Romanian companies shows a vaguely outlined perception of digitalization. The picture is complicated by the lack of understanding of the concrete benefits of digital transformation, the unclear communication of the cause-effect relationship. For many decision-makers, it is still difficult to understand the new consumer type, the complicated competitive environment of technology, the business models that capitalize on digitalization, the labor market and the new type of economy.
The explanations spread on a wider spectrum, specific to each industry. In some cases, there is a dangerous inconsistency between what top executives say and what they do. In other cases, the focus on immediate results requires them to take targeted actions. In the face of the hurricane of digitalization which takes more and more businesses out of the market, many of the general managers in Romania either minimize it or hide their heads in the sand. One thing is for sure, the success will not be of the big companies, but of the agile ones, who rapidly iterate, quickly understand and fastly implement the digital transformation.
Read the entite report here