Pioneer in digitalization with industry-specific software products

.Mari Torkko

Project manager Mari Torkko at SC Software reflects on how to jump on the bandwagon of digitalization with industry-specific software products.

“Digitalization has been discussed for quite some time. However, I argue that in many organizations, we still too often find ourselves in a situation where applications are attempted to be implemented according to existing processes – what could be called more digitization than digitalization.”

Are you digitizing or digitalizing?

“If you search for a definition of digitalization on a search engine, you will surely find various explanations for the term. In short, digitization happens when an old way of doing things is transferred as it is into digital form. Digitalization, on the other hand, means changing your own actions. That is, changing your own operations to extract maximum value from the application you have acquired.”

“Digitalization means changing your own actions.” Mari Torkko, Project Manager, SC Software

“So, actual digitalization happens only when processes are adapted to the model provided by digital tools to achieve added value, such as better efficiency. Technological development is the driver of digitalization – for example, instead of a customer sending emails to customer service and inquiring about their matter multiple times, a digital service portal enables secure communication and tracking of the process. This way, customer service avoids unnecessary service request overload, and customers receive better and faster service.”

The illusion of uniqueness can lead to resource wastage

“In the field of trade unions, where my own background lies, there has often been a tendency to develop custom applications. Based on my experience, the underlying reason is often the ‘illusion of uniqueness,’ where organizations imagine their own operations to be so exceptional that no suitable system can be found on the market. As a result, digitizing their existing processes is often chosen over jumping on the bandwagon of digitalization.”

“Although organizations in the same sector may differ in their processes, the question ultimately is whether the implementation of yet another custom application is still sensible or profitable. When plagued by the illusion of uniqueness, wasting resources becomes quite likely. The development projects are financially significant investments with their defining and approval testing phases that burden the buyer organization. Of course, it must be noted that a custom application can be the best solution in situations where a suitable alternative cannot be found in the market.”

Industry-specific software products and a strategic development partner provide opportunities for genuine digitalization

“When acquiring a software product, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel; you can easily adopt a set of functions that support typical processes in your industry. The pricing of products is usually based on the number of users, so it scales for organizations of any size, with predictable costs. Additionally, products usually get vendor-provided updates, without the need of digging into your own pockets every time an update is needed.”

“Choose a strategic partner that has enough expertise and understanding of your industry.” Mari Torkko, Project Manager, SC Software

“Many organizations are still struggling with the lack of a change culture, as well as a shortage of skills and resources in their IT projects. That’s why it’s advisable to choose a strategic partner as a solution supplier who has enough expertise and understanding of your industry. Such a partner can support the development of your processes. You can then trust that with the help of a partner, you are among the digitalization pioneers, implementing the best practices of your industry.”

“Is the time ripe for digitalization and industry-specific software products?”