Digilyft, a pilot initiative from Tillväxtverket, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, is aimed at helping more industrial companies and industry-related service companies benefit from digital technology.
The idea behind Digilyft is to give companies the opportunity to learn from others, such as digital agencies like Hello Future, to gain a better picture of the challenges and opportunities of digitalization. There is also the opportunity for companies to get coaching and advice to implement digitalization projects in their own company.
”Digitalization is about change and Hello Future has given us new glasses when we look at our business.”
The method Hello Future designed for the Digilyft project was aimed at kickstarting a digital transformation in the companies we coached. The idea was to change their mindsets about digitalization from something used only to optimize their current business to something they can use to invent new business models.
We wanted to help them take control of their own future and give them courage to see digitalization as a way reach much bigger goals.
”These guys know their stuff”
One of the hardest things with digitalization and digital transformation is knowing where to start and how to create lasting change that makes sense.
Very often we see initiatives that seem like a good idea by themselves, but don’t make sense when you look at the bigger picture. The most common mistake is putting too much effort into optimizing the business model of today without knowing enough about how the business model of tomorrow might look like. This creates a situation where companies invest heavily into systems that might seem necessary now, but might be a dead end in a few years.
The companies we worked with in Digilyft all had a strong focus on their current business, but no clear strategy about their future. That makes them vulnerable to disruptions in their markets caused by digitalization - they would likely be slow to respond if the rules change.
All these companies were situated in northern Sweden far from major cities or digital tech hubs. That was also something we wanted to address to help grow their digital confidence. The third wave of the internet will be different from the second wave of software startups. It will include a lot more of the traditional companies as the internet will reach out into the real world.
We started by using a mix of knowledge transfer and design thinking workshops to help envision a desired state for each company five to seven years into the future. That vision serves as the motivation for the transformation work ahead and also functions as a compass of where they are heading.
The results from the workshops were then visualized by Hello Future so they could be used to create a shared understanding inside the organizations. Visualizing a future state is much more powerful than just describing it in words. When we can see something with our own eyes - we start to believe. It’s called the suspension of disbelief.
The visualizations were then used as a compass to pinpoint a direction. Using the “compass” we could undertake another set of workshops to map capabilities inside the companies and figure out where they would need to find partners or develop their internal knowledge.
Lastly we developed a method on how they could work in more explorative ways towards the vision. This method involved prototyping new ideas, testing with customers, learning and iterating, a very different discipline from optimizing the current business models. However, both need to exist at the same time.
”The work on the digitalization plan has opened our eyes to new opportunities”
We recommend this way of working to kickstart digital transformation in any traditional organization with a strong focus on their current business model. It’s a great way of taking back control of your own future and being prepared for disruption in your market.
The project helped these companies kickstart their digital transformation by:
“Hello Future has given digitalization a new level that offers our industries competitive advantages if they continue the work. Hello Future has also given traditional industries optimism that they are good and that they can compete in a global market with ideas for new digital-driven products and services”
Beatriz Axelsson - Project Manager, Digilyft
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