Digitalisation – the new normal

Digitalisation – the new normal

As the world embraces digitalisation, the industrial sector must learn from the successful examples set by other sectors in order to accelerate its transformation.

Text: Selina Heiska Photo: Marja Väänänen

A few years ago, I asked my Korean friends to teach me how to cook Korean food. They invited me to their home since they had a rice cooker and other necessary ingredients and equipment, but I said no. I insisted they come to my place instead. I wanted to learn to cook Korean food with the modest supplies I had, and not just rely on their appliances.

The same goes for digitalisation. It is not about the tools, it is about the way we work and organise ourselves. Going digital does not translate to a change in the IT setup, it is a new way of doing business where customer centricity, agility, innovation and use of data meets modern technology.

I have spent the past 17 years working with digital transformation, mainly in online banking and the mobile phone industry. In the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector, the digital transformation is already on, and the pressure to renew is very strong. Even though the pace of change may not be as rapid in our industrial sector, there is a lot we can learn from B2C.

The first takeaway is about the spirit. If you don’t reinvent yourself, you are gone. The second thing we can learn is the speed of change. It pays off to be alert and accelerate, even though the business isn’t as tumultuous as it is in some sectors. It also pays off to benchmark the services that function the best. Why shouldn’t we bring the same level of user friendliness into business-to-business (B2B) sector as well.

These are the things we are now looking at with Wärtsilä’s Digital Transformation team. Even though we are focusing on digitalisation within the company, the benefits will be reaped by the customers. Co-creation and co-innovation will be a standard process, and the new ways of working will show in everything we do from sales to manufacturing.

Digitalisation is not just a short phase or a fad. It will be the new normal – it has been the new normal for a while, actually, and there is no turning back. We are co-creating the future.

Selina Heiska, Vice President of Digital Transformation at Wärtsilä

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