• Michael Birkebæk Jensen, Partner |
3 min read

When people feel uncomfortable or step out of their comfort zone, the brain will most often be alert to danger rather than seeing opportunities or changing the unknown into something positive. We are therefore very obliged to do something that we recognise or are used to doing, but sometimes that must change to develop. It is therefore important to be innovative and curious about new opportunities and processes. This does not only apply to the person but also in a societal perspective, for example with a focus on developing and optimizing businesses in line with the technological development.

Unfortunately, the businesses that invest large sums of money in trying to optimise and innovate business processes with new technology often experience limited success. The problem is that we handle technological development with an analogous mindset that is deep-rooted in old working patterns that provide a breeding ground for analogous bias. This prevents us from displaying the necessary resources and competencies to achieve our goals. Subconsciously, we are limited by technological opportunities, which give us the best chances to innovate our businesses and organisations.

Even though Denmark is one of the most digitalised societies in the world, 25 % of the Danish workforce does not have the digital skills in place. A survey from 2018 moreover shows that only one in twenty businesses in Denmark are described as a high technology business – and that is a shame.

Lack of confidence in digital tools

Denmark has unfortunately also had a boring record; one in four governmental IT projects gets a red light from the Danish Government Digitisation Partnership. These concerns eleven projects. This is shown by a status reporting for the first half of 2021, which includes 45 projects. A project gets a red light if it is expected to exceed the budget by more than 10 % or is delayed by three months. Some of the projects are NemLog-in3 from the Agency for Digital Government and an implementation centre for Real Estate evaluations (ICE) from The Danish Property Assessment Agency and The Ministry of Taxation.

That said, we must not be afraid of a digital society. We should instead approach digitalisation with curiosity, confidence and courage to test new digital tools and see new opportunities emerge. It is the technological development and implementation of digitalisation that will drive future organisations; so why not begin now and future-proof our businesses?

We must take more chances

Why is it so difficult to change something? Is it the brain that limits new thinking and innovation because we have been used to doing the same for many years?

Many people cannot imagine something if they have not seen it before. Perhaps managers feel the same way. Managers cannot visualise the benefits of digitalisation and artificial intelligence (AI), because they have not seen them before. It is however important to take chances and trust the technology. Many businesses are limited by the complexity and find it difficult to accept that they should start over. It is about time that we leave the analogous comfort zone and instead embraces the digital opportunities with development and creativity.

When people have been doing the same for many years, it is challenging to imagine that some of their work can be automated and digitalised. Hence, many businesses rarely approach technology. Rather, they try to automate well-known processes instead of going the whole length and trying to imagine what the new technologies can be used to. The key is that we do not have to tell the machines what to do – they are perfectly capable of doing that by themselves.

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