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If you’re fearful of embracing the unknown, do it right now!

It is widely accepted that digitalisation changes things. And changes are currently underway in the real estate and construction industry. Different industries move forward in different cycles, and some industries see more rapid and dramatic changes, making survival difficult, writes Juha Saikkonen, Development Manager of Sponda. 

I have developed digital services for travel, retail and media industries, and I have seen different approaches in smaller and larger organisations. The most significant discovery that I can remember is that no-one can take any shortcuts, and that different ways of embracing digital change can be equally functional.

It is obvious that companies strive to become experts in their field. This should, without exception, be visible in the use of new technologies as well. The significance of digital change in your own industry can easily be played down and considered different from the situation elsewhere. Small careful steps take us forward, but ambitious visions for the years ahead must also be developed. If these visions do not include revolutionary ideas or their revenue potential is not significant, it is possible that even good ideas are left unimplemented.

You cannot — and must not — be included in everything.

Playing down the significance of the development happening on the market may lead to a negative circle. The skill of making the most of new operational models and technologies develops gradually, and there are no shortcuts to the latest stage of revolutionary technology.  This means that the inability to utilise the opportunities offered by the new technology leaves space for other companies to grab their share of the available market.

In my opinion, the greatest risks of failing are developing without a specific plan, and deciding against investing in development on the basis that everything is going to change numerous times anyway. Unplanned development can be a sign of an organisational distress. It wastes resources and makes overall perception difficult. There might be many projects without a clear plan going on, but only a fraction of them will be completed.

In the future, there will be no other kind of management than technology management.

In my opinion, you cannot — and must not — be included in everything. It is vital to discover the best experts and partners, and to identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Understanding what is important for the company’s clients and enabling continuous service development improves the likelihood of succeeding within the changing framework of digitalisation remarkably.

I believe that, in the future, there will be no other kind of management than technology management. A model where technology is only a utility used to create systems operated by people is still applicable, but as technology and the physical world are converging, a new situation is soon arising. It is my opinion that the key to a successful company is in breaking this internal dam at the earliest possible stage. This enables the company to evolve into a company that develops its services in a customer-oriented manner, creating its own operational models that correspond with various customer needs — people and technology together.

Juha Saikkonen, Development Manager, Sponda

Published 20.10.2017