Are Swiss companies digital ready?

Around the globe, coronavirus outbreak, after health, is affecting mainly employment, implementing new ways of working. In particular, remote work has been the answer given by a huge amount of companies, businesses, institutions. This is bringing together difficulties and opportunities, basically creating digital workplaces. Specifically, it is related to two aspects: digitisation, the process of converting information from a physical format into a digital one, and digitalization, the process of leveraging digitisation to improve business processes. Of course, every country is giving a different response. Considering that digital workplaces are both about strategy and technology, what is the Swiss state of the art on this field?

According to last Deloitte Global Readiness Report, more and more Swiss companies are intensifying their efforts in these areas. However, there are still companies in the country which have significant room for improvement when it comes to digital readiness. “Two-thirds of chief experience officers (CXOs) surveyed for the Global Readiness Report said their companies either have no formal strategies or are taking ad-hoc approaches. Conversely, only 10 percent of CXOs said they have longer-range strategies to leverage new technologies that reach across their organisations”, Deloitte Switzerland writes.

From the advantage of being digitally ready will benefit the whole organization, productivity included. As the specific Swiss analysis points out, there is a paradox: while the impact of digital technologies on society and work has accelerated, productivity growth has declined. To change this trend, companies should consider strategy, talent development, corporate culture and leadership. In other words, having a digital strategy, encourage experimentation, embed digital skills at all levels (both management and employees) will be key answers for the future.

But in this case reality has been faster than expected and the current scenario could really be a stress test. It will probably enhance the understanding of the fact that every reluctance to completely embrace industry 4.0 technologies will be a missed opportunity. Or, most likely, coronavirus emergency will boost the speed of this process, in an unexpected way. At the same time, it is important to remind that in terms of digital innovation capacity, Switzerland performs well in comparison to other Oecd countries, ranking eighth out of the top ten countries.