Digitization must be talked about clearly, otherwise companies will be afraid of it, says CEO of GRiT, Lubomír Veselý


As a leading Czech provider of cloud services, this year we launched a campaign for comprehensible digitization. We called it Burst the digital babble and in it we draw attention to the communication barrier between Czech companies and digitalization service providers.

In the campaign, we describe the benefits of digitization, what to watch out for or how to get started with it. Using the examples of companies like Pilulka, PRO-DOMA or DoDo, we want to show that digitization does not mean a complete overhaul of the entire company, but that most companies start with small partial steps. For example, by introducing barcode readers or electronic document interchange.

Lubomír Veselý, CEO of GRiT, answers in detail questions about problems in communication around digitization.

What is digitization? And why is there a need to burst the digital babble right now?

Digitization is a very broad topic and I think that it also causes concern among companies due to its breadth and elusiveness. It is an often bandied about term that can be used to hide anything, so many companies cannot imagine anything concrete under digitization. We launched the campaign because there are a huge number of companies in the Czech Republic for which digitization would significantly facilitate growth and reduce costs, but due to easily disproved fears and unnecessary communication noise, this is not happening. We want to explain in a humane and comprehensible way what digitization is, how to get started with it and why there is no reason to be afraid of it.

What kind of companies are afraid of digitization? Are they mainly small businesses?

It would be a mistake to generalize it like that. From my experience, even large companies are afraid of digitization. The difference is that larger companies are under more pressure in terms of digitization and are therefore closer to it. They are often faced with the decision that either they start digitizing or the competition significantly overtakes them. Small companies, on the other hand, often think that digitization does not apply to them or that it is not worthwhile for them. But companies of any size can digitize, it's just a matter of choosing the right tools.

You mentioned communication noise. Does it arise because IT companies cannot explain digitization in a comprehensible way?

Exactly. On the one hand, we have companies that do not understand the benefits of digitization, and on the other, suppliers who cannot explain them clearly. The key is to speak the same language as the customer. Many suppliers are so bogged down in the IT industry that they use terms, abbreviations and expressions that the average person does not understand.

First of all, suppliers should explain the benefits to customers and business partners - for example, the end of copying documents from paper to computer or on a computer between two systems. These are activities that digitization can easily eradicate, and people in the company then have more time to do what they are really good at.

Can digitization be simplified to an automatic flow of documents, or is there a larger field of activities hidden under it?

In our view, digitization is really mainly about documents, but it generally includes many more activities. Today, for example, we read a lot of articles about how companies are robotizing warehouses or presenting products in virtual reality.

Which concerns do companies most often need disproved in practice?

They often relate to security. Businesses are concerned about where and on which servers their data is stored, as most of our solutions run in the cloud. Or they are afraid that if they don't have the document physically archived, they don't have control over it.

And then there is the general ignorance that these systems exist at all and that the path to digitization is simple thanks to them.

Can it be said that digitization is good for companies, regardless of which segment they operate in?

I think it can. In every company, we can find processes that can be done more simply and where human work can be replaced by computer work. It is always about the company comparing how much digitization will cost it versus how much it will save with its help. This is a large part of what we address with clients in initial meetings.

Is it possible to evaluate at the first business meeting whether digitization is worthwhile for the company?

Yes, we have around three thousand customers today, so we have been part of many digitization stories. We try to get to know our clients in depth in order to find out whether digitization is worthwhile for them. Basically, we talk with them about how to approach digitization, we exchange experiences and together we look for a way how digitization can help them.

The interview was published in the CIO Business World magazine (May 2022, No. 3).

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