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Integrating the Digital with the Human - The Only Way to Thrive in the Future

How business owners can gracefully approach and embrace investing in both their digital and human infrastructures.


The ever-changing business and technological landscapes push companies to innovate and digitize faster year after year or risk being thrown out of the market.

Stakeholders are pressuring board members and CEOs to digitize their products and services to stay relevant in the market.

We're witnessing the boom in second-rate countries such as the UAE and KSA, focusing on building smart cities, smart businesses, cloud infrastructures, and moving away from traditional business processes. So, where does this leave you? With a choice.

It is time to evolve beyond old paradigms.

But what we're seeing happening is the following: many business owners and decision-makers make, ignoring, whether wholly or partially, the human factor from the whole digitization equation.

The power of digitization - How to evolve as a business

The human factor in many sectors will vanish. Computers and machines can be much more efficient in many ways than humans.

The banking sector, accounting, goods delivery (think Amazon) can and will be completely automated.

The human factor is becoming less and less relevant as we learn how to build more intelligent systems and optimize our entire business processes.

Businesses that are stuck in the old paradigm will face massive challenges when competing in the market. Instead of focusing on producing better and faster outcomes that align with their strategic and business objectives, business owners will race against the clock to secure next month's rent and keep up with customer demands.

The silver bullet in their minds might be to throw more money into the business, hire more, increase the size of their marketing department, adopt a more aggressive sales approach, and so forth.

The above often leads to an increase in cost without a substantial ROI to back up all the spending. 

Instead, business owners should focus on the following:

  • Adopt best practices in software and product development,
  • Find ways to decrease the TTD (Time to Delivery) by optimizing key business processes,
  • Focus on hiring quality instead of quantity,
  • Host education sessions for their teams and employees to keep them up to date,
  • Embrace and adopt automation.

Real-World case study

As part of our consultancy journey, one client owned a service provider where their clients can book hotels, private jets, and other VIP offerings.

Some of the problems we faced at hand were the following:

  • Clients had to call the call center to book their need manually,
  • Employees had to go through at least three cycles to complete the client's request,
  • Clients weren't aware of the complete services offered.

Without going into too much detail, here's how we attempted to solve the problem:

  • Revamped the whole website using proper and state of the art Information Architecture to ensure that clients can easily find what they're looking for,
  • Built a client portal where clients can book and track their requests,
  • Direct line of communication through a bot, WhatsApp, and one-click-call to directly get connected to an agent,
  • Search functionality.

By focusing on improving the small things, the client will witness an increase in user satisfaction and retention while reducing their agent's stress.

Agents can focus better on serving their clients and attending to their requests instead of worrying about details directly affected by human error.

Focusing on the Human

Amid digitization, it's kind of easy to forget about the human aspect. The human factor is highly relevant in the hospitality and service sectors, where humans offer a personalized touch to the service.

While automation can speed up business processes and automate many tasks with much less cost and effort, human resource deployment and re-deployment are equally crucial in the business aspects where machines cannot replace your employees.

An 80:20 split


In industries where computer tasks are pre-dominant and the human soft-skills aren't required, business owners must invest in computer systems and algorithms to further improve their offerings. For example, in the accounting sector, producing invoices and budgetary sheets can be automated entirely as the business progresses.

We've seen countless SaaS software attempting to solve this particular problem: FreshBooks, ZipBooks to name a few. The software can supplement the auditor's job, reduce human error, and provide a fast computation of the numbers needed.

The human resources department is another aspect of a business that technology can supplement. adopting new systems that reduce a lot of the tasks previously required by the hiring manager can significantly simplify the screening of software engineers and developers for example:

  • Technical skills assessment,
  • Solving algorithmic challenges,
  • Live coding/algorithmic challenge,

By adopting a SaaS like Filtered.AI, hiring managers can significantly reduce the time needed to filter out potential candidates on a technical level instead of hiring more and more HR specialists to filter out a large number of candidates.

Suppose your business falls within an industry with such characteristics. In that case, you can empower your employees in producing better results and increase morale by adopting new technologies and business processes that would help you better advance towards your business's strategic goals.

A 50:50 split

50:50 split

In industries where the human factor is highly relevant, it becomes harder to adopt an optimal digital strategy in the hospitality sector. Human interaction between the receptionist, for example, and a client in a hotel can provide a unique experience for clients and cannot be automated.

The F&B (Food and Beverages) industry relies on human interaction and provides a unique and memorable experience to their clients.

This is where human capital re-deployment plays a role, and adopting solutions that can significantly simplify your employees' lives becomes increasingly relevant.

Adopting a reservation system, for example, digitizing your restaurant's menu or contactless payments, can reduce the repetitive tasks needed to be done by your employees while reducing human errors while allowing your employees to service your clients better.

Thoughts for the current and new workforce

If you're an employee or part of a workforce and you're reading this article, then my advice is the following: stay relevant.

You can stay relevant by working on your soft skills or educating yourself in different fields where it is difficult for computers to replace humans.

Negotiations and communication are areas that you can certainly work on; another might be leadership skills, strategy, and business development.

Learn how to leverage the latest tools in the industry:

  • If you are a marketing expert, then a good knowledge of marketing CRMs is a bonus (think Braze or Hubspot). Learning how to leverage their full power will make you more valuable to your firm.
  • If you're a software engineer, learning about the latest paradigms and processes is much better than spending hours coding within the same language or framework. Learn about the newest technologies out there.
  • If you're a business owner, focus on optimizing your business processes and repetitive/mundane tasks. This will significantly free up much energy to focus on your strategic objectives.

Do things that matter. AI, computer algorithms, SaaS systems are here to supplement human effort, not replace them entirely.