Whether you are reading a business article, attending a keynote speech or panel discussion, or even furthering your studies, there is one message that comes through loud and clear: digital transformation is a crucial step that all businesses must take. In this increasingly digital world, the corresponding integration of digital technology into all areas of a business are imperative in order to remain relevant and competitive. A company’s ongoing digital transformation fundamentally changes how they operate and deliver value to their customers, while simultaneously changing their corporate culture where challenging the status quo, experimenting outside their comfort zone, and getting comfortable with failure, becomes ingrained in their corporate ethos.
However, companies have been wrestling with the concept of digital transformation for the last few years due to both the enormous amounts of data that their business models now generate, combined with the dramatic adoption rates of smart phone devices. In fact, as per a Deloitte Report, we are now living in an era of unprecedented technological innovation with 90% of all the world’s business data produced in just the last two years, while more than 26 billion smart devices are now in circulation. To adapt to this new era and take advantage of the opportunities that it generates, many companies need to radically overhaul their existing operations and corporate culture in order to stay ahead of newer, faster, and more agile competitors while also meeting the demands of more educated customers.
Up until now however, for many companies, this has been a slow transition with digital transformation considered a “nice to have” as opposed to the integral driver of their business models. Through a combination of impassive leadership, lack of alignment between business units and technology teams, and siloed organizational structures, talk of digitalisation being an imperative, has not yet translated into direct action, with business cases for new investment in digital tools and projects taking months or even years to evaluate and approve.
This apathy and non-committal approach to digital transformation all changed in as early as February of this year, when the Covid-19 pandemic turned our world upside down, completely changing the way we conduct business, as companies scrambled for survival. For the companies that had already commenced their digital transformation journeys, the transition was obviously smoother than for those who remain unconvinced of the merits of evolving, while even established e-commerce business models struggled to adapt to an increase in customer demand.
Now, more than ever, companies need to select a technology solutions provider that is flexible, fluid, and agile, with experience in the creation of frameworks for digital transformation, including complex system integration expertise. Concurrently, they must be intuitive enough to effectively evaluate the merit of legacy IT systems that cannot be integrated to a new digital environment, to identify whether they can still be of value while the rest of the company transforms. With digital transformation initiatives implemented earlier in the year based on crisis-management, companies must now partner with technology solutions providers focussed on future-proofing their business.