Key lessons for digital transformation

Key lessons for digital transformation

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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As companies and businesses around the world push to find ways to navigate the challenges brought on by COVID-19 — one expert said that digital transformation, which is often touted as one of the fastest response strategy, should not be simply viewed as improvements in information technology (IT) but one that involves a complete culture change.

Business coach and entrepreneur Yaneek Page said that the process of transformation was not to be seen as a sole project, but as a complete transformation that a company will undergo.

“The biggest mistake that companies make is thinking that digital transformation is all about technology and that it should be driven by the chief information officer (CIO) or IT manager, that's absolutely incorrect.

“Digital transformation is about a complete culture change, it is about looking specifically at your business model in its entirety—it is about identifying where the opportunities are and not just looking at what your current trajectory is. It really is trying to identify new opportunities that are digital and then actually committing your business model around delivering such,” she said while speaking at a University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) staged public forum held last week.

Page said that the quest for transformation is one in which everybody has to have ownership starting at the top down, one in which the cultural shift may require regular changes. “Companies may have to go through drastic changes internally, there are some people that will not fit. The way to leapfrog that process is to really look at transforming what human resources look like. The challenge that many companies have had is that in trying to get to this transition, the people who were there for a long time, they are used to a certain way of doing business— they are the ones who need to be champions of the change and they typically struggle to do that.”

The entrepreneur said that the process of digital transformation was not just simply automation but a radical rethinking of how companies do business. She added that the use of digital technologies will also help in providing these companies with the unique tools needed to leapfrog into the digital era.

“The process is always about radical change and is consumer-centred and there is always some innovation that is driving that, so you are almost always looking at new revenue sources and new markets to serve,” she said.

The business coach deemed it one of the best business continuity strategy, noting that more mature companies may have a difficult task of reinventing themselves.

“Digital transformation has been a vehicle that has allowed many companies to not just reinvent themselves but to become very successful.

“It is really about adding value, it provides industries with unparalleled opportunities,” she further stated while mentioning organisations such as the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank which have all pointed to the increased prospects for economic growth across the Caribbean if we could successfully implement digital transformation.

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