Digital transformation is nothing new: organisations have been implementing these initiatives for the past decade or so, albeit in a more siloed manner.
It cannot be denied though, says Shakeel Jhazbhay, General Manager: Digital Business Solutions at Hybrid IT systems integrator and managed services provider Datacentrix, that the digitisation journey of many businesses was catapulted swiftly forward during the pandemic, when pressure to think outside the box and reinvent themselves in order to be able to continue business was suddenly applied.
“The pandemic kicked off a requirement for rapid change, which brought with it a new culture in many organisations of digitisation, and in most cases, it was a move away from paper-based society to a more automated way of working,” he explains. “Companies quickly recognised the immense value in this and increased their activity in this space with more cloud-based engagement – and those that didn’t adapt have felt the negative impact.”
Pillars of the digitally transformed enterprise
According to Jhazbhay, the key foundations of the digital enterprise are: agility; adaptability; innovation; and, most importantly, people.
“Agility and adaptability were seriously tested when most of the world was placed under lockdown. We needed to empower our workforce to be able to work from anywhere, and the ‘work from home’ revolution pushed organisations to adapt to these changes rapidly, while, at the same time, ensuring that staff remained productive and still worked in a structured manner.
“Increasing global food and commodities prices have meant that some companies have continued to allow employees to practise this agile hybrid work culture, which lessens the impact without the business increasing allowances.
“Finally, while people are the foundation of any successful organisation, they are often left out of the core component of digital transformation, yet their positive adoption is a pillar of success.”
Where to from here?
Even beyond the pandemic, Jhazbhay continues, digital transformation is on the up and up, and as organisations regroup and reprioritise, there will be a greater focus placed on this at a strategic level, with its importance driven by business leadership.
“Truthfully, many companies find it difficult to think outside of the box. The digitally transformed enterprise, however, is able to see things in a more lateral way, and harness different types of technology to help drive the business forward.
“An effective digital transformation strategy will help organisations by guiding the way forward, and should provide an agile list of actions with quick wins and milestones set to continue with the momentum gained.
“Moving forward, companies should take stock, assessing the success and failures of their pandemic implementations, and the impact these have had on their people and the business itself. From here it is possible to move forward with digitisation in line with the strategic goals of the current organisation, something that should also be reconsidered, as these may have changed from when the business went into ‘protect’ mode,” Jhazbhay concludes.