A first digital business It is an ever-changing relationship between an organization and the technology it uses to optimize its processes, people, and platforms. it is like IDC puts ita “continued shift toward digital business models that usher in the next era of digital transformation.”
Technology is not just an enabler (it has already proven its value as a decision maker and optimizer), it is a critical component of strategic thinking and planning. This is repeated in the IDC Global CEO Survey 2022 where CEOs explain what it means to do business in a digital first world: it means profits, cost savings, operational efficiencies, higher revenue and better customer experiences.
This is repeated in the PwC 26th Annual Global CEO Survey that underscored the value of smart and strategic technology investments at a time of deep geopolitical and economic uncertainty. Smart investment in relevant technology is a top priority for CEOs who are focused on reinventing the future (60%) while ensuring they preserve existing business (40%). The CEO recognizes that the business they have today won’t necessarily thrive tomorrow, and this means implementing the right platforms to enable seamless pivots and built-in organizational agility.
To achieve this level of digital-first relevance and resilience, companies need to focus on clear strategies that enable digital within the business. Digital has to generate a positive impact on the business. As highlighted above, digital is only relevant if it shows proven value in revenue growth, cost reduction, profitability improvement, customer satisfaction enhancement, employee and supplier satisfaction transformation , and reliable gains in governance, risk, and compliance. And each of these touch points defines a business that operates within a digital-first mindset.
Of course, one of the most valuable tools in the first digital toolbox is the cloud. And in South Africa, the cloud market has seen some interesting, if not seismic, changes in terms of service provider availability, data center capacity, and public cloud services. There has been a significant increase in investment in public cloud software as a service (SaaS) and this growth will only increase as global hyperscalers build local foundations. Alibaba, Huawei, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft have all invested time and money in improving on-premises infrastructure and service delivery, and this has opened up significant opportunities for organizations looking to take advantage of the ubiquity and scale of the cloud in the future.
With this level of hyperscale computing available, businesses can scale their resource usage to whatever level they need, and can manage their spending and capacity on demand. Of course, this sounds lovely on paper, but experience is required to ensure there are no exorbitant bills or unexpected complexities. A cloud implementation is only as good as the partners behind it – businesses need to know exactly what they are scaling to and how it will meet their unique operating circumstances.
This brings the conversation back full circle to the key value-adds of cost, revenue, customers, and people. And it underscores the importance of ensuring that a digitally powered cloud-based environment is capable of the agility and scale the organization needs to evolve its business and its digital transformation.
Building the foundation of a digital business first requires that the strategy focus on the core success metrics of the customer, the process, the platforms, and the people. And that you take advantage of industry solutions and applications that have been developed in accordance with global best practices and that enable a modular and iterative approach to transformation. Scale, capacity and growth depend on an organization’s ability to leverage relevant technologies at the right time, changing technology investment along with changing business strategies. All of these components have to work together like clockwork, each gear turning the next wheel in an ecosystem that is ripe for change.
- The author, Jan Bouwer, is head of digital platform solutions at BCX
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