Companies in Singapore has been talking about Digital Transformation for at least the last 5 years. The recent lockdown due to Covid-19 has proliferated this intent of Digital Transformation among many companies. Many are now looking to divert more of their sales activities online, enhance their business communication through online collaboration tools and some has sought to employ digital transformation professionals. However, to transform successfully, the most fundamental question is — What does it mean to transform digitally?

What is Digital Transformation?

Let me quote Mr Johnny Wong, Chief Digital Officer of NTUC in the Computer Weekly article:

To us, it is to become much more like a technology organisation that scales its business through the use of technology to expand into new areas and create digitally-driven business models – beyond digitising our processes. These could be building e-commerce capabilities, delivering an omnichannel customer experience or leveraging the power of crowds.

In today’s technology and business landscape, there are thousands of cloud-based, powerful software platforms that can help companies achieve greater productivity. Companies should leverage on all these readily available software and achieve greater efficiency. Digital Transformation is more than just increasing productivity. It is harnessing technologies to leverage on the power of communities and achieving innovative business model that better serve the communities and in turn bring higher profitability to the organisation.

What does it takes to succeed in Digital Transformation?

In my opinion, the success of digital transformation lies primarily in change management because it requires mindset change :

  1. Willing to learn and adopt the new technologies
  2. An innovative mind to tap on the existing strengths of the company

The first point above is simple to understand. The second point is key. What does that mean? Technology alone can be useful. However, most companies have their existing legacies. Each company is unique in itself. One technology may work for one company, but not another. So it requires the employees of the company to think how to tap of their existing strengths as well as the available technologies to achieve ground breaking results. Again, let me quote what Mr Johnny Wong of NTUC shared:

At FairPrice, we’re introducing a number of things to lower the cost of delivering groceries, which are typically picked and delivered from a central warehouse. For a start, we’re tapping one of the key value propositions that we have as NTUC FairPrice, that is, our proximity to customers through our network of physical stores across the nation. Today, we have three stores from which groceries can be picked and delivered to customers within a given area. This not only reduces delivery costs, but also improves the customer experience.

Hence, according to Digital specialist Esther Goh Tok Mui, if your company is looking into Digital Transformation, begin with choosing a leader that embraces technologies and yet could work with the people to encourage and build an innovative culture.

Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash