Here, Barnard discussed the urgency of digital transformation, gave pointers on how companies can start to embark on their digital transformation journey and shares some of the benefits of doing it before your business gets left behind.
She started off her presentation by stating: “Technology has actually changed the world since the invention of the wheel.” Continuing on, Barnard said that technology is omni-present and that this is fundamentally shaping the way businesses think about innovation and how they think about growth in their own markets. So, when businesses and government fully capitalise on the power of technology, they can run more effective and efficient businesses as well as transparent and productive businesses.
There are three points that are fundamentally changing the way business works today:
The industry has gone through tremendous change and this is brought on by digital transformation and digital disruption. We often see that digital transformation coming from existing firms, whereas disruption comes from new entrance into the market. This means digital transformation is real and it's urgent.
According to a Harvard Business Review study, leaders are actually recognising that their industries will be digitally disrupted. 80% of them say they recognise that it will happen to them. 86% says they recognise it as an opportunity instead of a threat. 47% declares that their business models will actually become obsolete in the next three years. 44% says that they have a fully formed digital transformation strategy. 40% says they are actually doing this because they want to give their customers a better customer experience.
Barnard says that at Microsoft they've commissioned an ITC study and the questions they're hoping to answer with this study is, "Are companies moving fast enough and are they transforming fast enough?" This is to make sure that they're actually keeping in pace with this whole mobile-first, cloud-first world that we now live in, which is characterised by disruptive innovation. She says Microsoft has found that typically companies that have decided to transform are:
According to their research in South Africa 44% of companies say they have a digital transformation strategy and that they are going through the process. In Nigeria it is also 44% and in Kenya it is 39%. Companies that said that they are still evaluating their DT process is at 28% in South Africa, 30% in Nigeria and 38% in Kenya. Companies that are not transforming because of a lack of funding: 8% in South Africa, 26% in Nigeria, 23% in Kenya.
Barnard shared some more points that came out of the study and gave tips on how companies can embark on their own internal digital strategies:
Four pillars of digital transformation strategies
Barnard ended off by also sharing four pillars of what the team at Microsoft believe digital strategies are hinging on: