The world as we know it now has changed from what it used to be in 1990 when I was 10 years old, and the key driver of that change is technology.
Technology used to be an enabler of businesses but now, it is the business. Most businesses are now seen as digital business rather than one that leverages technology for its operations. According to Chris Gabriel, the Chief Digital Officer for Logicalis Europe, most businesses are undergoing one form of digital transformation or the other. Disruption is the name of the game and this requires a new mind-set, skillset and culture. You can hardly talk about technology or digitalization without talking about transformation or change.
I remember how we thronged cyber cafes as early as 1996 in Nigeria, when we needed to send emails, apply for jobs or search for opportunities. Today, the story is different. The global telecoms manufacturing giant Ericsson forecasted that mobile subscriptions will grow by an average of 6% a year to just under 1 billion from 700 million in 2017 and according to the trade body GSMA, three-quarters of the population have a SIM connection. That translates to 747 million people, and around a third of that number use smartphones.
Digitalization is at the epicentre of human needs, personal convenience and societal innovation. With technology, it is easier to articulate, respond and anticipate the needs of the customers, thus providing huge, unprecedented opportunities. The evolving phenomenon has shown that there is no area that is immune to the influence of technology. From education, to work, health, transportation, real estate, entertainment, marketing, etc.
For example, you can start your day with personal devotion accessing your Bible on your mobile phone; book transportation to your office with Uber, order lunch using HelloFood, carry out banking transactions via Quickteller, watch a movie on Netflix, engage the world for inspiration on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn, learn on an app, buy someone a birthday gift on Jumia or Konga, book flight tickets on an airline’s website, search for accommodation, pay insurance premiums, all via a mobile application. Such is the degree of our dependence on mobile apps that makes our lives digital.
One example of the remarkable organizations disrupting the market place with its digital strategy is Domino’s Pizza. It has been remarked that the company does not see itself as a pizza company, but as a digital company selling pizza. Its share price outperformed those of vaunted tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google from 2010 to March 2017.
This great feat was attributed to the execution of a digital strategy following a poor performance in 2008. The food company invested in building a digital capability that elevated its customer experience to an enviable pedestal. As of 2016, approximately half of Domino’s 800 headquarter employees worked in software and analytics.
This implies that if digitalization works for a pizza company, it can work for any business that is interested in outperforming rivals in building competitiveness in customer experience.
In this edition of the magazine, we explore different dimensions of digitalization from how to manage the digital native; a generation of consumers and employees whose existence coincides with the commencement of the digital revolution, to the imperative of deploying automation for process efficiency. We also look at the relationship between the 4th industrial revolution to the legendary Maslow’s motivation theory; the need to deploy security measures and control to minimize the risk and of course to the future of the workplace.
The word “digital revolution” means different things to different segments of the society. For the professionals who are skeptical about how this impacts the availability of jobs, the Group HR Head, Stanbic IBTC, Funke Amobi shares her thoughts on the future of work and the skills required for relevance in the new order. This is in response to the world economic report that estimates that by 2030, global job losses due to digitalization will range from 2 million to 2 billion by 2030.
One of the key objectives of this edition is to clarify what digitalization truly means, by removing the ambiguity which usually trails the discussion around its adoption in Africa.
The UK Guardian Media Network broadly describes digitalization as technology (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) that is at the heart of connection between machines and people.
What is obvious is that digitalization goes beyond launching a website to showcase a virtual version of your business. It requires having a broad strategy, new mind-set, structure and skillset.
According to the RSM’s research, there are benefits of digital transformation to your business – 28% business growth, 20% efficiency, 25% gain in competitive edge, and 13% increase in attracting and retaining talent.
Our technology experts share insights, data and recommendations that are useful for policy makers and business executives.
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